I anticipated this happening.
Start writing a blog on motherhood, and pretty soon wonder: Why I am doing this? What is this for? How is this helping or changing anything, for me, or anyone? I don’t really have the time/energy/technical skills for this. What is the point?
I had seen this coming, and promised myself I wouldn’t stop writing when self doubting thoughts about this blog came up. (I just didn’t think this would show up after only three blog posts).
Its not difficult for me to talk about how little sleep I got last night, or which preschool we finally decided on, or how busy I feel. The things I discuss at pick ups and drop offs, like the logistics of parenting, the shared experience of fullness, and the scoop us parents share about solid resources for our kids is essential. That stuff I got.
But when sharing my deeper experience of mothering I feel like I’m waking up out of anesthesia. I’m groggy and my thoughts and feelings can’t quite make it to my mouth in the way I experience them. I find it difficult to be articulate and clear.
When I attempt to speak from a deeper place within myself about mothering, it takes conscious, intentional effort, to do so. I have to go against the flow of the mainstream river of complacency, which discourages me from questioning, reflecting, or even making space to feel and observe my experience.
Mainstream society would have us believe that motherhood is a speed bump in the overall arch of our busy lives. You know, have a baby and then quickly as possible “get back” to your life as it was before.
But mothering is a rite of passage into another realm. Giving birth is one of the major initiations that nature provides us, beyond being born and dying.
Motherhood can feel liberating and aligning, and also maddening and soul crushing. Mothering is full of paradox: it is profound and mundane, miraculous and ordinary, expansive and isolate. How we experience it varies widely, even on a given day. It is a lot to relate to, integrate, and understand, and yet many of us mother without any support around the inner psychic shifts at all.
Motherhood is an enormous transition that brings transformation into one’s life, one way or another.
Honestly, at times I feel fear about where exploring my experience of mothering publicly through writing will lead, and part of me says, “Its not worth it, its not going to matter, its been said by someone else somewhere anyway, and I should save myself some time and energy.”
But I care about this part of my life deeply, and I care about all the mothers who also are trying to find their way with this ordinary, yet completely monumental, event of becoming a mother in our modern situation.
I write about the psyche’s transformation within mothering because I am so fascinated by that myself, and because I witness mothers struggling with how to relate to themselves and integrate mothering into their identities in an empowered way.
The ways that mothers are burdened psychologically by judgment, fear, expectations, beliefs, and messages (overt and covert) from the surrounding society takes a toll on our health, well being, and overall life satisfaction. It affects our mothering, and not in a way we like.
I want to see the typical conversation around motherhood evolve.
Imagine if our society saw and supported entering into motherhood as a potential catalyst in a woman’s life. An opportunity for invaluable maturity and growth, for deep embodiment and alignment with her most genuine expression of herself. How would that inform the questions and conversations we have with our own mothers, our friends who are mothers, and ourselves?
What if our society valued the incredibly hard work of family life?
What I really want to do is articulate, converse with and support other mothers in the deeper layers of our experience of mothering. Because I think our actual experience as mothers matters. A lot.
And I don’t think the conversation has been had, or is over, by any means. On the contrary, I think women’s experiences are largely devalued by a society that invalidates the intuitive, emotional, and relational values that women (and many men, too) often hold. And I find motherhood impacted by this societal bias greatly.
So, when I recognize self doubt about this blog, I will do just as I do when I notice self doubt in my mothering: I will remind myself what my highest priorities are, what I value most, and remember that all I need to do is honor those things in the most inspired way that I can. In that way, I can’t go wrong, I can only learn and grow.
And doing so just might help someone else along the way. In fact, it most certainly will.