Like many modern parents, the process of conceiving a baby and becoming a mother was among the most thrilling experiences of my life. I watched my children’s birth, growth and personality acquisition with my full attention as if it was the greatest miracle of life. I tried to enjoy every moment, good and bad. As a member of the generation who worships maternity, I read numerous books, went to lots of seminars and received expert support every time I couldn’t solve a problem.
Than one day, I saw a mother who communicated caringly and lovingly with all the babies of other people, but seemed totally impatient and not very understanding with her own 5-year old girl. While I observed her I wondered:
Do all parents become less interested in their children as they grow up? Does the magic disappear when the baby smell leaves the house? Do the children’s value diminish as they grow? But shouldn’t we feel quite the opposite? Doesn’t education turn a child more into “mummy’s daughter” or “mummy’s son”?
So where does the rope break? Does Positive Parenting on tantrum days turn into Apathic Parenting during adolescence? When and why do we give up reaching for the “good mother” inside us?
Something seems to be happening along the way that makes our mothering pleasure not sustainable… What is that?
Maybe the fact is that as we become mothers we push ourselves too far into the background and forget to live our own lives as individuals. The situation in Turkey where the “everything for the children” motto, is an ancestral legacy for women, is worsened by the dominant neighborhood pressure which forces them for the motherhood.
Or maybe we should accuse dads who do not live up to their roles as fathers! We moms often find ourselves struggling to close a gap of care for our little ones.
We also should not disregard the pressure on mothers who are expected to retain their cool, never get furious and less yell at their child. In Turkey mothers should be able to remain sleepless, cope with all the housework and still manage to smile every time they come eye to eye with their children!
Well, we could think of many reasons like those. Personnaly I’ve found 12.
As I studied advertising I’m used to simplifying the message I want to communicate. I see a common denominator in my 12 reasons and I will attempt to summarize “sustainable good parenting” as: “Primum non nocere”. That’s the latin word that means “first, do no harm.”
As simple and complicated as that.
I’ve been discussing motherhood over the 10 past years as a mom and the founder of a website about parenting. But I strongly believe that “sustainable good parenting” should be discussed all over the world. Let’s find out together what we need to do to ensure our ability to live together as parents and children without jeopardizing the quality of our lives.
Our discussions are reflected in the Sustainable Good Parenting Symposiums, the first one of which was held in Turkey in December 2017.
I can imagine that the worldwide discussion of such an upproach which will define its frame according to the different periods, regions and cultures, will testify to the historical process and will lead to feeling the rythm of the dance between the mother, the father and the child.
Gülüş Türkmen – author of three books (one published also in English) and the SGP approach.