Mothering and smothering. Two very similar words in annunciation but, by geez by gingo, their meanings are polar opposite!
What is mothering? And what is smothering? And which do you choose?
First we must understand that mothering is not restricted to those who have given birth to a child. In truth, we can all play the role of a mother (even those males out there).
The mother role, in truth:
- Provides love, care, nurturing, development and so much more as they support young people to become independent, responsible and connected beings.
- Knows the beauty of a child comes from the inside out and knows a child’s essence is of far greater importance than anything their child does.
- Embraces their child as a human being and never as a human doing.
- Supports a child to live and meet their full potential, in the knowing that inside that small body is one very wise and already all-knowing being who simply requires guidance, love and boundaries to support them to meet and exceed this potential.
- Always asks ‘What’s next for this child?’
- Supports a child 100 per cent but never at the expense of themselves.
- Raises children with the intent of making their own role redundant.
But simply add an ‘s’ to the word ‘mother’ and we have ‘smother’.
One who smothers:
- Ticks all the boxes and does a lot — and I mean A LOT for their child. In fact a smotherer often does for their child far beyond what their child actually needs.
- Provides for their children in a way that results in their child being dependent.
- Does and continues to do for their child what their child could otherwise learn and do for themselves.
- Raises a child in a manner that has the child ‘needing’ a mother but actually wanting another smotherer later in life.
- Raises children so they themselves still have a role and are still needed far beyond their time of parenting.
- Raises a child in a way that keeps their child small, hindering their development and delaying their potential.
Clearly, a mother in truth and a smotherer are two very different roles, resulting in two undeniably different end products.
This month, the question we can ask is, “Am I celebrating Mother’s Day or Smotherer’s Day? Are there any corrections I can make to truly support the young people around me to live and meet their true potential?” Food for thought.
This article was originally published in the May 2017 Edition of Haven Magazine.