When you’ve been raised by a mother who was ambivalent, collapsed, or unmothered herself, you can’t bond with yourself in a relaxed way. Your instincts become disturbed. So you’re always searching out there, you don’t grow from your inner core. – Janelle Legge
Women who have been impacted by poor mothering, or who were unmothered growing up, constantly slip under the radar. Society has a massive whopping blind spot when it comes to acknowledging this. Particularly today where in Western culture being a mother is totally on-trend. Motherhood is constantly held up as the ultimate female success and achievement symbol in the media and socially.
This all makes it even harder if you’ve been raised by a mother who just couldn’t be there for you in significant ways whilst you were growing up. For whatever reasons. The societal blindspot around when mothering falls way short, or there’s no mother on the scene at all, makes it almost impossible to receive the validation, acknowledgment and support you desperately need as a child and later as an adult to repair this. No one seems to want to see what’s really happening to you, or do anything about it. Because all mothers are good, right. Or people just blank out and can’t even imagine what it’s like for someone who has suddenly lost their mother and how this impacts them every single day.
If this happened to you, you don’t need to keep carrying these wounds for the rest of your life. Your mother’s emotional baggage doesn’t belong to you. It’s not your fault if your mother was absent during your childhood.
You can heal the past and learn how to re-mother yourself. This then puts an end to patterns like people pleasing, doubting your feelings and instincts and numbing them out, getting stuck in indecision, toxic relationships and a whole range of other dysfunctional impacts from poor mothering.
So how do you start to heal the impacts of poor mothering?
You need to have your pain, fears and disappointments listened to. Deeply. There’s a young part of you that’s so wanting to be heard and acknowledged.
Align with the powerful aspects of the feminine. That’s about embracing good things like yoga, self nurturing and quality personal development.
Poorly mothered women often reject the feminine, seeing it as insubstantial or weak because of what they experienced growing up.
Don’t do this. It’s faulty thinking. The feminine is powerful, strong, and wise. Embracing these aspects of the feminine is key to healing your disappointments and wounds.
Connect with women who are grounded, have good instincts and are willing to really listen to you and support you.
I call these kinds of women modern day Fairy Godmothers. Because they can be there for you in ways your own mother never could be. They just know when to step in and guide, nurture and help you in thoughtful and constructive ways. At first this might even feel odd if you’ve rarely had someone support you in such an attuned and feminine way. Every woman needs at least one Fairy Godmother in her life. Hopefully you’ll have several.
The good news is that these women usually turn up in your life when you’ve set out on the path of self discovery and personal growth. That’s when you’re able to recognize and connect with these important women when they do appear.
Janelle Legge is a Psychotherapist, Leadership, Mindfulness and Wellbeing Consultant and Coach who specialises in Relationships, Career Success, Work-Life Integration and Wellbeing. Janelle sees clients in person in Sydney and works with clients around the world via Skype. To book a skype session with Janelle click here.