The role of mother is a primary one for many, but not all, women in our culture. Most mothers see motherhood as a major aspect of their personal and social identities. The media and popular culture also place a high value on being a good mother. We, as a society are very quick to judge and condemn mothers whom we perceive as fulfilling their own needs at the expense of their children's best interests. Last week, Time magazine raised a hotbed of controversy by featuring a highly publicized (and inappropriately sexualized) picture of a child standing on a chair with mouth attached to his mom's nipple as a critique of moms who breastfeed into middle childhood. In fact, breastfeeding conveys warmth, comfort, and lifetime immune benefits. The best timeframe for breastfeeding has not been conclusively established.

According to Karl Jung, all humans are born with an innate capacity to recognize, seek out, and attach to a mother or mother figure to whom we look for safety, care, and protection. Jung saw the mother archetype, along with other symbols, such as the "shadow" or dark side of human nature, as part of the collective unconscious that evolved over the course of our history as a species. He believed that archetypes were universal symbols and ways of interpreting the world that cut across cultures. While the existence of a collective unconscious has not and cannot be proven, the mother role is widespread. We now know that early attachment experiences between parent and child help to shape the brain, and can affect our ability to self-regulate emotion into our adult years and, if we are not given corrective experiences, throughout life. Insecure attachment and childhood trauma have been linked to drug and alcohol addiction, academic failure, and adult depression and relationship problems.Thus, mothers seem to have a profound influence on our long-term wellbeing.

Below are some popular ways in which we view mothers, in the (often humorous) words of celebrities, writers and famous historical figures....

Your Mother...


          Always Puts Herself Last...

A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie. 
- Tenneva Jordan


Has a Very Tough, Unrelenting Job...

"The phrase "working mother" is redundant." - Jane Sellman

"I'd like to be the ideal mother, but I'm too busy raising my kids."- Unknown

A suburban mother's role is to deliver children obstetrically once, and by car for ever after. 
Peter De Vries


           Never Gets a Break...

 “(24/7) once you sign on to be a mother, that's the only shift they offer.”


          Nor Gets Anything Done...

“Thus far the mighty mystery of motherhood is this: How is it that doing it all feels like nothing is ever getting done.”― Rebecca Woolf

And remember that behind every successful a basket of dirty laundry. Inspirational Quotes on Mothers Day by: Unknown


mom dreams about clean house

Does Too Much Housework…

Neurotics build castles in the air; psychotics live in them. My mother cleans them - Rita Rudner

Now, as always, the most automated appliance in a household is the mother - Beverly Jones

 "If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands?"
- Milton Berle


Or Too Little...

What my mother believed about cooking is that if you worked hard and prospered , someone else would do it for you. - Nora Ephron

Spends Too Much Time on the Phone (and Computer)

“My mother's on the phone again.

 I talk, but she won't hear.

She said, "Just one more minute, Hon'." . . .

I think it's been a year.” (Unknown)




Gets Stressed Out by Her Kids...

 “If they would all sleep all the time she wouldn't mind being their mother.” ― Kate AtkinsonCase Histories

It kills you to see them grow up. But I guess it would kill you quicker if they didn't. - Inspirational Quotes on Mothers Day by Barbara Kingsolver

Insanity is hereditary; you get it from your children. - Inspirational Quotes on Mothers Day by Sam Levenson

The first 40 years of motherhood are the hardest (message on a card)


Provokes Guilt...

"My mother could make anybody feel guilty -- she used to get letters of apology from people she didn't even know." -- Joan Rivers

"I want my children to have all the things I couldn't afford. Then I want to move in with them." - Phyllis Diller


Embarrasses You... 

'Few misfortunes can befall a boy which bring worse consequences than to have a really affectionate mother." -  William Somerset Maugham 


Overprotects You...

Sweater, n.: garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly. Ambrose Bierce

"The best way to keep children home is to make the home atmosphere pleasant -- and let the air out of the tires." -- Dorothy Parker

          Is Proud of You..

There is only one pretty child in the world, and every mother has it. 
- Chinese Proverb

 Every beetle is a gazelle in the eyes of its mother.  ~Moorish Proverb


          Loves You…

"To the world you might just be one person, 
but to one person you might be the world." 

~ Author Unknown             

And You Love Her…

Moms are fantastic, even when they're spelt upside down they're still WOW!


          And Anyhow, You Can’t Get Rid of Her...

My mom is literally a part of me. You can't say that about many people except relatives, and organ donors. - Carrie Latet 


          And Nobody Will Mess with You When She’s Around...

“The only thing worse than fighting a giant scorpion was fighting a giant scorpion who was trying to protect her young.” ― Suzanne CollinsGregor and the Marks of Secret



I wrote this post as a humorous tribute to my mother, Rheda Greenberg who died on January 20, 2012 at the age of 91 in Johannesburg, South Africa. She was a gentle soul and a loving mother of four children. She was a homemaker who loved to read and write and got many "Letters to the Editor" published in national magazines. By becoming a writer, I am following in her footsteps.

About The Author

Melanie Greenberg, Ph.D. is a licensed Clinical Psychologist, and expert on MindfulnessPositive Psychology, Emotion Regulation, and Relationships.  Dr Greenberg provides workshops and speaking engagements for organizations,  life, weight loss, or career coaching, and psychotherapy for individuals and couples.

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 Check out my most-read post: The 11 Best Mothers Day Quotes

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