There is no doubt in my mind that we need more than one revolution to create a world that is worthy of our children. Looking around at the world through their eyes sometimes I can see only what’s wrong, what’s broken, what I don’t want for them. I see massive systemic issues that affect us on global, national, regional, and local scales. It’s overwhelming — and yet I have two small people who are looking to me to make things right for them.
And the truth is that I can’t. I cannot fix this world. I cannot save it.
We read about the ‘mental load’ of motherhood all the time, lately.
But the labor and care that is rendered invisible and accepted as a mother’s responsibility, is much more than mental.
It’s emotional — when you’re managing your own responses while also modeling emotional intelligence for your child. When you’re helping them navigate a tantrum or a fight with a friend or fear of a global pandemic — that’s emotional labor.
Mothers are also generally the culture-keepers of the family, managing holidays and passing down traditions big and small.
Any mother can tell you how physical it is, as…
I was waiting for Adam to see the sock and do something about it. Put it in the laundry basket or find its mate in a drawer.
He’d noticed the sock, but it hadn’t really registered.
I, like most moms, was the CEO of our family. I managed things. I managed people. I steered us. I was responsible for the “company culture” of our household.
But a family is not a business.
I didn’t want an assistant, I wanted a fundamental shift in who is responsible for our household. That sock on the stairs hadn’t registered for him because he…
I get SO tired of seeing and hearing women tell other women that “balance in motherhood is a myth”.
That is false. Balance is not a myth. It’s possible. You just have to do it right…
I mean…okay? But I’m already doing a million other things wrong so adding one more thing that I somehow have to do right just doesn’t help me. But — I know Amber, so I thought there was something I was missing. And it turns out there was. Amber has redefined balance for herself and her motherhood journey.
And while I love that for…
Motherhood is harder than it has to be.
Motherhood is more painful than it has to be.
Motherhood is lonelier than it has to be.
Motherhood is more complicated than it has to be.
Motherhood — as we are doing it now — is dehumanizing to those who mother. And that is a tragedy. If we are to change these truths we must first accept them as truths.
IT IS NOT YOU.
You, the mother, are not broken. You are not weak. You are not unintelligent. You are not lazy. You are not needy. …
I was nine when Hurricane Hugo hit Charleston. We had just moved to James Island, a tiny island suburb of the city, the summer before from The Bronx so I had no reference point for a hurricane. My mom was originally from Plymouth, MA and so her experience of hurricanes was mostly a party on a very windy beach. My dad was out of town and was trying his best to get back to us.
I remember two things with crystal clarity.
The first is the dawning comprehension on my mom’s face that this was not going to be like…
“Motherhood is not a sacrifice, but a privilege — one that many of us choose selfishly.”
…but a privilege…
Assuming that one does, indeed, get to to be a mother. And further assuming that one is physically able to have a child and or otherwise able to…
All of my life, I wanted to be a mother.
I mothered my dolls, my stuffed animals, and even my Barbies and Transformers. I thought that becoming a mother would complete me, would focus me, would center my world and make my life make sense. I was looking for healing in the act of caring for another.
I know I’m not alone in this.
The experience of mothering has taught me that I cannot give my all to someone else, to anyone else, not even the small humans I created from my own flesh and blood. They cannot be my…
Far too many mothers are silent about our pain. We have been convinced by the world that motherhood is a test of strength, that it’s supposed to hurt, to tear us apart. We’ve bought into the notion that everyone else can handle this, that all the other mothers are doing fine and that we are somehow especially weak, or broken, or wrong.
And so we are silent about our pain.
But every time we speak our truth, we create space for someone else to do the same. We discover that we are not especially weak, broken, or wrong. …
In the darkest times of my life, my depression told me that my children would be better off without me. Pain and trauma were all I could bring to them. Those voices came back every time my past or my mental illnesses affected my parenting.
My history of childhood sexual abuse combined with PTSD from a traumatic birth made breastfeeding my son an act of terror instead of bonding. What kind of mother sobs every time she feeds her baby? How could I possibly not be damaging him?
It’s years later and still, the nagging guilt persists.
When anxiety stops…