MamaBlogger365 – 2012~A New Year for Mothers by Patti Ashley, Ph.D.

My youngest daughter is expecting her first baby in April of 2012. As I reflect on how things have changed since her grandmother was born in 1914, I realize how far women have come in less than one hundred years.

My mother was a woman who believed that she was supposed to sacrifice herself for her children. Virginia Woolf (1882-1941), the author of Mrs. Dalloway, A Room of One’s Own, and numerous other articles, described women and sacrifice, stating: “If there was chicken she took the leg: if there was a draft she sat in it.” I can vividly remember how my mother at dinnertime would say: “I’ll take the wing.” She took on the role of sacrificial martyr as if it was her duty. I unconsciously did the same for many years, as sacrifice was expected in my Catholic family of origin, especially for women.

What has happened in less than 100 years is a completely new way of being for women as mothers. Women no longer have to sacrifice their dreams to be housewives and mothers. Women now make up over 50% of the workforce and many fathers are becoming very engaged in the role of parenting that traditionally belonged to women.

Technology has opened doors for women as mothers as well. Many of the parenting questions that my mother had to ask of her mother are now found on the Internet as quickly as one can type a Google search!

2012 seems to be a marvelous year to be a mother. A new way of being a mother is unfolding. This does not mean that there are not challenges in mothering today. The same emotional questions arise, such as “Am I a good mother?” and “Am I doing the right thing?” We still have a long way to go in mothering ourselves enough to know that we are enough. We still carry the wounds of our grandmothers in our psyches and unless we acknowledge them, they will create doubts and uncertainties in the most important job in the world: mothering!

Becoming a good mother means loving ourselves enough to know how to balance our own needs and the needs of our children. Each day we grow more and more aware of whom we are and how to live more fully. My wish for my daughter is that she can take from her grandmother all of the love that she shared and give it freely to her baby, without having to sacrifice herself.

Happy New Year, 2012!

About Patti Ashley: Mothering Beyond Image helps women connect more deeply to themselves and others, therefore feeling more authentic, mindful and whole. I will be presenting the five main themes from the soon-to-be-released book in a weekend workshop in Scottsdale, AZ, on March 9 & 10, 2012. For more information, or to register for the weekend, please visit www.motheringbeyondimage.com/workshops. Please sign up to be on my mailing list to stay updated on workshop information. Mothers always want to know whether or not they are doing a good job. This workshop will help you know that you ARE!

The Museum Of Motherhood is the first and only facility of its kind, celebrating the “her”story of mothers around the world. We need your help — please make your tax-deductible contribution today! Visit the Museum of Motherhood, NOW OPEN in NYC – Tues.-Sun., 10:45-6:30.
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