Idealization of motherhood in today's society

Written by: Neus García Guerra
Published: | Updated: 19/11/2018
Edited by: Top Doctors®

The media convey messages related to motherhood that reinforce beliefs, values ​​and stereotypes. Advertising speech has a great force of persuasion.

In general, motherhood is a scene quite exploited in advertising, because of the tenderness it gives off. Ads showing women as wife and mother offer stereotypes of happy family. Usually these ads revolve around the unconditional love of the mother to the children. As the publicist Roland Barthes says: "An ideal is exposed, but this is undoubtedly one of the main functions of advertising: that of offering the idealized reality, without getting to the exaggeration."

There is a social idealization regarding motherhood that fosters the idea of ​​being a perfect mother, who is always happy and eager to be with her babies. Many women talk about the wonderful experience of having a child, but they do not hear so often the changes they involve or the contradictory feelings that appear due to the change of life that is experienced.

All this, can condition women who have an influential personality. They are in danger of being dominated by perfectionism, by the idea that they must be ideal mothers, and if they encounter negative feelings or thoughts, they may feel guilty or disappointed with themselves.

Maternity from experience

According to specialists in Psychology , there is a continuous demand for the newborn, which should be taken care of, whether the mother is fit or tired. If you can not take care of yourself as a human being, you may need to rest from the baby to recover, if you do not always feel good, you can blame a feeling of guilt that can become pathological, puts yourself at risk for severe depression. At all times of the child can be reproached not always be in full conditions and it is there when a feeling of guilt can flourish that can become something pathological. This creates a vicious circle that can lead women to suffer severe pressure.

The woman experiences a series of emotional changes in which hypersensitivity predominates and emotional reactivity. This last state is necessary to be empathetic with your baby and be able to perform the function of rêverie (mother's willingness to grasp what the baby needs at any moment and to meet that need). If this is not well interpreted, if having the emotions to blossom is experienced as inappropriate, the mother may feel that, instead of having a good state to cater to her baby, she is not in good psychological condition.

Likewise, maternal love is ambivalent, ambiguous, and complex. It is not, by any means, a pure and ideal feeling, nor simple, without conflicts, as represented in the messages sent to society through advertising language.

In order to be able to exercise the role of mother, it is necessary to examine one's own history, to review and to become aware of the feelings to be authorized in the maternal role.

Social reconceptualization of motherhood

Instead of demanding "perfection" it is necessary for the woman to be observed in her role as mother, so that she values ​​what she needs and asks for it. In this sense it may require help of all kinds, at a practical level, with all the tasks that have to be performed, and also at the emotional level.

The woman has to build her new identity as a mother, which entails reliving conflicts from her own childhood. Thus, it will need to be listened, understood and contained, which will help you to perform these functions with your baby and can better withstand the difficult moments.

The better the mother, the better the baby can be.. Winnicot says: "When a baby sees his mother, he sees himself and what he sees is in direct relation to what the mother sees in him." The mother acts as a mirror for the baby, he perceives his gaze, Which transmits to him what he inspires in the mother.

Social information work should be done so that future mothers can know where they should put their attention and interest. In this way they may be waiting to be observed, to look at what is happening to them and to ask for the help they need, even from the specialist in Psychology, if necessary.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

By Neus García Guerra

Renowned specialist in psychology, with more than 30 years of experience. Mrs. García Guerra is an expert in Psychotherapy by the European Federation ooo Psychologists Associations (EFPA) and Master in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy by CEEP. On the other hand, he is a member of the Full Law of the Catalan Association of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (ACPP). He currently combines his private activity at the Center Sarrià, of which he is a co-founder, with his professional activity as a psychotherapist and head of teaching at the Public Institution Sant Pere Claver.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

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