Ideally, when our kids look back on their childhood experiences, they will be able to answer two questions with little hesitation:
1. What was your mom like as a mother to you?
2. Who was your mom as a woman?
They need motherhood AND personhood modeled for them. They need wholeness exemplified in order to cultivate and protect it in themselves.
As counterintuitive as it sounds, we need to be able to step out of our mother role in order to thrive as mothers, so we can recognize which needs of our own we can meet through motherhood and which ones we must meet through the continued development of ourselves as women.
Motherhood has met some of my needs and desires beautifully through the years.
My need for touch and affection and tenderness, my need for a sense of purpose, and my desire to care for and nurture, were all well met and fed when my girls were young.
Other needs and desires, however, were utterly and depressingly unmet for me, for so many years. My need to feel heard, my need for contemplative conversation, my desire for self-authority and a sense of completion, and especially my deep need for alone time, were starved and disregarded to the point of atrophy.
I now realize that this is because, at the time, I identified almost exclusively with my MOTHER identity, while ignoring my needs as a WOMAN and a WHOLE PERSON.
My singular focus was well-intentioned, but it was also misguided, heavily conditioned, codependent, self-abandoning, and completely unsustainable.
Our culture isn’t set up to promote a whole sense of self, particularly for mothers. We must reprioritize, reorient, rearrange, rethink, and retell the entirety of our experiences if thriving is our goal.
Rearranging the pieces along with you,