Source: Charismamag.com - Anita Renfroe
I had the good fortune of being raised by not just one excellent mother but also an entire community of them. And I’d have to say I’m the better for it.
I remember when Hillary Clinton’s book It Takes a Village came out several years back, the accompanying uproar from conservatives was deafening. Many people saw it as a communal manifesto for socialism—where society takes over raising our children and we give up our parental power.
I have to confess that I’ve never read her book. I might have been too busy raising my kids to read about all the people it takes to raise kids.
But regardless of what you think of Hillary’s book or her politics, the girl was sorta right in this one regard: If you are born female it certainly does take a lot of mothers in your life to be fully mothered and well-mothered.
It is hard for me to admit that there might be something my daughter, Elyse, needs in her life that my limited experience or expertise cannot provide for her. But I truly believe that no one should have to mother alone.
Mothers, Mothers Everywhere
My mother’s guidance was important to me, but I also had the input of my grandmothers and aunts and family friends and mentors. I am old enough to recall when you could get in trouble everywhere in your town by any female adult who felt motherly toward you.
If someone caught you doing anything immoral, illegal, disrespectful or even questionable, they were not deterred by the fact that they did not share your particular DNA. If you were wrong, they felt a social obligation to step in and mother you correctionally.
This might have involved giving you a good talking to, possibly applying some immediate form of discipline and assuring you that, should you choose not to confess to your own mother upon your arrival at home, your mom would be told. And this was followed by a burning up of the party lines (for those of you under the age of 40, skip it—party lines are too hard to explain) faster than the speed of light so that, when you did arrive home, it was old news and your mom already had her speech ready and some form of discipline lined up.
You could waste your breath explaining, but the shame of someone else catching you misbehaving was unbearable for her. It was now her job to make it equally unbearable for you.
That was the downside of a community full of mothers. The upside was that you could also have a cadre of women who would love, support and encourage you in areas where your own mother did not have a background for input. This is the aspect of having “Other Mothers” that allows young women to excel and spread their wings beyond their own heritage.
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