If you are like me and want to understand why we think about motherhood the way we do, why we take up a certain mother role, act motherly or not, then this site is the crash course.
I believe it is important, especially as a women and parent, to have an informed position about motherhood, calmly formed and far-off dogma or gospel. I learned it is best not to take the meaning of the next best person or the meaning that everybody seems to give it. History can tell you that that is sometimes plainly brutal and inconsiderate.
Motherhood as we understand it, is a relative new concept in history. It also evolves constantly. I dig out motherhood theories often formulated in the former or current century like James’ instincts, De Vries’ genes, Watson’s associations, Boas’s culture, Piaget’s development, Lorenz’s imprinting, Gilligan’s care, Schreber’s child obedience… but you can also read up on motherhood in much older cultures, as well as motherhood in primitive societies, with animals and much more.
Stating the obvious
It would like to make it perfectly clear that I do believe that women are the best people to get pregnant, gestate and lactate. These three are wonders of the feminine world. They are orchestrated by highly ingenious and complex chemical mechanisms. The mechanisms are triggered by biological switches and it is best to leave them do whatever they need to do and interfere as little as possible. Nature has set us up this way. And gestate and lactate is what we will do. There is no agreement needed for something that is a certainty. It is not necessary to consent with a fact or actuality.
But what about everything after this lactation period? There, things become more interesting. People have ideas about it. Everybody has. What is natural, who should do it, who does it better, how it should be done, how long it should be a full time job, … People have all kind of theories, founded and unfounded. All the way to the greatest philosophers, scientists and psychotherapists and more.
Realizing most theories on motherhood have come and gone
There is so much that is written about motherhood and I mean not only in the section of parenthood. Especially in the last two hundred years. Theories have come and gone. What was once the truth was an absolute joke a little bit later. And most of it, we are still debating. The thoughts and theories on motherhood reflect so well the society and its wants and needs. In recent decades, we witnessed pointless and poorly informed debates on the matter. Given the historical context, the battle lines are understandable. The debates continue to be more intense in some countries than in others, more by some people than others because it is also a social matter. And there are big stakes involved on an individual level and on a bigger scale.
Forming thoughts on motherhood
The variety in education is big and making a personal choice in parenting style is one of the most interesting things you can do. Strictly following parenting manuals or written any dogma, said or shown, is restrictive.
I strongly believe that everybody needs to make up her or his own mind about important matters in life. To be able to do, a basic understanding of the ideas that are out there is needed. Sometimes we also need to know the motivation of the person who proposed the idea. And then with an openness we form a view on the matter.
I conduct no research myself, but with the co-authors I aim to provide insights on significant social, cultural and biological studies on motherhood and childcare, on new trends and on our evolving understanding of motherhood. I hope to share calm and balanced perspectives, promoting open and rational reflections based on evidence rather than ideology.
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You can contact me here, firstname.lastname@example.org