Motherhood is fast becoming a dirty word. My daughter-in-law, mother of five girls under 10 years of age was telling me how she is still getting asked, “When are you going back to work?” Her response is simple, “I’m a mother first and I am in no rush to leave my beautiful girls. I love being a mother.”
When talking to other young mums I hear how they are made to feel devalued if all they want to do is devote their energy and time to their children. Fathers are not the only ones feeling devalued in western society, mothers are also feeling the pain of societal devaluation. The ultimate losers are our children because children need a mother and a father. As responsible fathers, we must go out of our way to reaffirm our wives in their wonderful role as mothers.
The Importance of Mothers – Paul Tripp
Some time ago I received a copy of ‘Mothering Denied’ a eBook from Dr Peter Cook, a highly respected child psychologist. The subtitle gives it away: ‘How our culture harms women, infants and society’. Download your own free copy of Mothering Denied here: You can purchase a updated version of this book which is called Mothering Matters here: Please find a short abstract from Mothering Denied here.
I first met Dr Peter Cook at a fatherhood roundtable with Dr Wade Horn, organized by the Centre for Independent Studies. Dr Cook is passionate for the natural family. Steve Biddulph’s foreword in Mothering Denied explains it well:
Every era in human history has naturally assumed itself to be the most modern, progressive, and advanced. There is no deeper myth in our history than the myth of progress, the idea that things get better. It may well be our most dearly-held illusion.
Just recently, with the growth of technologies that can look inside the living brain, and video-cameras that can watch the tiny movements and gestures of mothers and infants, we have realized that in our basic assumptions of Western industrial life, we were terribly wrong about something very important. We thought that minding babies was a casual, inconsequential thing that could be left to underpaid teenagers, or done in bulk with one person to five babies or ten toddlers, without any problem.
It now appears that mother-baby interaction, in the first year especially, is the very foundation of human emotions and intelligence. In the most essential terms, love grows the brain. The capacities for what make us most human—empathy, co-operation, intimacy, the fine timing and sensitivity that makes a human being charismatic, loving, and self-assured—are passed from mother to baby, especially if that mother is herself possessed of these qualities, and supported and cared for, so that she can bring herself to enjoy and focus on the task.
Just as we were wrong, in our industrial culture, about almost everything related to sustainable and happy living on this earth, we were wrong about childhood. It is entirely possible that in our civilisation we have been getting worse, as parents, for many hundreds of years. Of course these are dramatic, sweeping overstatements. But the trends are there.
Peter Cook is a doctor who has specialised in psychiatry and has been working in the field of child and family mental health for decades. In this book he has created something of great value. He summarises much research, making it accessible to those who wish to know more, as he draws on over half a century of thinking and learning about human infants and their mothers and fathers.
I’d like to say read and enjoy, but it’s more a case of read and weep. Or better still, read this body of work to find confirmation and a spur to put love back at the top of the list for building a human race that is still here in a century’s time; because if we don’t learn to love our babies, our earth, and each other, very fast, we will disappear. It has already begun, and there isn’t a moment to lose.
Steve Biddulph is right. Love is our greatest asset. Mothering is a unique expression of love. As fathers, our job is to make a stand and support the mothers of our children. As the famous basketball player said, ‘Just do it!’
Yours for mothers
PS: 26–28 May 2017, the 5th Dads4Kids Train the Trainer Summit will be held at Stanwell Tops. Training men for the Good to Great Fathering Course is not for the fainthearted. It requires enormous self-discipline and an extreme level of commitment to the cause. If you are interested in becoming a qualified trainer read all about it here, then click on the Register link to get your application in, as space is always limited.