Woman to Woman
It has been generally found and concluded by various researchers that women with the most positive attitudes towards motherhood described themselves as loving, patient moms with supportive spouses. Those with the most negative attitudes had children with more problems, unsupportive spouses, and less loving children. These women described themselves as impatient and shorter on love.
When National Family Opinion Incorporated polled 1,100 moms between the ages of 18 to 80 in the 1980s, it found…
- One in four women with very positive feelings about motherhood.
- One in five women with mostly negative feelings about motherhood.
- The majority of women with primarily ambivalent feelings on motherhood.
However, what is important is the final outcome. Despite the frequency of negative feelings, distress, or anguish, a mother's moments of joy with her children carried more psychic weight into her evaluation. In everyday living, the positives of motherhood are more powerful than the negatives.
A Mother's Love Isn't Always Unconditional
A mother's love has been characterized as different from all other forms of love. Women have expressed a mother's love using such words as the following:
Although it seems to be widely acknowledged that mothers say love for a child is unconditional, numerous accounts offer opposite testimony.
Too much of a good thing can turn sour if a mother loves blindly in a way that keeps the child from growing, developing, and dealing with frustration. A mother's love must incorporate and accept the separate identity of a child with all of the human frailties and disappointments from which no one is exempt.
Ingredients for Extreme Motherly Love
There are, in fact, reasons why some mothers are able to love more, love less, and love unconditionally. According to research, the factors that allow a mother to feel overwhelmingly positive about her children and love them despite any or all negative inferences include…
- Her ability and desire to put her children's needs before her own.
- Her unending and unselfish desire to give.
- The support and participation of the child's father.
- Her ability to tolerate and appreciate gender differences and independence.
- Her personal satisfaction with life.
- Her willingness to allow the child to grow into his or her own being.
All of this is a lot to ask of a mom these days, especially on a daily basis. Practically speaking, it is an overriding combination of these activities that is present most of the time but not all of the time in moms who love their kids the most.