Move your mind, Move your body, Move your soul.
Can we stop blaming our Mother's please?
Anne Davis, I'm talking to you!
Mother is a charged term. We all charge it up.
I was scrolling FaceBook today (why do I do that?), and since Mother's Day is coming, I started seeing all of these Mother's Day things. One that especially pissed me off was this video that started off in talking about how mothers basically forfeit their bodies for their children. Seriously? Wrong on so many levels.
OK - FIRST, don't forfiet yourself for anyone. Care for your children? Yes. But keep being you. If you lose yourself, you are done. And then you will be no help to anyone!
SECOND, we are not our bodies. Our bodies help us as humans experience the world, express, move, create. But bodies are not who we are. Stop telling women (all women) that they have to be perfect all the time, gorgeous and toned. Stop talking about your weight.
Don't forfeit your friggen body to anyone. Are you a carrier of a child? Yes. HELL YES THAT IS FRIGGIN AMAZING. After you carry a child, is your body different? Yes. After you breast feed? Yes. But UGH, can we not talk about the body first and foremost? Who gives an ever lovin' shit.
OK, phew. Your mind and body are yours. But they don't define you.
Mothers are categorized. There are soccer moms, dance moms, bitches, mother fuckers. Is there a "good mother"? No idea. We've never had one! (HA HA, that was a joke) We women tell each other that we are good mothers. Especially when we are in a heap of tears over something that we have perceived as being totally detrimental to those in our care.
In some circles, women are slammed for being mothers (hello Corporate Cube Farm). Of course, the slamming is not out in the open. It's hidden. It's the glance at the watch when we scream out the door at 4:58 so we don't get a late pick-up fee at daycare. It's the deep sigh when we need to work from home with a sick toddler, and the constant re-scheduling of doctors' appointments because "something came up". And so we hide, too. We hide our children and our maternal instincts in order that we are deemed "reliable" and "committed" (to the job, that is).
In other circles (ummm, all of them), Mothers are slammed for doing the wrong thing. Too much tv, not enough belly time, not nurturing enough, not strict enough. Not enough. (I remember when my son was three and I had just had my daughter. A well-meaning (and childless bachelor) friend of mine pulled me aside and told me that my kids' room was "too busy" and would probably stunt brain development and contribute to ADHD and/or learning disabilities. I am not kidding you.)
Mothers who don't work outside the home are chastized at best and at worst accused of "going to college for their MRS degree", "wasting" a good education, not contributing, and on and on.
Thanks to Freud, Mothers are blamed for basically everything that happened in their kids' upbringings (Sorry, Mom). Science confirms that stressed out mothers (even pre-natal!) have a negative impact on the developing brains of their babies. Without even trying to, we are messing up our kids because we are completely stressed. UGH.
Motherhood has become something it doesn't need to be. It's a role like any other. It doesn't define you. It's a practice and a joy. It's fucking hard and terrible sometimes. It's an opportunity to grow. It's a lot of responsibility, but you also don't need to take it so seriously.
Nurture the kids around you. And the moms around you. Encourage them. Model how to be an adult, a woman, a badass. Make mistakes. Swear. Laugh-snort. Give yourself a break. Don't bring any cookies to the next classroom party. Or bring some. Whatever.
What I have noticed, since releasing my mother from blame is that I am taking on responsibility for my life in a whole new way. I can't blame my life on anyone. I can't pretend that someone else is holding me back. The only one holding me back EVER is ME. And so I need to be me. I need to show up and mess up and be the one without the cookies.
And if you show up with sweaty pits or a wide smile or all the cookies in the world? I'll be there, cheering you on. Go Mama!
You gotta feel it to heal it.