Gatekeeper moms

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at:, or follow me on Twitter.

This is an interesting German magazine that I just discovered:

“The affected woman desperately attempts to be the most important person to the child and outdoes the father because she perceives him to be a threat,” says Leipold. These mothers, therefore, put the parenting bar so high that the father is bound to fail.

This behavior arises because of entrenched traditional roles where household duties are unequally distributed. These roles are so deeply embedded in the subconscious that they are hard to shake.

“Maternal gatekeeping” has repercussions for any kind of romantic relationship. The man is made to feel removed from the spousal relationship because he sees his wife as only a mother, instead of also as a partner. He may perceive his wife’s hovering over their children as distrust or even aggression toward him. “Positive feelings towards each other cannot bloom in this kind of climate,” says Leipold.

While mothers who have a know-it-all approach may seem like they’re displaying power, Leipold argues that the reality it is the exact opposite: namely it masks a feeling of powerlessness. No matter what mothers do — whether they work full-time or care for their children full-time — they are criticized.

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