Mother’s job definition #1, maybe #2

I’m about to spark another troubling mind gymnastics routine. If we had to define a mother’s job (not purpose, which I think is another category), how would the tasks rank? I don’t think I’m going to agree with myself as I start spelling out my thoughts, but at least I’ll start.

Right out of the gate I’m going to say a mother’s job is to develop independent beings.

Wow, I didn’t say to love the child. What’s wrong with that? I defend this move by citing a couple of things. I think loving the child is a byproduct of motherhood and, secondly, that it’s not necessarily true for all mothers. Some have great difficulty with love. I chuckle inside knowing I can’t even define what is loving a child (see earlier post).

With that premise, I will argue that the mother’s job is to develop an independent being.

Then again, if to love a child is to encourage them to be their own self, then job definition #1 WOULD be to love the child.

There’s so much trouble with the connotations of love. Moms who love their children shield them. Moms who love their children sit back and watch them fall. Moms who love love in vastly different and, arguably, wrong ways. Or is there no way to love incorrectly?

So I’m back to job definition for mother #1 being to develop independent beings. How a mother does this, perhaps, is where we get into the tangles of love.

Case in point: Mother wants to assert self-sufficiency. Mother drops child into deep end of pool. One person sees heartless wretch. Another sees admirable bravery. Now, what happens to the child? Child learns to swim or child flails. All but the ill will aid the child who flails. Right?

OK. I’m settling with job definition #1: develop independent beings. We could spend a looooong time arguing when that goal needs to be met in order to call the mother successful.

Job definition #2: to develop productive members of society? I don’t know. Just threw that out there. It’s not enough to have independent beings; they need to be productive, too. That sounds a bit scary to me.

How about #2: to protect. Is that another byproduct? Protect from what? How much protection is good and how much bad?

Truly surprising to me is the fact that a ridiculous amount of this cerebral journey is blocked by judgment and perspective. Egads! Defining a mother’s job is SUBJECTIVE!!! Can it be?

My rational mind does not want to think so.

Where did I jump the rail? Maybe I didn’t get on the track from the start. My brain hurts. I’ll have to come back to this when I can regroup. I’m a little stunned right now. I’m sure the comments will be many and strong. All good.


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