75. Who is the 'bad mother'? Unpacking The Lost Daughter with Julianne Boutaleb by The Good Enough Mother published on 2022-06-24T01:16:46Z This podcast episode is an unpacking and discussion of the recent Netflix production The Lost Daughter, based on the novel of the same name by the pseudonymous Italian novelist Elena Ferrante and directed by Maggie Gyllenhaal. The film explores the textured, complex, nuanced, challenging parts of the mothering experience and positioning of motherhood culturally. The themes explored shine a light on the shadow side of being a mother, the boundaries of maternal ‘transgressions’, and the experience of maternal ambivalence. To reflect on the film, I’m joined in conversation by Julianne Boutaleb, a passionate and highly experienced perinatal psychologist who has worked for over 15 years in the NHS and private practice with parents and parents-to-be and their babies. Julianne and I discuss the importance of this film in exploring the complex and raw portrayal of motherhood on our screens, something we so rarely see examined in such a demanding and articulate way. We look at mothering and the experience of maternal violence, peacemaking and repair, and explore the gap between the idealised version of motherhood versus what is real. We ask and explore questions such as - what do we do with the loss of the imagined future we had before having our children? What are ‘maternal transgressions’ of the ‘bad mother’ and who defines these? Who decides which are acceptable and which ones aren't? What stories and rules have we internalised as mothers, and where have these come from? What standards are we holding ourselves to as mothers? We look at the possibility of self-erasure and self-surveillance, and explore why it could be helpful to start with the basic premise that we are never going to always meet our child's emotional needs, and why perhaps that's not our job. This is a powerful episode full of interesting discussion on the cultural, social and deeply personal experience of mothering and the sacrifice, tension and fierce love involved. Acknowledging that this film can raise challenging, fraught, and sometimes painful responses in viewers, if you find aspects of this podcast conversation raises difficult feelings for you, please reach out for support. Support lines Australia - https://www.panda.org.au/ - 1300 726 306 UK - https://pandasfoundation.org.uk/ - 0808 1961 776 USA - https://www.postpartum.net/ - Text “Help” to 800-944-4773 (EN) Podcast notes: Cultured magazine: ‘In the lost daughter mums are people too’ - Mariah Kreutter. https://www.culturedmag.com/article/2022/01/13/in-emthe-lost-daughter-em-moms-are-people-too The Guardian: ‘How The Lost Daughter confronts one of our most enduring cultural taboos’ - Adrian Horton https://www.theguardian.com/film/2022/jan/05/the-lost-daughter-elena-ferrante-maggie-gyllenhaal-motherhood Winnicott’s theory of A Good Enough Mother Sara Ruddick; Feminist philosopher and the author of Maternal Thinking: Toward a Politics of Peace Foucault and Jeremy Bentham’s panopticon Melanie Klein; Austrian-British author and psychoanalyst known for her work in child analysis.