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so wtf is an earthmother

(27 Posts)
rosylizzie Thu 16-Aug-07 17:51:33

and why do i feel it is a derogatory thing to be called?
so i have five kids but i also have a brain and a job, cut corners and have times of being a pretty imperfect parent just the same as when i had 1 or 2 kids
what do you think an earthmother is and should i feel offended?

belgo Thu 16-Aug-07 17:53:10

earthmother - my mother called me that simply because I was bfing. Not in a derogatory way.

It depends on how it's said, but I wouldn't normally be offended by this.

zippitippitoes Thu 16-Aug-07 17:54:22

no it's nice.. someone who is child centred I always think of the woman who did everything inher bed a an archetypal one.what is her name child guru person.i was one but not quite fully

massivebigpantsface Thu 16-Aug-07 17:56:24

I think that is a nice term. My mum calls me it too as I try to keep things as natural as possible no pain relief, bf, homecooked meals etc

ahundredtimes Thu 16-Aug-07 18:00:49

Yes, I wouldn't think they were being kind if i was called an earth mother.

It's a thinly veiled jibe at maternalness to the point of idiocy, also a sort of swipe at 'wholesomeness' and 'warmth'.

I also wouldn't give it a seconds thought to be honest, those sort of remarks are usually a result of hysterical insecurity.

ahundredtimes Thu 16-Aug-07 18:01:31

Oh no, honestly, it's not nice AT ALL.

wheresthehamster Thu 16-Aug-07 18:02:36

I liked it

belgo Thu 16-Aug-07 18:03:02

it can be an insult unfortunately.

ProfYaffle Thu 16-Aug-07 18:05:53

Depends how it's used. Me and dh were once described as 'earthy' which I was not amused about.

ahundredtimes Thu 16-Aug-07 18:06:01


No I think it's one of those thinly-veiled things where people say it and you go 'Oh that's nice' but then you think about it a bit, and realize that really they were saying 'You utter freak who just wants to milk and breed and wear home-made clothes. I hate you.'

Obviously if it's your mother then you can drop the 'I hate you' bit and swop it for 'I really really don't understand you at all.'

ProfYaffle Thu 16-Aug-07 18:07:30

'earthy' was because we use a sling and didn't freak out when dd2 cried

ahundredtimes Thu 16-Aug-07 18:10:36

Yes exactly, and it wasn't meant in a kind way. Oh no.

Mercy Thu 16-Aug-07 18:12:34

I tend to think of an earthmother type as someone who does pretty much the opposite of you know who. But acting on instinct rather than deliberately setting out to be so iyswim.

For eg, I have a mate who could be described as an earthmother - she bf her 3 for at least a year, carried them far more than they were in a pram for the first 6 months or so, bought a massive bed to accomodate all 5 family members if necessary, doesn't often buy new clothes - well she does loads more than that tbh, she and her dh are very family oriented. But she doesn't give 2 hoots about cloth nappies or jars etc

Agree though, it can be a double-edged sword.

MrsCarrot Thu 16-Aug-07 18:13:54

Hmm, that's funny, Belgo, my mother called me that lots of times when I was breastfeeding and she ever so slightly has issues with it (said dd was getting a bit big to bf at 9 months) so in our case it was a thinly veiled jibe.

I answered the door to her once midfeed and she said, oh, must you?

ahundredtimes Thu 16-Aug-07 18:16:34

Is ALWAYS a thinly veiled jive, I'm telling you.

Nobody says 'You're such an earthmother' with a kindly smile and means 'I so admire you and your warmth and your completely balanced attitude to child-rearing.'

They mean,

'You utter utter freak.'

But they're drinking tea with you or they're related to you so they can't say it.

ahundredtimes Thu 16-Aug-07 18:19:15

lol @ thinly veiled jive - like the dance of the seven veils with jazz.

Ahem. No I meant JIBE obviously.

Mercy Thu 16-Aug-07 18:22:33

bigmouthstrikesagain Thu 16-Aug-07 18:35:47

The bloke fixing my freezer last year said to me - 'you one of them Earthy muvvers then?' I don't think I was breast feeding at the time - but I was obviously giving off the 'vibes' (def not wearing a kaftan but I was probably barefoot).

He went on to ask me about breastfeeding and my homebirth, he said he had 6 kids and his wife's a midwife so I wasn't being insulted I don't think.

belgo Thu 16-Aug-07 18:39:25

rosylizzie - in what context was the word used?

MaloryTowersHasManners Thu 16-Aug-07 18:40:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FluffyMummy123 Thu 16-Aug-07 18:41:45

Message withdrawn

kitsandbits Thu 16-Aug-07 18:43:57

My midwife called me an earthmother after i had DS2 because he was born at home in a birth pool and I had no drugs, also because i asked to breastfeed immediatly.

I was very proud,

She also said I should train to be a midwife

fryalot Thu 16-Aug-07 18:44:24

<<<checks feet>>>

<<<looks in mirror>>>

<<< watches ds putting dvd in video player>>>

uh oh

bigmouthstrikesagain Thu 16-Aug-07 18:47:01

tbh for me being called 'earthmother' is no worse than being labelled 'hippy' since primary school - not sure what comes next though

rosylizzie Fri 17-Aug-07 08:32:52

glad most of you agree, my reaction was to think 'you bitch' when told by a friend this was how this woman was describing me. it was in the context of meeting her in the greengrocer when i was being distinctly not earthmothery, buying apples. told my lot to stay outside and mind the baby while her one child caused havoc.
still peed off about it!

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