Posts Tagged ‘therapy for news junkies’

Last week Julia Gillard made a national apology recognising the suffering of forced adoption in Australia. In response to Tony Abbott’s version of the apology, there was a huge outcry against his use of the term “birth mothers“.  What’s in a name here? What’s behind our intense interest in the labels for mothers?

We’re talking and writing about motherhood more than ever, yet we’re still stuck in a minefield of outdated language. So-called birth mothers, adoptive mothers, relinquishing mothers, surrogate mothers, single mothers, stay-at-home-mothers, working mothers, teen mothers, foster mothers, tiger mothers, lesbian mothers, and women-who-choose-not-to-be-mothers are currently being put into their places by labels that only make sense from the outside.

Labels are a kind of container. Since we’ve been using so many of them lately, we can only assume that it’s because we believe mothers need containing.

We know more and more about how crucial mothering is. We know that the quality of ourattachment to our mothers determines to a large extent how we relate to other people for the rest of our lives. We know that the mothering we received has a huge influence on whether we can manage to mother well ourselves.

We also know that mothering has the most profound affect on our physical and mental health. But for what is arguably the most important relationship in all of our lives, there seems to be a definite lack of understanding that motherhood does not exist in a vacuum. We are all part of making the world that mothers live in. Biology is important, but it’s easy to overlook the fact that biology is created environmentally.

you can read the rest of this article at newmatilda

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