Author: Jan Scholten
Principle of duty Self pity
Work, task Mother
The group analysis shows the theme to be: the duty to be a good mother and to take care of the family.
This situation can originate in a family where the eldest daughter has to help from an early age in bringing up her younger brothers and sisters, becoming like a second mother to them.
A variation on this theme could be the opposite: if I do my duty, I will be well taken care of. This is the situation in many 'third world' countries. The children there are seen as a security for old age. To have many children is then desirable and almost a duty. The duty to bring them up will later on be turned around into the expectation that the children will feel duty-bound to provide for them in their old age.
Another variation is having a very duty-conscious mother. The mother takes her caring role as a duty, which she undertakes with great dedication. This could mean that she does everything herself, while she lets the children play. It could also happen that she thinks that the children ought to help in the house and that she gives everyone a task, which has to be completed, with no arguing about that.
the duty to be a good mother.
They feel it is their duty to be a good mother, to give their children their best care. They do this with enormous perseverance and can easily run a family with 10 children. They manage it by enforcing strict rules. They often make the eldest daughter help them in this task, so that the daughter becomes a second mother. Mother passes the caring task on to her daughter, because 'that is the way it should be'.
Because of the strong sense of duty, there is the danger of too many rules. They need the rules to keep everything under control, but at the price of real contact and warmth for the children, who might experience them to be distant and reserved.
The opposite is also possible, as in the case of a woman who has been forced to help in the house from an early age, and who thought this to be very unfair. When she becomes a mother herself, she will make a point of it that her children will never have to do any housework. She will work extra hard to spare her children from having to do any household duties.
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