I have four girls, two each from different fathers (both men with very different intelligence strengths). I notice all four girls demonstrate relatively the same level of intelligence, although they are all diversely unique and have aptitude in different areas.
This article demonstrates why this is probable:
The article fascinated me and I shared it with my older teen daughters and my husband. What then sparked my deeper interest was how instantly and vehemently my older daughters rejected and dismissed this theory, as did my husband (who is highly intelligent but has “issues” re his mother – as do we all).
The article heading alone stirs up what is still so evident in our culture and society – a diminishing of mothers and a disrespect for women’s intelligence and contribution generally.
The article clearly explains the value of the mother/woman’s contribution in both nature and nurture. This was not designed to disregard the male contribution – but it does demonstrate we still have a long way to go in truly honoring our mothers.
Honestly, it was quite surprising how utterly hard and fast my daughters immediately rejected the article (before even reading it) and made fun of me – which hurt. My eldest called me “vain” and “immodest”; which I subsequently called her on because it’s inherent and well researched that in our society that men are allowed and encouraged to talk themselves up, but women are expected to talk themselves down, which they do to their own detriment financially and in business, which is detrimental to all culture/society/business.
My husband, without even reading the article, immediately started to tell me it wasn’t possible because his own mother did not have good academic results and was “NOT intelligent”. This is by his method, an inherently male one, which immediately reduces the mother’s “intelligence” contribution to linear, academic results. Again, I was surprised by this because he himself rejects basic, institutionalised education and is a wonderfully profound person who is a creative in accelerated teaching. The fact he had such a knee-jerk reaction and defaulted to a simplistic view of his own mother’s contribution to his intelligence, speaks volumes to how most of us have blinkers on when it comes to this deeper issue of motherhood and its fundamental impact on lives (both good and bad).
It’s something I have come across at an increasing deeper level of my own self-inquiry: this disdain – even HATE – for our mothers. I’ve been there too, so I get it. (Sorry Mum, I know you know we’re all good now! But boy it took a lot of work for me to come to a place of deep acceptance and total unconditional love). It’s not merely the complete lack of appreciation for the mother’s general role in society, purely the physical time and effort a mother puts in, which has been valued at over $230K per annum if a mother were to have a business equivalent role. It’s a lack of insightful, deeper understanding of how mother’s shape and create us on multi-levels and the matrix of our beings being inseparable from them (even in our rejection of our mothers).
Being a mother myself I know that my contribution to the girls on an emotional and mental level (not talking academics here, talking about how to “do life”) will never fully be appreciated by them, because they take for granted what they feel they have always known. Whereas I do not take any of this for granted, because I know where I came from and how hard I have worked to transform myself!
The main thing that has kept me going all the years, including all the multiple times I have felt suicidal, is my girls: wanting to clear myself so that they would have less baggage to carry and unpack. I can honestly say, from my perspective, that neither father have come close to doing the level of introspective, transformative work I have. Most importantly, the girls will never understand what I have done (until, perhaps they feel a similar intrinsic pull to evolve greatly) because they don’t have two-ness of before and after – life with/life without the resources I have imparted to them and better living skills. I say “most importantly” because that’s the point: my growth and imparting my deepening wisdom was for them to BE, to live from a place of inherent knowledge and be gifted their birth rights, which have been denied so many of us for generations upon generations.
Whilst pondering deeply why my daughters’ reactions bothered me so much in the moment, I came to see how pervasive the hate, blame, shame, dismissal and diminishing is of a mother’s role is largely linked to so much of the diminishing of women generally. I genuinely believe that mothers should be held as revered and sacred in our society – it would transform the planet! I am not saying that a woman is not a woman if she is not a mother. What I am saying is that it is such a fundamental aspect of womanhood cannot be uncoupled from who we are as a human species. That by diminishing one of the core aspects of women (motherhood), ALL women (and their innate gifts, which are different from the masculine contribution) are thus lessened.
Also, the fact that so much hate, shame, blame, diminishing of motherhood exists probably speaks to a deeper level that we intuitively, on a cellular level, recognise that our mothers DO shape us so much (both genetically – nature, as the article above speaks to, and nurture). In not recognising, honouring and elevating – we are disallowed the chance to honestly, transparently and authentically speak to the areas where our mothers are limited, make mistakes and have let us down. In shaming, diminishing our mothers, we shame, diminish ourselves – because we cannot bear to own that our mothers weren’t perfect – and thus we are not perfect.
Part of the problem is also not recognising ourselves as part of a continuum, something that native societies seem to understand and hold space for. I greatly appreciate that the West has brought individualism to the fore, a necessary part of human self-responsibility, self-autonomy (Emerson’s “Self-Reliance” most excellently speaks to this) and evolution. However, I feel that we’ve moved too far to the left and the world is now realising the need for convergence once again and an expanded perspective on how none of us are separate – from each other, the earth and the universe.
We need to further explore how this is so subtle and yet so powerfully pervasive that most cannot see it; the same way they can’t see gravity but are constantly experiencing the effects of gravity.
I truly believe that earthly developments such as this demonstrate a coming into balance again, which greatly encourages me:
This changing way of viewing the earth and humans relationship to the earth is due to the rise of feminine (by feminine I mean the feminine that exists in all of us, regardless of the outer body) which is an aspect of mother’s in particular – always looking generations ahead to the impact their choices effect. The generalised-masculine tends to look at leaving physical legacies of power (e.g. buildings, Empires, Trump etc) whereas the generalised-feminine tends to look at the emotional and physical effects of how humans are shaped (one obvious example is in areas of nutrition, where mothers naturally put more thought into what food goes into a child’s body, knowing that what a child eats now, has impact on their body and life in 50 years AND on future progeny).
Most beautifully, this is expressed in Native Americans who used to weigh up all choices (both personal and tribal) within the frame of “How will this affect my descendants FIVE generations from now?”. Contrast this to corporations and most people living moment-to-moment of instant gratification and we can see how non-recognition of the innate wisdom of Mothers, who do this innately (at varying levels of awareness), causes humanity great suffering.
I have recently found myself in a new space of mothering that is completely fresh and unexperienced by me. I recognise that it will continue to constantly grow and change, but now I can make sense of what previously felt like a strong defensiveness around my role as a mother, which has demonstrated itself in a multitude of ways. I feel less need to prove or explain myself now BECAUSE I have fought, explored and pushed myself so much to get to this space. In the greater acceptance of myself generally, I am finding a whole different level of understanding of motherhood that feels far more universal “Mother” and less personal, even if self-permission to mother in my own style has become easy.
I would love to hear your thoughts, both the masculine and feminine perspective. Mostly I would love to hear from other mothers how their own relationship with their own mothering style has changed and evolved.