Leia em português.
We joke in psychology, that everything is always the mother’s fault. And it is!
She is the first safe place between the newly created biological being and the surrounding environment. Being then, necessarily, the intermediary of the relation between the new life and the world.
The variation of socio-affective repertoire and cultural elements of the mother will have a profound variation in the degree of investment and development of the new creature.
This does not guarantee success in the creation, nor the reduction of trauma. But it will define a line in the relation between the two beings and, later, between the being and the world.
There is no rule, but Spitz defined the functional mother as one that is “good enough” for the child to feel supported and loved. But, “bad enough” for the child to want to develop autonomy and go out into the world.
So, the good mother is the one who loves, but also helps the child to develop his own repertoire to deal with living in the world. Mother does not have to give a gift, she does not have to endure crying, she does not have to visit the clinic or the jail. Mother is not the one who sacrifices, the mother is who nourishes for long enough to be able to push from the nest to the outside.
Being a mother is not the same as loving, not just sacrificing. Mother is having courage enough to let the child suffer what it needs to grow, knowing that the nest is still there. To be a mother is to understand that the most important thing is the child and that, in order for the child to realize existence, it needs love, shelter, and frustration. Mother is not the animal that makes a child suffer, but it is one that, with love and security, teaches that life is difficult no matter what animal species you are, and what needs to be done.
If the babies fly and the mother is alone. There is no drama, there is a success. If the babies are adults in the nest and the mother sacrifices her life for them, there is a failure, attachment, and exhaustion.
With so much responsibility about this process, the chance of error is great. In fact, it is inevitable. And, there enters the therapy, to adjust these small mistakes.
After 18 years adjusting mistakes, I can say with certainty which is the perfect Mothers Day gif you can give her: understand that you were made to fly (human specifically to walk) and take the path of your life.
Visit her once a week and every Sunday with love. When you visit her, tell her about your life, listen to what she tells you about her life, treat her like an equal, laugh together and hug the old woman. But, leave far away, in your own place.
When she is in need of care, take care of her without her noticing, without bragging about it. Pay the asylum or the nurse, without making tricks. Cover the forgetfulness with good humor and joy, but do not mock or quarrel or pretend that they do not exist. Keep the relationship of autonomy, however much you care and have to do almost everything for her, keep her always feeling independent, worthy of self.
Being a mother is difficult, understand that and thank her for the effort. Being a creature is not the same as being an asshole, it is like being a fruit that falls near the foot.