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.

435 thoughts on “Being a Good Mother

  1. We can never be defined by the things that we do, this will always create a short circuit within us that will always lead to our true well-being being one of the first casualties

  2. Anne you may not have planned to have children but it’s always interesting to realise that often what we weren’t intending or didn’t plan can often turn out to be some of our greatest blessings in life.

  3. That’s what I love about Serge Benhayon as well Anne – the fact that he never judges another’s choices, he just holds you in absolute love and allows you the space and grace to truly heal.

  4. I love your honesty Anne ‘I never thought I would be a “good” mother.’ I expect you are not the only one to think that, however when we have a loving connection with ourselves that love is reflected in all that we do, and when we commit to being with ourselves first, everything else has a natural flow.

  5. That’s the deceptiveness about old habits and patterns. They get ingrained by our repetition and feel familiar and comfortable simply because we have done them over and over regardless if they are loving for ourselves or others or not.

    1. That is very true, we can turn our lives around incredibly quickly when we experience the grandness of who we are and we are open to the truth and see that nothing else works.

  6. I can feel the power in you writing this: “I learnt that I am a woman first, and that motherhood is something that I do, but it is not who I am.” Inspiring for women all around the world.

  7. Invest in what you do as the source of your identification and you are setting yourself for a life of hardship and disappointment. Invest in who you are and the world is truly your oyster.

  8. You ask a very important question of how is it possible to develop a loving relationship with another if we have not developed a loving relationship with ourselves first. Do we expect another to give us love that we are not willing to embrace for ourselves first? I have realised, as you have shared, that from developing a loving relationship with ourselves we then know what love truly is and as such we know who we are. And it is from this foundation that we can develop relationships with others in a way that is honoring of the love we all are within, equally so.

  9. If we all knew how to stop and reflect on our days, perhaps digesting it over dinner rather than just the ‘I did this’ sort of talk, they may be less need for alcohol to accompany an after work wind-down.

  10. We have been ‘fed’ so many pictures, images, or beliefs about how we should be whether its raising a family or what is true love… as the plethora of sit coms and movies feed to us more and more of these images, the necessity for each of us to find our own inner connection becomes essential

  11. Trying to be anything other than ourselves is a real killer. There seems to be a drive to want to be good and do the right thing but the problem is this often means not doing what we feel is true and so whilst it may get the short term picture or results long term, at least in my experience, it does not work. We simply just need to be ourselves and stop trying to be anything other than the amazing beings and love that we all naturally are.

  12. With all that is happening in the world how are we supporting women, mothers and children? If one women is saying this then there is also many more, “All my intelligence, all my education, all my exploration of spirituality, of consciousness, of religion, did not prepare me for motherhood.” How are we preparing mothers because as we are seeing telling people more information isn’t the answer, we need the living examples of what is true for everyone to not only hear words but feel the impact. More blogs of this quality and more women opening up to things like this become and are the living examples.

  13. I love this line Anne ‘I am becoming an amazing woman and from that loveliness, everything I do is great, including being a mother.’ that encompasses it all, it’s about learning to let out the amazingness we all innately are, and of course that then applies to all facets of our lives.

  14. I am a mother of 3 grown daughters. Just yesterday I became aware of how I can act from a feeling of guilt. Guilt at not being a ‘good enough’ or available enough mum.’ You blog is more confirmation that these are someone else’s ideas I have taken on and that do not come from me. Being myself is the best gift I can give to my daughters because then it offers inspiration for them to be themselves too.

  15. The old familiar patterns and habits that we find ourselves running back to are very much like weeds, and unless you remove the actual root cause they will continue to grow back.

  16. Absolutely amazing Anne, thank you, what you share is huge! You share what we feel, if not all women. The absolute grace of who we are does not sit in the roles we play or tasks we do. Hence, being who we are, is simply who we are in connection to our divine (essential and heritage) beingness. No needs apply in that.

  17. What is a good mother? I suppose if you asked 10 people that question you would get lots of different responses. I definitely had my list of ideas about what made a good mother and tried very hard to live up to them. All the while never really paying much attention to the woman I am or what felt right for me. I can see that these ideas permeate the whole of society and we have rules about being a good wife, employee (depending on the job), a good daughter etc. It’s no wonder life feels complicated when we set ourselves up to wear so many different hats.

  18. Anne, thank you for sharing this it sounds so familiar I’m sure most of us have done this.
    “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!”
    We all know that nothing changes by having that drink/s it is as though we need time out, a relief from the tension we are feeling in our bodies that we feel empty within us and the emptiness we are feeling I am discovering is that we miss ourselves and but deeper than this surface tension is we are missing our deep and intimate relationship with God our true father. For me this is the deepest ache of all and nothing can assuage the feeling.

  19. I love this Anne Malatt, thank you. You hit the nail square on the head here in acknowledging that our truly great and wise teachers have all taught us one thing. That life is first and foremost about who we are not what we do. But once we have started to reconnect to the truth of who we are our ‘doingness’ is imbued with a new quality of being that is so very tangible and present. Thank you for your honesty and humility in your sharing here.

  20. Well claimed Anne. Being a good mother is one thing but being an amazing woman is quite another. It seems to me that the former adheres to a set of expectations and rules but the latter allows the truth of your innate beingness to shine through. My feeling is most children would much rather have an amazing woman for a mother than someone who is trying to simply adhere to expectations of what a mother should be.

    1. Very well said Richard, brilliant sharing. So many women, including myself get caught up in the expectations and rules of being a good mother, often leaving the amazing woman that we are hidden and out of reach. Learning to reconnect to who we are and fully express our amazingness is the key to parenting and being in relationships.

  21. Thank you Anne for sharing your experience of not being a so called ‘good’ mother which is all about the doing, and your experience of being held in absolute love by Serge for you to feel your own love and come to realise that ” 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.”

  22. Interesting to read how readily we go to substances (in this case alcohol) to give us what we are missing; in the first instance it is for relief but there is always a deeper sense of the loss of connection to self and the fact that life is about more than the mundane third dimension we physically move around in.

  23. The expectations to be a good mother often comes from ourselves. The need to live up to these expectations are often very draining, exhausting and completely false. Once we are able to let go of expectations, then we begin to see that our children are also our teachers, being a parent is about learning, learning how to be in a relationship that is about nurturing, caring and love. Becoming a parent is like having our training wheels on, learning how to walk with respect, integrity, love and grace. Being a good mother is not about perfection but about learning from our mistakes.

  24. I love that the unfoldment of you as a good mother comes not from the ideals and beliefs of what that is or looks like, but from the development of a loving way of being that awakened the amazingness of you as a woman, allowing all the greatness you could ever want to be to naturally come from that foundation.

  25. A great line Anne “I am becoming an amazing woman and from that loveliness, everything I do is great, including being a mother.” We tend to divide ourselves up into our different roles and then strive to meet a picture or idea about how to be, that instead of simply being ourselves.

  26. ‘I learnt that I am a woman first, and that motherhood is something that I do, but it is not who I am’. I never considered myself as a woman and that could have been because I had no idea of what it was. From the beginning of time for females it has been all about being a mother and that this was our responsibility, a very powerful block to experiencing the truth and claiming the love and fullness we are as women. Once the foundation is claimed, the naturalness of loving another is there.

  27. I am always so deeply touched and inspired by how Serge Benhayon has no expectation or investment in whether people would get/agree/adhere to what he presents, and he just keeps presenting and representing the truth with neither imposition nor pandering, allowing every one of us to make our own decision in our own time.

  28. It is fascinating how we set ourselves up with impossible images that bring a false feeling of appreciation. In the case of the one harming herself, the happiness comes from recognition from delivering what others love to get. In the case of the ones benefitting from what is delivered to them, it is about con-fusing appreciation and comfort. How can one truly appreciate someone that is harming her/himself to keep us in comfort? Is it truly appreciation?

  29. I am reminded that making true loving choices for self never ceases and that by ticking boxes although may look good on the outside is not it and does not bring lasting, true fulfilment yet I am finding that choosing self-loving choices isn’t always easy. I notice that when an event is coming up instead of deepening the love for myself so that it would support me for the occasion I can go the other way and deliberately make harming choices! – a behaviour I am observing in my everyday living.

  30. I found that I drank alcohol to relax as well but looking back no it never quite did the trick because I actually just got more irritable not less. I think in a bizarre way I used it as a bit of a pacifyer to not deal with the fact that I was tired/didn’t feel confident/needed a pick me up.

  31. Your blog triggers some fascinating questions, for one I’m wondering if while we’re “trying” to be a good mother is our focus really on our kids and their nurturement and nourishment, or is it on us and our own fulfilment of a picture?

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