Monthly Archives: October 2011

The Sibling – Mother experience: it’s all in the Moon


I had a chat with my eldest son this evening, about the experience of mother.

I explained to him that he has a different mother from his siblings. He, naturally, looked at me as though I had lost my marbles. Stepfathers and half-brothers he can understand… but different mothers, when he knows full well I gave birth to them all…? Hell, he was being ushered out of the house past the birthing pool in the kitchen minutes before the last one decided to put in his appearance!

I told him it wasn’t that weird, really. I explained that my own four siblings and I have very different experiences of our own mother. And, when he thought about it, he could see that the way he saw and interacted with me was quite different from the way his brothers do. Which isn’t in any way evaluative, incidentally. From my subjective position 😉 I would say that not one of them has a ‘better‘ or ‘worse‘ relationship with me, but each is intrinsically different.

Well of course, I hear you cry, since all your children are different!

And yes, you have a very good point.

But, in keeping with the Lunar articles that have begun this blog, I would go a step further and say that it is also because their Moons are very different. Since Moon describes your mother-experience, and each of my children has a very differently placed and aspected Moon, does it not make sense that they each have a very different experience of me?

My eldest has a Cancer Moon: the Moon at her happiest, a devoted and nurturing home-maker of a mum. He was my first-born and for him I ordered a weekly organic vegetable box, pureed only the very best for his little body, clad his bottom in washable nappies and he never suffered once from nappy rash. The downside to this, of course, is that now that he has reached the grand old age of 11 and started high school, he feels the need to let me know it’s all a bit full-0n. Smothering, even. I need to take my cue and back off a bit. He wants to spread his wings – not the easiest of things to watch happen for a Cancer-Moon mummy.

Compare that to little Bertie: a Pisces Moon. Ruled by Neptune, his grasp of who his Mummy is is likely to be rather more nebulous and uncertain. He is more likely to experience his mother as an ideal that she is not always going to live up to. He’ll have a vision in his mind of who I am and will struggle with being disappointed that I cannot always attain that giddying height! There is a possibility too, I am sad to say, that he will see me as a victim and, conversely, with the Neptunian perfectionism, if I fail to live up to his ideal of ‘Mummy’ then he will feel like a victim.

Of course, as well as them, two of my children have Taurus Moons (a traditional and reliable Mummy, who knows that the way to our hearts is through a good plate of nourishing food; a pair of snuggly pyjamas and lots of cuddles) and, finally, one has a Leo Moon (a dramatic Mummy from whom we want lots of affection, attention and praise and, if we don’t get it, we may become rather dramatic as a result!) All very different, but all with the same Mummy. Me.

Interesting, then, that no matter if you bring your children up in exactly the same manner, with just the same type of mothering and love, their experience of you will be the very one that they need in order to grow, individuate, evolve and make the best of their path. And I say that advisedly because, as challenging a concept as it may seem, even if in spite of your best efforts their experience of you as a mother was not what you would have wished, it was what your children needed to best set them up to work through what they need to in this life.