What do girls do who haven’t any mothers to help them through their troubles?
The best thing that could happen to motherhood already has. Fewer women are going into it.
Women know the way to rear up children (to be just). They know a simple, merry, tender knack of tying sashes, fitting baby-shoes, and stringing pretty words that make no sense. And kissing full sense into empty words.
Some are kissing mothers and some are scolding mothers, but it is love just the same — and most mothers kiss and scold together.
There are lots of things that you can brush under the carpet about yourself until you’re faced with somebody whose needs won’t be put off.
For that’s what a woman, a mother wants — to teach her children to take an interest in life. She knows it’s safer for them to be interested in other people’s happiness than to believe in their own.
I believe that always, or almost always, in all childhood and in all the lives that follow them, the mother represents madness. Our mothers always remain the strangest, craziest people we’ve ever met.
The fact that we are all trained to be mothers from infancy on means that we are all trained to devote our lives to men, whether they are our sons or not; that we are all trained to force other women to exemplify the lack of qualities which characterizes the cultural construct of femininity.
No culture on earth outside of mid-century suburban America has ever deployed one woman per child without simultaneously assigning her such major productive activities as weaving, farming, gathering, temple maintenance, and tent-building. The reason is that full-time, one-on-one child-raising is not good for women or children.
Morality and its victim, the mother — what a terrible picture! Is there indeed anything more terrible, more criminal, than our glorified sacred function of motherhood?
Clearly, society has a tremendous stake in insisting on a woman’s natural fitness for the career of mother:
the alternatives are all too expensive.
Every man must define his identity against his mother. If he does not, he just falls back into her and is swallowed up.
A mother’s heart is always with her children.
Maternity is on the face of it an unsociable experience. The selfishness that a woman has learned to stifle or to dissemble where she alone is concerned, blooms freely and unashamed on behalf of her offspring.
Mothers are the most instinctive philosophers.
Men never think, at least seldom think, what a hard task it is for us women to go through this very often. God’s will be done, and if He decrees that we are to have a great number of children why we must try to bring them up as useful and exemplary members of society.