15 June 2022

Mothers should not be left alone

While waiting for the details of the terrible figlicide in Mascalucia to be defined, one thing applies to all: motherhood cannot be experienced in solitude. In the absence of that 'village' that serves to raise every creature that comes into the world, places for new mothers to meet and freely share experiences and experiences are needed. To maximise joy and give course to feminine and maternal wisdom, the foundation of civilisation
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The picture of the Mascalucia figlicide is still not entirely clearWhether the crime was premeditated (the last embrace between mother and daughter on leaving kindergarten was heartbreaking), whether the girl was of sound mind, whether she acted alone, and so on. The investigators will do their work, the court will establish responsibility and punishment, although no punishment can be greater than the one the mother inflicted on herself with her terrible act.

But one thing applies to all mothers in the world, also for the one in Mascalucia: mothers cannot be left alone. This is a completely unnatural condition and potentially risky even from a psychological point of view for the creature and the woman who gave birth to it. To raise a child you need a villageand this village (the family, the community, neighbourly relations, sharing with other mothers) is aincreasingly rare experience. The need is even more acute if there is no father at the mother's side, but even a father is not enough to substitute that complex relational fabric that gives birth to the mother in a kind of social gestation, and who accompanies and supports her in her most precious task of initiating a creature into life.

Le diminishing families, increasingly disjointed communities, increasingly rarefied relationships -and maternity hindered across the board, perhaps as never before in history- point to an urgent and unascertainable needthat of offer mothers opportunities to meet, to share, to pool their experiences.

Let's call them by an ugly name: maternity homes -there must surely be a better one-. freely accessible, with little or no institutionalisation, equipped with the minimum facilities necessary to make them cosy and comfortable, basically 'self-managed' even if linked to possible aid services -when needed- and possibly also attended by doule experts in supporting mothers of toddlers. Places of relationship and exchange, not of technicalisation, medicalisation and psychologisation of the maternal function (and indeed preserved from the clamour of technical words), where mothers freely share and circulate their knowledge, and not feel like apprentices in a 'trade' regulated by others.

Places where feminine energy and words circulate in abundance, drawing as much joy and pleasure from it as possibleand in which making friends with others is not only a function of the child. In which, above all, civilisation is founded.

We need places like this in every country and in every district of the big cities: will any mayor or mayor listen?

Marina Terragni


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