On this day – my first mothers day – I feel so much joy and some sadness.
The joy is from being lucky enough to become a mother. I feel blessed and can’t truly express how happy I am to be my daughter’s mother. She is my Joy, sunshine, the first flowers of spring.
Becoming a mother has been one of the most intense journeys of my life. Being pregnant is an emotional, mental, and physical journey.
After birth I felt split in two. Me before and me after. But I didn’t feel whole. The last (almost) year has been a journey to being introduced to the new me. Some things remain the same and others are completely different.
I see the world a bit differently. I appreciate people more. I appreciate what seem like small acts of love more. They are not so small. Meal trains, baby shower gifts, texts and calls on the phone, flowers. These small love notes kept my spirits up during an isolating pregnancy/post partum.
Pregnancy is already isolating in general. Doing it during Covid was it’s own special beast. Yes, it was still beautiful and amazing, but it was also dappled with fear of the unknown; so desperately wanting connection from friends and family while at the same time being terrified of a novel virus that could harm me or my unborn child. The fear kept me safe, but also kept me isolated. Thankfully I had the love of my partner and friends/family from afar, but I’d be lying to say my pregnancy (and any other mother’s during Covid) was “normal.”
Post partum: a mixed bag of every emotion possible. The overflowing of a love you’ve never felt before; for your baby, your partner, your life. Crying at songs, because they are so beautiful. That happened before but more often now. Like a part of your heart has been cracked open and can hold more, feel more. It’s brutiful – beautiful and brutal as Glennon Doyle says.
More Fire is there too now. After birth I felt like a warrior. Kali. Capable of anything, powerful and in awe of being a part of the process of bringing a new life into this world. The beginning of a spirit’s human experience. The fact that my husband and I got to witness her entrance: a miracle. Touching the cosmic and seeing my power from a physical vantage has changed me. Confidence is more than it was. I have less patience for things that don’t serve me. My tether is closer to my Truth.
The sadness comes when I think of how hard it is to be a Mother in America. The lack of support before, during, and after having a child. The idea that when you are emotionally/mentally/physically raw and vulnerable you’re made to detach from your baby and go “back to work” sometimes as early as 3 weeks? The lack of or non-existence of childcare support from society and government. The fact that women still make less money than men even when we hold the same or more experience in our professions. The fact that if I wasn’t white all these things would feel even more insurmountable. The fact that we don’t have complete control over our bodies, our futures.
I worry for my daughter. Will she grow up with even less freedoms than I have? I want her to be the sole creator of her own life. The idea of the government somehow dictating her story for her makes me nauseous.
Pregnancy is a miracle, a beautiful thing. But it should never be forced on someone. It can be very emotionally, physically, mentally , financially intense. Not everyone has the money, resources, support that I had. How would a person with no support/resources do it?
So that is where I’m at. Today, I am both in awe of the women, the divine, the miraculous. I am grateful and consumed in love. And today, I also allow myself to feel sadness, worry for my daughter. Life is complex, never one thing. We can dwell in the complexity. Possibility.
Everyone deserves the human right that is body autonomy and the freedom to write their own life’s story, the way they choose to tell it. I pray and hope my daughter is given that basic human right.