The Invisible Mother
Kayt Molina
73158

Thought-provoking article, thank you. I just wanted to challenge the view that having your kids not see / express appreciation for you as a person until their teens or later is just part of the deal, as some on this page have suggested, or signifies that you are looking to your children for emotional support / validation of your identity. In my experience, I think unappreciation from kids is more likely if as a mother (or father) you adopt a particularly child-centred model of parenting. Raising our kids my partner and I have always considered that taking time out for each other and for ourselves is important, in addition to caring for and being with our children and spending time as a family. Our reasoning is that (a) we create a positive model of what adulthood is like if we have our own stuff that we are excited about, whether that be hobbies, work, friendships or whatever, and (b) our having a good relationship with each other is a huge source of security for the kids and also creates a positive model of relationships. We have also tried to get them to be independent where possible, as suited to their age, based on the philosophy that family life is about everyone helping out, rather than parents functioning as the personal assistants of the children. Everyone is different and has their own approach to parenting, so this won’t suit everyone but I was shocked that your students didn’t know their mothers’ names (mine definitely did at age 4, I have the artwork done at kindergarten as proof — even if one of them invented a fictitious baby brother?!?!). I think that actively having your own life in addition to being a parent would really help children to appreciate you as a person. Plus, preserving your own identity is vital for when they grow up and leave home, and you are no longer needed in the way you once were. What then?

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