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strong as a mother

To Be Mother


To Be Mother

This leaf was a gift from my youngest, and the pride with which she presented it to me made it ten times more special.

This leaf was a gift from my youngest, and the pride with which she presented it to me made it ten times more special.

Deeply thinking about what called me to this path after giving birth always fills me with an overload of words. At times I feel more poetic, more fluid and more at ease. At other times I feel angry at the world for sacrificing birth to the patriarchy, and then I instantly feel that I need to work ten times harder to try and change the direction we're headed. This is because I used to think my power lied in my ability to work incredibly hard no matter what the universe put in my path. Being powerful meant to not need breaks and to be uninfluenced by physical pains and discomforts. If I was strong and powerful, I could do anything, at any time, in spite of all limitations.

At this specific moment, however, I feel that power doesn't mean what I once thought it meant.

Personally, I find my power in writing.

I find it in being gentle with my daughters and taking the time to communicate fully with them so they can know themselves and what it means to be a mother.

I find it in the connections I make with the beautiful women I work with, and the complete lack of judgment I feel toward them. I now see these women as my sisters, and in this perspective there lies so much power. I am grateful.

I also find my power in being slow, in being feminine and in always making educated and informed choices. It is true what they say about knowledge being power. My most recent challenges wouldn't have had such positive outcomes if gaining knowledge about them wasn't at the forefront of my mind always.

But most of all, more than any of the above, I find my power hidden beneath the debris of my most destructive days. It is there, in the center, burning away what once seemed so important but now reveals itself to me as nothing more than distractions that reach no deeper than the surface of my Self. This type of revelation is so powerful that entire karmic cycles feel as though they've broken in an instant. And thus, my power is empowered by my ability to ebb and flow with the current, to know when to lean one way and to know to listen closely when something inside tells me I am correct in my inklings.

I wrote the following one night many months ago while my husband worked late and my babies slept soundly. It was around the time I first began to really understand my own power and my motivations as a mother, as a doula and as a woman overall. I find it to still be relevant, and so I share it here nearly half a year later.

I am a seeker of justice, and I see the handling of birth as one of the most consequential and important injustices of America's history to date. This can happen no longer. We as women must reclaim what nature intended us to be: powerful, authentic, confident, comfortable, nurturing and tuned in to the moon. We shall not continue to be overly timid, polite, modest, pretty and obedient. It is time to find our strength within ourselves, and to help the women around us to do the same.

Have you heard your intuition speak to you before? It has a beautiful, enticing voice that fills you with contentedness and complete assuredness. Slow your quickening thoughts for a moment. Feel your body and its heaviness. Embrace its steadiness. Allow the voice of your intuition to open the silence and fill your spirit with knowing.

Trust. Accept. Follow. Allow your problems to be provided solutions. Allow your warrior to emerge, as though she is finally returning home from battle. Allow the you that is mother {and we are all mother in our own way, whether or not we have a child}, to BE love, and BE feminine mystery.

When we see the you that is mother, we cannot take our eyes off of her, nor do we desire to. She is much too beautiful to turn away from, and we crave the comfort she provides.

To be mother is to be strong, fierce, powerful and inspired.

To be mother is to be selfless, to be a muse and to be a source of peace, ever soft, ever warm, ever beautiful.

And for those who do have children, to have you be their mother is for them to have a center and a nest; safety and comfort. They do not feel alone and they do not feel uneasy. They are yours and they hope to remain yours for so very long. Remember that you are the mother your child needs. It wouldn't have been any other way.

Let us all rise and bloom as the Earth intended, so that we may replenish it with the life-giving force of the mother.

My first muse, sweet "Floralei."

My first muse, sweet "Floralei."


Mother's Day, One Year Past


Mother's Day, One Year Past

I came across this unpublished letter to Lorelei just before I began writing about yesterday's Mother's Day experience. I've decided to publish this letter instead, as it brings back wonderful memories of a time that Lorelei is no longer in, but a time that Isla will be in soon enough. 

Dear Lorelei,

Tomorrow will be my third Mother's Day (second with you actually having been born), and I am so excited. That may first make you think that I’m excited to get presents and have a day where I’m “honored” as a mom by anyone who sees me with you, but none of that is actually the reason why I’m excited.

I’m simply excited to see you in the morning.

I’m excited to see you get excited to see me when I come to get you out of your crib.

I’m excited to kiss your cheeks ten times in a row and admire your bedhead hair and ask you why you took your pants off in the middle of the night.

I’m excited to hand you a piece of toast and then subsequently tell you that, “we don’t throw our food on the floor in this house.”

I’m excited to put on Sesame Street for you so that I can drink my coffee while it’s lukewarm.

I’m excited to hear you announce that you’re pooping and watch your face turn red and hear your funny little grunting noises, serving as proof that you are actually pooping and not just telling me that to get my attention (which is something you do now).

I’m excited to change your diaper. Actually, I’m not really excited to change your diaper, but I’m excited to hear you talk to the little fake bird in the birdhouse on the shelf in your room, saying “Tweet tweet!” with a big smile on your face while I breathe through my mouth and try to finish cleaning your bottom as fast as possible.

I’m excited to choose an outfit for you to wear, and then chase you around your room trying to convince you to stand in one spot so I can dress you.

I’m excited for you to bring me your favorite pair of shoes, and I’m excited to watch you attempt to put your socks on by yourself before I put them on your tiny, adorable feet.

I’m excited to take you out onto the balcony and watch you dump cups full of sand outside of the sandbox.

I’m excited for you to pull leaves off of my potted succulents and present them to me as a gift.

I’m excited for you to lose interest in your many outdoor toys after a mere five minutes, choosing to stand and hug my leg instead.

I’m excited to feed you lunch (cottage cheese with salsa), or rather watch you feed yourself your lunch. You may really enjoy throwing your food on the ground, but you never waste a bite of cottage cheese, and that makes lunchtime really, really easy.

I’m excited to watch you poop again, because that means you won’t wake up during your upcoming nap due to sleep-pooping.

I’m excited to read you a story while bouncing you in your bouncer. We’re currently reading Ella Enchanted, and you love it. You smile at me while I read animatedly and hug whichever stuffed animal you’ve chosen to nap with as tightly as possible, and when your eyes start to close I scoop you up and give you lots of kisses as I lay you down in your crib. You say “night night” as I leave the room, and my heart melts.

I’m excited to rejuvenate during your naptime. I eat lunch and watch the TV shows your dad doesn’t like. I check my e-mail and read random articles recommended by friends, and I also try to tidy up the mess we’ve made, because mornings are seriously messy.

I’m excited for you to wake up from your nap. Like, really excited. Even if I’m exhausted and think I might not be excited, I’m excited. Whether you wake up happy or sad, I’m able to get the afternoon off to a good start by dancing idiotically in your doorway.

I’m usually excited to take you to whatever class or meet-up we have planned for the afternoon. You say “hi” to everybody and dance at random moments out of pure happiness. The afternoons are usually very fun for us.  But since today is Mother's Day, I’m sure we’ll spend the day with family (your great-grandmother from New Zealand is visiting right now so everything about today is extra special), and I’m sure you’ll have a hell of a time entertaining everybody with all of the words you’ve learned and the skills you’ve mastered.

I’m excited for dinnertime to be over with so we can move on to bath time. You LOVE your baths. You like to pour the water on yourself and dance to the music I play for you on my phone. You like to throw your toys out of the tub and ask for them back. You like it when the cats come over to see what’s going on. You like to make me blow soap bubbles off of your hand. And I like to see you like everything so much. When bath time is over, I’m excited to snuggle your tiny little towel-wrapped body. I’m excited to show you yourself in the mirror and watch you wave to yourself. I’m excited to hear you giggle when I let you touch all of my hanging necklaces with your toes. I’m excited to hear you say “Bye Clemmy!” to Clementine, who is always waiting outside of your bedroom door, ready to sneak in.

I’m excited for pajama time to begin because your “calming lotion” smells so damn good and you are just super happy to be getting cozy. You talk to that fake bird again and you give me a big hug when I carry you to your bouncer.

I’m excited to continue reading Ella Enchanted because I’m usually dying to find out what happens next. Sometimes you fall asleep really fast, but I keep reading because I like to finish whichever chapter I’m on before calling it quits.

I’m excited to kiss your cheeks as I lay you in your crib once more, and I’m excited to hear you say “night night” again. I long for the day where you say, “I love you,” back to me. That day will certainly be treasured forever.

I’m excited to be your mom, and do mom things, and think mom thoughts, and feel mom feelings. I’m excited to drink margaritas in honor of my mom-ness and go to sleep going over my mom to-do list for tomorrow.

Thank you for being the reason I am now known as “mama.” You are the sweetest, best, coolest thing that’s ever happened to me.


Mother's Day 2014, the day this was originally written.