Being a Good Mother

by Anne Malatt, Australia

I never thought I would be a “good” mother.

My role model for a mother was a “superwoman” – a woman who worked hard in a demanding job all day, who came home and cooked gourmet meals at night, who provided for us in every way, who did all the household chores and maintained a large and lovely garden, but who was exhausted and loveless for herself, and drank as a substitute for nurturing and celebrating herself. I did not think I could live up to this, and did not really want to!

Her relationship with my father was also not something I wanted for myself. My father also worked hard at work, but he came home at 5pm, as she did, and sat and “relaxed” (with a drink), while she worked at home. I did not think this was fair, but at the same time blamed her for their difficult relationship, as she was the one who started all the fighting.

I was not “good” at relationships, I was not a “good” partner, and I did not think I would be a “good” parent.

I had an unattainable ideal of what a man should be, which no human could ever live up to, and if by chance someone came close, I did not feel I deserved to be with him!

How could I develop a loving relationship in which to raise and nurture children? I had not yet developed a loving relationship with myself.

Despite all this, I have borne two lovely children. My relationship with their father disintegrated early on and I left him and raised them on my own when they were little. I worked hard at work and did all the household chores. I also drank as a substitute for nurturing and celebrating myself. It was the only way I knew how to stop, to take a moment to rest. The trouble with drinking as a way of resting is that it does not work. It is a sugar hit, which makes you feel racy and keeps you up past your natural bedtime. It numbs you, so you cannot feel what is there to be felt and dealt with. It takes you away from yourself, so you are not present with you or with those around you. It leaves you feeling empty, and in the morning, all the problems you were trying to escape from are still there, and magnified by the dull pain in your head!

All my intelligence, all my education, all my exploration of spirituality, of consciousness, of religion, did not prepare me for motherhood. I felt completely inadequate as a mother, and did not have a clue what to do. I had never nurtured and cared for myself, and had no idea how to truly care for another. I did my best for the kids and cared for their physical needs, but honestly, was not a good mother. When people complimented me on how lovely they were, I joked that it was because they were raised by other people (in day care)… but I was not joking.

When the children were small, I met Serge Benhayon. I shared with a friend of mine that I was really struggling, and she said she had heard there was a great healer in the area. In my first session with him, I felt how lovely it was to be treated gently, tenderly, with care and respect, by a man. I felt who I truly was, as a woman. The grandness of this was amazing, but also something that felt familiar, and completely natural. I felt a deep sense of stillness, of love, of coming home.

One would think that I would have done everything I could to hold that feeling, and to live in that energy. But I did not. I ran back to old habits of doing, of thinking, of drinking, run by old patterns that still held me. But I kept coming back to see Serge and bless him – he kept seeing me with never an ounce of judgement, only love. Each time I saw him I would return to myself and be given an opportunity to feel love, to be love.

This much love cannot be resisted forever! Eventually I learnt to make more loving choices, for myself and for my children. I learnt to go to bed earlier, to rest when I was tired, to listen to my body and to learn how to nurture it, with food, with drink, with rest and play. I learnt how to balance work and my home life. I learnt how to balance caring for myself and caring for my family.

I learnt that I am a woman first, and that motherhood is something that I do, but it is not who I am.

I may not have been a “good” mother, but I am becoming an amazing woman and from that loveliness, everything I do is great, including being a mother.

508 thoughts on “Being a Good Mother

  1. You say this ‘I did my best for the kids and cared for their physical needs, but honestly, was not a good mother. When people complimented me on how lovely they were, I joked that it was because they were raised by other people (in day care)… but I was not joking.’ Yet I am thinking there is room for a little bit of appreciation here … you could not have been that ‘bad’ a mother! Appreciation of the things we do do, no matter how small they may feel or seem is key.

  2. Anne I know this feeling
    “One would think that I would have done everything I could to hold that feeling, and to live in that energy. But I did not. I ran back to old habits of doing, of thinking, of drinking, run by old patterns that still held me.”
    To be honest I’m still held by old patterns of ideals and beliefs as there are a lot of lifetimes of lovelessness to clear. But if we are willing to let go of our hurts as they come up and keep stepping forward then the kingdom of God will be ours in all it’s glory as this is what we have descended from.

  3. When the world constantly presents us with pictures of ideals that say we have to become something and we buy into them, it’s not easy to simply appreciate being who we are. And we fight the simplicity of it all.

  4. “… to listen to my body and to learn how to nurture it, with food, with drink, with rest and play.” When I read this line I really stopped to consider the word “play” because I hadn’t really thought of it as part of what nurtures me, yet when I reflected on how I feel when I am playful my body really loves it. We are very functional with looking at our health by focusing on physical things such as exercise, sleep and eating, but not so much things like play, communication and expression, affection and sharing love, etc, which are very supportive.

  5. I tried so hard to be a good mother and always felt lacking because of the impossible to live up to pictures of what I thought a good mother looked like. Now that I am about to become a grandmother I am enjoying sharing the experience with my daughter as our relationship has evolved so much since I committed to looking after myself whilst trusting that she would find her own way in life.

  6. “I had an unattainable ideal of what a man should be, which no human could ever live up to, and if by chance someone came close, I did not feel I deserved to be with him!” This is a perfect example of how ideals and beliefs bring such complication to life, and prevent us from receiving the beauty in people, and we miss the opportunity to grow and learn.

  7. When we take one word and cast it out what do we get? Many and varied evaluations as we are lost in a world of physicality that does not share who we Truly are as a Soul-full being. Today that word is ‘celebrated’ how could we, Truly from the understanding we are actually Soul-full beings, not energetically celebrate life every day as a Joy-full lived experience that allows us to deepen in every way in those many things that we are living to our greatest ability from our Livingness. So to celebrate has nothing to do with partying or celebrations as all that does is separate us or make part of us not Soul-full so when we think we are celebrating we are actually being a part-y to parting from our Soul.

  8. ” Eventually I learnt to make more loving choices, for myself and for my children…” When we do this we reflect out to our children and the world that this is how life can be lived. Yet struggle seems to be worn with a badge of honour sometimes…..

    1. Until we choose to take loving care of ourselves life is a struggle and it is easy to become a martyr to it.

  9. “How could I develop a loving relationship in which to raise and nurture children? I had not yet developed a loving relationship with myself.” How many mothers truly care and look after themselves I wonder, rather than putting their children first – as society assumes we should do. Loving ourself is a prerequisite, or what energy are we ‘loving’ our children in?

  10. “I learnt that I am a woman first, and that motherhood is something that I do, but it is not who I am.” That is really a wonderful insight. I am not a mother but my friends became mothers and what I did not like was that they started to be only a mother and forget to be a woman. I thought that is the normal way to be if you become a mother but what you have shared is really something all mothers should be aware of!

  11. I am learning that being a ‘good mother’ is not enough. In fact, it falls well short of what parenting and mothering should offer a child as they grow. Being good is a package like any other that teaches kids how to fit in, behave, be liked, be successful. Nothing in being good allows you to be and appreciate all that you are.

    1. Being a ‘good’ anything is so crushing to our essence, its prolific because we are in a model of society that is quite dismissive to our qualities as human beings, and to the appreciation of who we are.

  12. A great example of when we are hard on ourselves in one thing we become hard in everything and when we choose love it expands into every particle of our being.

  13. I love how this blog reinforces the truth that love cannot be resisted forever. Eventually, we have to surrender to what is within us all.

  14. This is a great example of the harm that role models set up for us and perpetuate the false roles we take on as women and men. They create unrealistic and untrue expectations of how we should be in life, always leaving us not feeling good enough. Ultimately this is the game of the spirit, to keep us busy and chasing ever changing goal posts of being enough. This pursuit keeps us away from the powerful quality of stillness that exposes these false roles in a breath.

  15. Living a life trying to be good, or any other description, while thinking we would never be good enough – many people live like that. And try telling a woman that she is a woman first and foremost, and she would come up with the pictures of what that should look like. How helpful would it be to tell someone to just be who they are when they have no idea of who they truly are and basically think they are never good enough? I so love your honesty in sharing how you kept going back to your old ways after having felt the amazingness of who you truly are, only to be met by the same love time and time again. That is the love that patiently waits and holds us, knowing that we will remember who we truly are, and we will.

  16. Love the honesty of your expression Anne. We are women first and foremost, regardless of what we do. And yet we are more conditioned more than ever before from the expectations on the outside and from the beliefs about that a woman has to be a superwoman who puts everyone else before her. It is an inspiration seeing mothers like you, truly capable to nurture your children by nurturing yourself first. From your choice of being loving, caring and very gentle you are enriching everything you do, every person you meet with and being the true role model you are for all. Thank you

    1. Yes, when we get sucked into the roles we have in life and see them as part and parcel of who we are, we lose sight of our essence and head down a very slippery road. It is such a deeply ingrained belief that when we become a mother we have to put ourselves at the bottom of the list and such a harm-full one.

  17. I’m a mum – but I have always felt the tension of this being my label. I have never seen myself as particularly great at it and I am certainly one who wants to have the balance of work and home and kids – without kids being my whole world. Through the support of Serge Benhayon, I have also learned that I am a woman first, and that the biggest thing our kids get from us is simply our reflection of how we live. So for me to be an amazing woman not an amazing mother, is what I know can truly support my kids.

    1. Yet society demands it be the other way round – being the mother first- all a set up by the spirit of course. Reflecting that we are women first – what an amazing role model you are for your children HM – and for those of us who had children long ago. Next life?.

  18. The labels we wear seek to identify us – and I have fallen for those labels during my life, trying to be a good wife, nurse, mother etc, but completely lost sight of myself as a woman first, until I came to Universal Medicine presentations. Learning to live from my heart not my head, has enabled me to see these roles and labels as things that I do, not who I am.

  19. The resentment we build in our bodies and in our movements when we see a reflection in the world that does not honour the Love we are from and the opportunity life offers us, leads to an aching inside of a life unlived. We need to increase the comfort and distraction around us to not be consumed by that ache.

  20. When we define who we are by what we do we erode and undermine the very foundation of our relationship with ourselves and that of our potential immediately.

  21. When we connect to and live from us everything we do is imbued with the amazingness of us, no trying required.

  22. Your story really shows how we never are truly raised to deal with life by loving and nurturing ourselves first. Instead we learn to use self-abusive behaviors to cope with life like drinking alcohol, overeating, overextending ourselves, thinking bad about ourselves and so on.

  23. It is very beautiful to feel how your return to the sacredness of all you are in essence as a woman is now the inspiration for all that you do, be it mothering of otherwise, offering a true reflection of that which resides in us all.

  24. Our own aspirations towards ourselves are immense sometimes. Would we ever treat and judge another person/ friend the same way, we sometimes do towards ourselves?

  25. Holding onto the image of being a good mother doesn’t work in my experience, because it is loaded with many false ways of being that put expectations, pressure and stress on us that doesn’t support us to connect to our inner heart and wisdom to parent our children. Instead being a good parent is in a way heavily reliant on what people think, how they see us and it means we are busy keeping up appearances that is not aligned to truth or love.

  26. When we reconnect to our own essence then we get to feel our own amazingness and this is reflected in our activities like work and parenting. When I was agonising about not being a good enough parent part of my struggle was my sense of not being at ease with myself so always questioning if anything I was doing was ‘good enough’ and always finding myself wanting.

    1. I agree Joshua and there is great beauty and effortlessness in allowing our reflection to do the talking, so to speak, as our movements alone communicate volumes.

  27. Amazing – in the beginning of your blog, I feel what I think a lot of women would relate to, not knowing how to be a mother and never feeling adequate or like they are doing it right. A recent movie was entirely based around being a bad mother, but while that movie went in the direction of excusing the behaviour and blaming the impossible standards of society, you took a different root and came to a far more supportive realisation – that yes, measuring up to the outside expectations and demands of motherhood is exhausting and impossible, but only because we have not basis of love and relationship with ourselves first – we get caught in that outer spin and never feel enough. But when we build a connection to who we are as women first, we give ourselves the best possible start we can, so that everything that comes after is from this inner place, not the outside.

    1. Yes, we can look for answers outside of ourselves or we can start taking responsibility for the relationship we have with ourselves and make sure that what we bring to everything we do is the Love we are looking for in the world.

      1. I agree – when we take full responsibility for how we are in life first and foremost, it takes away blame and it takes away judgement.

  28. It’s not the role, it’s us being the amazingness of who we are and in being so, we bring that to all we do naturally, no trying or striving needed.

  29. I am perhaps a little late in life realising that when I hear the word ‘good’, especially in relation to something I am aspiring to be, that I have lost myself to an image. Being a good mother comes as a pre-loaded package with all sorts of ideals and beliefs, obligations and expectations. You have no chance of being the woman you really are whilst being a ‘good’ mother. I found it also impairs your decision making when kids are raised by what is good (and socially acceptable) rather than what is true.

  30. Self care is so important for mothers and everybody in fact but mothers tend to go into the self-sacrificing role of being there for everyone else but not themselves, when we learn to truly care for ourselves we can them truly care for others.

    1. A phrase that I find very supportive and I remind myself often of is: ” We don´t need to do it by ourselves”. We can ask for support. That will eventually get us out of our doing mode and allow our love to be more expressed towards ourselves and all that we do does not have such a strain on us.

  31. I am discovering how this being ‘good’ thing has infiltrated into my way of being in quite a few areas. It doesn’t have to be an obvious role per se, but it seems like there’s this ingrained response that gets activated when I leave myself thinking that it would please others, or I would be recognized – either way, it completely overrides what is actually going on for me and this always leaves me very unsettled in my body.

    1. And it is NEVER too late to change and make different choices. In fact everything we once did get also a new re-imprint if we choose another and true way.

      1. Beautiful and such a powerful point. The past gets re-imprinted automatically when we change our choices expanding our relationships with others through alchemy.

  32. I was talking to a group of mothers the other day and all were sharing how exhausted they are. There was a belief that they all spoke about, the need to look after everyone else first and how exhausting this was and how it can then also make you resentful because it feels like no-one considers you. I have had this reflected in my own life and am learning that I need to consider me and when I do this also changes in how others are with me.

  33. I can see how we exhaust ourselves with the expectations of being ‘good’ mums, sisters, daughters etc etc. In the distraction and busyness of living up to all of that, we forget to simply allow ourselves to be and connect to what we know best – our natural selves.

  34. So many mothers become a ‘superwoman’ and totally forget to honour their feelings, always putting another’s needs first, so the choice to deeply nurture and love yourself Anne is the greatest gift we can offer our children.

    1. Yes, our challenge is to live that for ourselves and then reflect to others that it is possible to do and still enjoy that time with out families because so often we are told it is one thing or another. As you say – when we live a more deeply nurturing life we then offer that reflection to others.

  35. A lesson for every woman who is also a mother is the self-care that you speak of that then in turn allows you to be truly caring of others.

  36. Learning that what we do is NOT who we are is a big lesson for most people and the sooner we learn the lesson the easier life becomes. Any form of identification with a role we play leaves us depleted and devoid of feeling the love that we naturally are.

    1. Very well said Elizabeth, this is magic what you shared and it is so simple isn’t it? And, no wonder so many people suffer from exhaustions and stress because it is the quickest way to deplete our energy, to live life from a place of identification, seeking recognitions and needing to be liked or to be ‘good’.

    2. Nothing you do has more worth, than who you innately are inside. It is an expression that can be magnificent, but not because of any result or success or because it hits a certain level of recognition, but because the YOU has done it.

  37. This blog makes clear that we can adopt any pattern of movement and try hard to make it work (understood as bringing me to tomorrow somehow). Yet, it is only when we are deeply confirmed in our essence that we can feel clearly that the way of moving is not it because it only moves me away from my being. Changing it is the only thing that opens a new feeling for life and new paths to walk.

  38. When we picture roles we have, and go about our roles with expectations we are bound to fail, yet when we build relationships based on love, learning how to nurture ourselves first, being a mother comes far more naturally.

    1. I totally agree Sally. I find when I am trying to be a good mother there is often a lot of ‘wrong and right’ in the way I parent, it can be very judgemental, harsh and it creates anxiety and puts a lot of pressure on my children to perform, act and be a certain way. It can come with a huge level of anxiety, anticipation and lots of time worrying about what other people may think. This doesn’t open up the space to allow my children to be who they are, it crushes their essence and their joy to parent from control instead of love. Since attending Universal Medicine presentations, courses and workshops, I have learnt to parent with love, with equality and truth. It supports me to see my children for who they are and allow them to express their unique qualities without imposing on them or have the need for them to be a certain way. I have learnt to apply true parenting deeply inspired from the Ageless Wisdom that Serge Benhayon presents. This has supported me hugely in every aspect of my life, not only in parenting, but also my work, relationships, understanding of the world and life, and the lists goes on.

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