I’ve noticed this with everybody and everything; we love our mothers, but our mothers are at fault for everything that is wrong with us. I see people saying this and I know why. We spend the majority of our young lives in our mother’s company. When we run afoul because our personality is not quite right, it is our mother’s fault. She is the one who teaches us about everything so of course, our lacks are due to our mother’s inadequacy.
I saw my father as somewhat fun, sometimes not. But I never saw him as responsible, because he was irresponsible, he wasn’t to be held accountable. While this makes sense to my childish brain, it doesn’t make sense in the adult world. Those irresponsible like him, should be held accountable for the suffering he put his children through.
When you compare the two people, the dynamic energetic woman who was my mother and the lounging and laid-back beer drinking man who was my father, you could see that you wouldn’t get any results with my father, so why try? It was my mother who had to run things, she had to manage it all. She took care of 7 children, went to work, came home and fixed food. On her day off, we cleaned the entire house.
The part of this equation that is really frustrating is that we are so used to blaming our mothers, that even adults will blame their moms. Popular society devalues the mother’s job and yet, as a country, we need mothers more than ever. It is precisely because we have devalued this role for so long in this country that we are currently facing a dearth of human values.
Mothers (and fathers) fall helplessly in love with their offspring, they will sacrifice and give away anything for the benefit of their children. They spend hours teaching and talking to their child. Over a lifetime it costs as much as half a million dollars to raise one child. It is a total life investment, one that is incomparable to any other life project.
Our culture should be celebrating this kind of love, commitment and self sacrifice. It is the derision of these values that has us disintegrating as a society. Any society that worships selfishness and promulgates wealth for the few at the cost of the many is a society that will soon break.
So why do we blame our mothers for everything? It’s not just my unusual parenting mix, it’s an entire society. As far back as the sixties, a diagnosis of schizophrenia was thought to be caused by a certain type of mother who behaved in a certain type of way.
I think there are two causes: the win/lose belief system of our culture and our white male patriarchy. The white male patriarchy simply wants supremacy and using the win/lose model, matriarchy must lose. This singular way of thinking has gotten us into every war that humankind has suffered through. This belief structure insidiously infiltrates everything we do in America. Female professions are undervalued and underpaid. Childcare is a ten dollar an hour job. It is no wonder we are at the point that we are in America.
What do we do? We have all of the answers and we need to apply them. We need an inclusive culture that values the matriarchy as well as the patriarchy. We need a culture that reflects the value that we benefit our next generation. We need a culture that will not sacrifice the many for the one, even if that one is Jeff Bezos.