Mother Or Parent, Or, Just Stand-By

Mothers Day is close by. Many mothers will be celebrated. Some won’t even be remembered. Once each year, this life-long title is taken out of its closet, dusted off, rose-scented and magnified, then put back and forgotten for another while. But why not? What a joy to bring a new life into this world! What happiness to create gurgle and ‘goo goo’ words with your newborn at every sound he or she makes! Shopping for diapers, pretty baby clothing and footwear…Oh so cute, so much fun! Miniature people to be dressed up and displayed for as long as they look like tiny adults. You have successfully mothered a child! In some cases you have WATCHED the child grow to adulthood. Why not let it be known every year at a pre-arranged time? Am I beginning to sound a bit grumpy, like a big ole sowah puss? Come with me on a short realistic journey.

Mothering a child is just that. It is step one! Step one in the remainder of the life of that person.

I believe there is a large gap in the understanding between being a mother and being a parent. I believe that many, many mothers do not get past step one. I believe that many mothers try to get past step one with an attempt to become engaged in the routine day-to-day survival needs of the child or children they mother. I think some just stand by while the child grows from stage to stage (in most cases that is called neglectful parenting). I believe it is not enough. There is motherhood, there is parenting, there is teaching, and some sub-categoriesAfter we step past mothering which I think any fertile female with basic knowledge and skill sets can achieve, we get to parenting. Although the roles of being a mother, a parent and a teacher for the life for which you are responsible, are intricately intertwined, the most complex section of that intertwining, is being a parent. Not many make it. Some fake it and some make it half way, while some make it almost completely, by accepting Grace. It cannot be closely accomplished without Grace. For, it requires a level of understanding and skills application which may only be administered through continuous, deep inner guidance, coupled with degrees of experience, academic know-how carried out in a timely fashion. Yes, it’s that big, and it leans heavily toward the academic.

There was a time when the “academic” know-how was administered by the grand-parents (that word, ‘grand’ meant a lot in the past), and extended family, while the new mother got time to understand what it takes to be a parent. Now that the family has been generally dismantled behind our backs in front our eyes, no similar provisions have been made for the general continued education of the new mother to develop as a functional parent. If you disagree with me, feel free to express your viewpoint.


The academic know-how is the key point here, because there are still families who live within the extended group, but the teaching and examples given by grand-parents and other family members leaves much to be desired. Better that the child was raised by dogs in a wilderness. It’s painful to watch an entire sequence of three generations of families vanish from the realm of human qualities right in front your eyes, due to lack of continued training and guidance for the mothers in that group. I believe this is a training governments should offer routinely, to mothers, over the duration of the life of every child from babyhood through to adolescence. All this depends on how much funding can go towards supporting such a valuable concept. This is a valuable concept because being a mother is very much easier than being a parent, and societies need good parenting, not for the highest levels of success, but for the highest qualities of success. I said, “Quality”.

It should be noted however, that NOT EVERY WOMAN who would make a potentially good parent, wants to be a mother. And more and more, women are being open about that. They understand that parenting requires a lot, (maybe this is how the God-Mother concept came about). Some don’t wish to spend their entire lives devoted to a raising a child, but they don’t mind sharing their God-given skills and some of their time to ensure the best possible development of a child.

The development of attachment, trust, bonding, industry. The periods of observational learning, puberty, identity, cognition, and more. The guidance in mental, intellectual and social development, and more. Those are the parenting parts which require parenting academia and Grace. That is the part which is missing from mothers all around the world. That part is not about love and basic needs provisions. That part is very scientific. This is where mothers put on their lab coats and get to work for the better part of a child’s growing years and the better part of their own lives, after childbirth. Now, the mother needs to understand the principles of schooling. True schooling.

The general perception that schools are the place where individuals are prepared to fill a worthwhile place in society, causes many mothers to leave the parenting portion of a child’s life to this stage in their process through life. This perspective on education and society is pretty much a requirement for people to be prepared to fill spaces in the working world. To ensure that institutions and industries do not collapse. So, we still find many people-related organizational issues, in the world of institutions and industry. The parenting part of filling societies is largely missing. This is my strong belief. Mothers cannot leave that part to the general education system. No provisions are made for it, there. It’s a tough job, because, now education and parenting becomes mutually exclusive, which should not be the case! The most well-meaning parent often comes upon a struggle between administering what they believe to be best principles for their children to practice versus the children’s apparent preference for principles of society which are meant to fill only a partial slot in their development. These are some of my views. Please share yours if you feel share-ish today!

This article is NOT about blaming, or bashing. it seeks only to create an additional level of awareness for future application. There are no perfect mothers or fathers. Far from it. But we can still hold hope for better parenting skills development in the future. It’s a life-long requirement for every person who has or plans to have children. That is the thinking which this art and article hopes to stimulate. It’s about being a mother and a parent, not just a standby. Expecting? Expect to be a parent also, not just a mother.

The colour application on the artwork which attends this article, is bright and vibrant, simply to depict the joy of motherhood. I hope you will look beyond the surface when you search into what I have said. It contains several chapters in the story of pregnancy, motherhood and beyond. It is one of the images I created as a part of the teenage pregnancy series which I started working on in January 2014. A friendly message to teens. This one was done on canvas and crushed paper, using mainly acrylic paints.

A wonderful, thoughtful Mothers Day to all mothers, and to children who will celebrate their mothers, when that day arrives. 

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