Years back when the kids were little and we were living in the US, I had a subscription to a magazine that to this day I remember fondly and I wish I could again put my hands on, the name of the magazine is “Mothering” by Peggy O’Mara. I remember pouring through those pages which would help me keep perspective of things during those days in which, dirty laundry, meal plans, groceries, nap times, walks to the park, nursing was all I cared about. I was fascinated with my life, some days I felt like I was playing house, I loved all aspects of it, well, almost all, with the kids I had a second baby-hood myself, we read so much together that we could wrap the earth around twice with all the books we read. It was fun, humbling fun. The mothering experience certainly transformed me, helped me grow into a better version of myself, I have done things I had no idea before I could do, and I have discovered myself, years into my mothering experience, as powerful as a lion, and at the same time as vulnerable as a lamb. I realized the amazing honor of being responsible for the two lives of the two most important human being on earth for me, my children. As Peggy O’Mara points out in one of her articles “In becoming a mother a woman also gives birth to herself” and this is exactly what happened to me.
How do we become mothers? How is the becoming a mother perceived by society? What does mother mean? The original model of the mother is the Great Mother, represented in many traditions by Mother Earth. Some representations of the Great Mother are Mary in Christianity; Durga a mother goddess in the Hindu religion, and Kuan Yin in the Buddhist religion, to name just a few. All of these Mothers from the different traditions convey a sense of strength and power, why is that our society so often associates mothers with weakness and why the same woman who can birth a baby is easily overpowered and victimized by her role? Just like Mother Earth our strength can be gentle as a breeze or powerful as a hurricane, these two forces coexist in us just like in nature.
Going back to my previous blog-post and to the idea of the transformation of man and woman into its best potential, a very important stage of transformation is the one of a women becoming a mother, in this process she embodies the archetype of the Great Mother, as Peggy O’Mara says with her eloquent words “she recognizes her own INDOMITABLE spirit”. The woman awakening to her unique power gives birth to a new version of herself, she is born anew. It is in this delicate process that the couple must find the perfect equilibrium that allows them to keep growing close together. Keep seeing into one another that corner of paradise where at the end of each day, when everything has been said and done, the couple can quench its thirst and feed its hunger in an atmosphere of love and respect.
Many women have experienced the unleashing of deep creative impulses during this amazing time, they realize the energy of a creative power innate in most of us and they start discovering new aspects of themselves. While this image of the creative mother is the most powerful, and beautiful way to perceive the shift of a woman into motherhood, some women tend to embrace the dark side of the stereotype, which suggests that any distraction from the task of motherhood compromises a woman’s devotion and they buy into the perspective that being a mother means self-sacrifice to the point of self-destruction or martyrdom. This attitude on a woman’s part, is not only detrimental to herself but also to the delicate equilibrium with her partner, which from a place of commiseration is impossible to maintain. Therefore, us women must learn to take care of ourselves in order to take care of others. Caring about our needs and ourselves must not be viewed as a selfish act, on the contrary making sure that we are serene and fulfilled we make sure to project this onto our family, since the mother is always the barometer of her family.
The mother is the balance keeper of her sanctuary of love, her home, where she cares for herself and her family, she is the cook, the counselor, the maid, the doctor, the gardener, the secretary, the queen, and everything else that is needed from her, and she gladly fulfills all these roles.
I just now realize that I have been carried away by my thoughts, and it’s almost time for dinner! What can I cook tonight? Any idea my friends? Let me get to work and come up with some idea that I will surely share with you all in my next blog post, stay tuned folks!