I am trying to draw attention to the immense contribution to the individual and to the society which the ordinary good mother with her husband in support makes at the beginning, and which she does simply through being devoted to her infant.

Is not this contribution of the devoted mother unrecognized precisely because it is immense? If this contribution is accepted it follows that everyone who is sane, everybody who feel himself to be a person in the world, and for whom the world means something, every happy person, is in an infinite debt to a woman. At a time in earliest infancy when there was no perception of dependence, we were absolutely dependent.
Once again let me emphasize, the result of such recognition of the maternal role when it comes will not be gratitude or even praise. The result will be a lessening in ourselves of a fear. ...
If there is no true recognition of the mother´s part, then there must remain a vague fear of dependence. This fear will sometimes take the form of a fear of woman in general or fear of a particular woman, and at other times will take on less easily recognized forms, always including the fear of domination.
Unfortunately the fear of domination does not lead groups of people to avoid being dominated; on the contrary it draws them towards a specific or chosen domination. Indeed, were the psychology of the dictator studied one would expect to find that, among other things, in his own personal struggle he is trying to control the woman whose domination he unconsiciously still fears, trying to control her by accomodating her, acting for her, and in turn demanding total subjection and ´love´. ...
Traced to its root in the history of each individual, this fear of woman turns out to be a fear of recognizing the fact of dependance, the initial dependence of earliest infancy.
I write this book because someone must act for the young mothers who are having their first and second babies, and who are necessarily themselves in a dependent state. I hope to give them support in their reliance on their natural tendencies, while at the same time paying full attention to the skill and care of those who give help where the mother and father and the various parent-subsitutes need help.

from the Introduction of: The child, the family and the outside world by D. W. Winnicott, first published in 1964.

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I see that in nature babies are independent in such a short time compared to human beings. It takes so long for humans to be independent - then we have the added mental level that screws with what our senses pick up in life.

Feeling out of control and dependent does increase our fear. We make it all too real to ourselves. What a hard thing to think about. I guess domination is a very personal thing, and doing it unconsciously is so dangerous, especially when it's subtle because it isn't easily recognized. I've watched people exercising their power this way, keeping others dependent on them so that they have more control over them. It defines who they are and they have NOTHING to fall back on. And just causes so much pain too.

What if your mom was just afraid for your life in the very beginning? It seems loving, trying to protect your child, but then the kid grows up with this sense of not being able to make it on his own because mom was always scared and worried. And then this is connected to pretty much everything in his life. What a drag.... but recognizing is the key, you are right. Thank you for this, I will definitely keep this in mind as that mom fear creeps in, my daughter can pick up on it so easily, and that starts to scare me and then we are back on the merry go round again, gads....
Being a mother has been my hardest, most rewarding experience, to date.


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