A few weeks ago I attended a workshop organized by the South Philly Parents Resource Center called Minimizing Motherhood Madness. The workshop was facilitated by Cristina Higgins from Strategic Mama whose tagline is “Less angst. More Joy. Simple Strategies to Reinvent Modern Motherhood and Thrive.”
The workshop was interesting. We talked about how our expectations and reality as moms differ, what “the perfect mom” is to us, what we want our children, friends and spouse to say about us on our 80th birthday, how our pre-baby self and our post-baby self differ (or are the same). It was an interesting way to analyze ourselves and our expectations and to strategically construct ways to make things a bit easier (even if it’s just a matter of letting go of that unrealistic ideal). Anyway, you can sign up for Cristina’s mailing list on her website at strategicmama.com. A couple of weeks ago I received one of her email updates and with her permission I wanted to share it with all of you.
“Last week I went to the Museum of Motherhood conference in New York City. For 6 hours, I listened to academics from all over the world share their fascinating research on how the experience of motherhood impacts women’s lives. There was Prof. Patterson (New Zealand) who spoke about the experience of single motherhood and Prof. Tropp (US) who discussed the marketing of pregnancy and Laura Tropp (Canada) spoke about the theme of Mompreneurship just to name a few.
The presentations were great but it was a brief conversation I had with the Russian professors that really hit home.
Over cocktails, I asked Prof. Bagirova and Prof. Shubat (Russian Federation) about the role of guilt in Russian motherhood. They shook their heads and said it wasn’t a big issue. What??
Then I asked them about how the role of experts (sleep experts, parenting experts, etc.) play for Russian mothers in terms of learning how to mother? They said, well, we mostly just learn from our own mothers and friends.
And, then, and this is the million-dollar question, I asked them about this idea of being a good mother. “You know”, I said, “what does it mean to be a good mother in Russian?”
They looked at me a little funny and said something like: What did I mean good mother? We don’t think about good vs. bad mother, just mother.
Wow. Just mother. Can you imagine? If just by being the woman and mother that we are, that is enough. Revolutionary idea I think for us in the US.
Now, I know there are more complexities to the role of mother in the Russian Federation. But, for now, I am mulling over this idea that being Mom might be enough. Not good or bad, just enough.
So, this week, as you go on with your life, I invite you to consider this idea that you, the Mom that you are, is neither good nor bad. You are simply, Mom. And everything you are as Mom is enough.”
For those in the Philadelphia area, you can join Cristina for her next workshop on Wednesday, June 12 from 7:15 – 8:45pm at Mama’s Wellness Joint. I’ll be flying to Illinois that day to see my actual mama so I won’t be able to attend, but I’m sure it will be an insightful workshop.
As moms, it’s important to take care of ourselves and sometimes that means taking a few hours out of your day to connect with other moms who understand how you feel.