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(p. 331) The Ordinary Devoted Mother 

(p. 331) The Ordinary Devoted Mother
Chapter:
(p. 331) The Ordinary Devoted Mother
Author(s):

Donald W. Winnicott

DOI:
10.1093/med:psych/9780190271398.003.0047
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date: 19 November 2019

In this lecture, Winnicott recounts the origins of the idea and phrase ‘the ordinary devoted mother’, which he describes as a ‘well-worn subject’. He sees it as a logical step in mothering that if ‘devotion’ is important, a lack of devotion is also. He goes on to stress the ordinariness and naturalness of the mothering state in which, to a large extent, the mother ‘is’ the baby and the baby ‘is’ her. Winnicott holds that when a mother has a capacity quite simply to be a mother, we must never interfere.

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