I wish I would read before bed but instead I turn on the TV. Just a bad habit. Maybe it's the fact that we have a giant 6 foot TV right at the foot of our bed? Honestly, most of TV bores the crap out of me. One show that grabs my attention, as I lay half awake in bed, is Pregnant in Heels. It's a somewhat sappy show about the privileged soon-to-be mothers of Manhattan. Ms. Rosie Pope, a British ex patriot, consults on all sorts of maternal issues from breast feeding (who knew wet nurses were outlawed in NY these days) to sex while pregnant. What intrigued me last night was an episode about her unpreparedness for her own upcoming birth of her daughter. Her staff intervened with her much as she would with her "clients." Her husband told the camera that when mothers drag their feet, i.e., don't get the nursery ready or buy anything pink for their baby girl who will be born in 5 days, there is something going on. That is the whole premise, in fact, of the show.
What interested me was that the rich and famous consultant to mothers of NY has a troubled relationship with her own mother which causes her to fear the birth of her own daughter. Reminds me of Martha Stewart. She is Suzy Homemaker of the year. Yet, she works 20 hours a day (and you know she is not the one cleaning her 16 houses despite all her tips on organic cleanser), has no husband and lives alone. She published her Martha Stuart Wedding issue, if I recall this correctly, on the day she either got divorced or her daughter got married in a small ceremony.
I guess the point is that people do what they need to know or sometimes are in professions where they are playing out old relationships, without even knowing it. My mother, a nurse, used to say that all urologists had issues with their manhood and surgeons were control freaks. Who doesn't know a police officer with authority issues? My mother, herself, could be mean and insensitive to me, much like her schizophrenic mother was to her, yet kind, loving, and so nurturing to her patients. I think about my work with troubled kids. I was so ignored as a child that everything I did as a little girl and young adult was geared toward getting recognition, being seen. And, I hate this! I was funny, cute, creative, smart as a means to an end (being seen), not because I was internally motivated to find humor in life, learn about my world, express my inner being in a piece of art. My primary goal in my work with troubled kids has always been to make sure they feel "seen" and understood. Big surprise.
All of this makes me wonder. If we were all psychologically healthy and resolved our deep and old issues, what would we do professionally? I know for me, as I understand myself better I have a deeper interest in other things that are unrelated to the care taking of the emotional well-being of children. I have a passion for self-expression through art and writing; I want to experience the world through travel; and I love working on my health through cooking and exercise. I wonder what kind of architect I would have been, had I grown up with a different set of parents and chosen this career path? My work with kids is still a passion but it changes as I change. At this point it is all about them and less about me because I can step aside, having addressed my need to be seen. It doesn't matter to me what others think of my work or even if the kids see what I am doing to help them. The work, now, is all about them. And so I guess I am better at my work, having worked through the reasons I was drawn to it. Well, let's be honest here, this is all a work-in-progress :P
If Rosie Pope has a bad mother-daughter relationship she can try to repair that with her own daughter...but, then, will she be so motivated to be the famous maternal expert? Perhaps she will be, maybe that's her karma in life. But, maybe she will be even better at it because she can truly focus on her clients vs her own needs as she helps them deal with their issues around becoming a mother, not hers.