What is Mothering Anyway?

What does it mean to mother someone? If you mother someone, you treat them with great care and affection, as if they were a small child.

Yet, as we know, this can be fraught with many challenges.  More so if a mother wasn’t mothered herself as a child.  How do we learn the nuances of treating others with great care, affection, and love if we do not know how? This is the dilemma of many: children born to unaware parents, ill-equipped with emotional intelligence or ability, perpetuating generational emotional gaps.  It’s no one’s fault, but our adult responsibility for our society, as discussed yesterday, has only started to address trauma, increase emotional intelligence awareness and focus on damaging behaviour.  The challenge now is parents remaining ignorant from lack of resources or worse choose to stay ignorant, digging their feet into the ground against learning different ways of being, sharing, connecting, and loving themselves and, therefore, those they inter-relate.

Believe me. I get it!! My upbringing was pretty void of the human basics – love, nurture, care, and attention.  It affected me to want out of this life and end it all.  I couldn’t see or feel the point.  The depth of despair and nothingness was horrendous.  But, I wasn’t allowed to die, the free will on this topic was not mine, so I Had to learn how to mother myself.

One of the most painful voids was my sense of unworthiness in being a mother. Here I was, with two children, and I felt I had no idea how to be a mother to them.  Sure, I had seen movies, watched others, knew the theory, etc., but without accurate references and memories, it was damn hard.  The emptiness I felt just made things all the more complicated.

After surrendering to the idea that living was a requirement, I learned the most significant turning point.  Learn about myself, my past, and what it meant to feel and be loved.

  • I had seen it in other relationships and I thought – I want to experience that too.
  • I had certainly read enough love stories to cultivate ideas of what could feel and look like to be loved passionately and acceptingly.
  • I knew there was more to what I was living at a deeper level, and I needed to go inside to find the potential source.
  • I had glimpses during the Who AM I meditation when I went back to the all and nothing feeling of Spirit.  But, living life isn’t constantly hanging out in ether ungrounded in the earthly body of humanness.

Relationships are the schoolyard of love and living, and mothering is the ultimate schoolyard, house, district even of relationships. We are the home base, security, teaching room, counsellor, spiritual guidance leader, play master, and sports director—drama and theatre master, and social events coordinator.  The mothering role is all and everything from conception through to the point of some time.

Yet, the manual is obsolete beyond the possible technical process of cleaning, clothing, house, and creating a safe home, with basic communication and developmental ideas.  No parent gets it right all the time, and many are unlearning their traumas simultaneously as they are guiding their youngsters. 

Unfortunately, our mothering report cards take years, decades even to populate and be sent to us.

What is mothering success anyways?  By who or what standard do we gauge our mothering skills against when we are working with little ones who have their own life agendas and codings?

From my experiences of screwing up – my interpretation and wanting too deeply to get things more right than I lived through, the only way was to go in and shift through the layers and layers of BS, fears, and lies.  As it turns out according to my eldest son’s updated feedback, things are going alright.

  • I have faced my nothingness and learnt how to be something, see the bare bones of what I was born with – a big heart and a huge void to be filled.
  • I explored what could feel good, loving, nurturing, and kind to me.
  • I have tested the idea that ‘I too’ is the flip side of “me too” movement. I, too, can have, be, and experience success according to my report criteria.

My childhood mothering experience set me up to unlearn a heap of generational trauma, and often I felt I was living my mother’s childhood on her behalf to heal her.   Why?  One of my life missions is to support my mother’s healing.

Back to me, after all, my life is mine, and mine to co-create. Yes, it is all about me :).  A decision was the turning point, and as the saying goes – the Universe, meeting the right people, courses, challenges, etc., at the right time occurred.  Synchronicity happened and still happens. The challenge with synchronicity is to see it, trust it and take the leap of faith to dive into the opportunities presented.

This is my life purpose.  Providing others with the opportunity to unlearn, learn, heal, shift, and let go of the lies, limiting beliefs, fears, and stories inherited and created that says, “I CAN NOT DO THIS OR THAT, OR THIS IS NOT FOR ME BECAUSE OF…”  I counter this to myself and others “Why not?”  Why Can’t I have love, happiness, peace, connection, joy, etc.?

  • Challenge yourself.
  • Ask the deeper questions,
  • Explore your imposed and believed limitations and fears,
  • Step into your courage. Choose to unlearn,  learn; change your past perspectives to create a different future on your terms.
  • Reach out to those who have the skills, knowledge and experiences to help you see your yellow brick road.
  • Then, commit to the work.  Activities, self-care, self-assessment, and celebrating the smallest to the largest wins align with your life purpose goal.
  • Own it, live it, create it.



Leah Marmulla
Leah Marmulla
Leah is a Personal Change Agent, an Author and loves to see others make empowered authentic choices. Creating alife on their Terms with confidence, self-confidence. Leah's mission is quite simply to help others take steps to walk their life journey. To teach, support, and share my knowledge around reducing the hold limiting beliefs and fears have in one's life. Enabling empowered choices to make choices based on consciously selected beliefs, values, and character traits. Philosophy: We have four primary 'parts' creating our life experiences. The mind and its ability to create links in the world and therefore 'think'. The body that moves and interacts in the world. Spirit or energy is noticed in our character, values, actions. Then the soul is our core and links us to divinity. Over time, our life experiences have created layers. Each layer either lifted us up or weighed us down, either reinforcing our beliefs or helping to loosen their hold over our lives. There are many ways in which life dampens our innate joy and peace. An unkind word, frightening experiences, cultural norms that devalue or make others less than. Often the result is we start to believe "I am not good enough at....."; "I must have ...... before I even can consider being happy, or fulfilled" etc. According to psychologists, our beliefs, by their very nature, frame our outlook on life, interactions with others, quality of life, workplace, and impact in our love relationships, family, and most importantly, ourselves.

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  1. thank you Charlotte. Forgiveness and letting ourselves go through the grieving process when we believe our parents were not ‘enough’ in the way we think we needed due to their limitations at the time. So many societal influences and their own fears that hold us back. Thankfully, time for change is coming as we are becoming more aware and choosing to create a different way.

  2. A great and vulnerable piece, Leah. True, there is no manual, and either our parents have taught us what to do or they have taught us what not to do – it is for us to make that discernment. Sometimes it requires a lot of forgiveness many generations back.

    I am so happy/proud/excited for you that you are attempting to heal your mother along with yourself. That is so often the result when we stop pushing back and just give love in return. The old dynamic can only exist as long as both parties stay in their given roles. You change – and the other will have to change, too.

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