Put me in a room full of women and I want to talk to the moms. Because I think they’re basically super women. Because I’m in awe of how they do it all. Because I think mothers are the key to everything. Because I want to say thank you. Because I want to understand.
I pretty much always want to know one main, nagging and wildly unoriginal thing… How. Do. You. Do. It? What about sleep? What about work? What about sex? What about aging? What about money? Do you regret it? (oops…I went there) Do you recommend it? How did you know? Will I, too?
I’ve never been the woman that knew she wanted to be a mom. Although, in my first memoir penned in the 4th grade titled The Magnificent Life of Maxie McCoy Volumes 1 & 2 …I detailed my desire to have four children and included each of their names. However, I think that anecdote speaks more to society than it does to my desires. As the years and decades have gone on, it’s something that I still feel pretty neutral about. Cool, so cool, if it happens. Cool, totally cool, if it doesn’t. It’s only been in recent years…watching friends who navigate it honestly and brilliantly…and a partner I admire and feel like I could do anything with…that desire potentially outweighs the fear.
Mothering, to me, has always been synonymous with motherhood. As in, the act of raising children. I never saw it as anything different or anything more. That is, until I ended up in this brilliant WOMAN ON conversation with Jodie Patterson who pushed me to think differently about how society could benefit from all of us – men, women, mothers, non mothers, non-binary, trans, queer, disabled – to choose to mother something or someone.
Mothering, I learned in this conversation, is about building. The act of building something bigger than yourself. The ability to build a community that fosters growth, whether that’s inside your home or far beyond it. I interpreted mothering to mean the support, protection, and love that we breathe into the people who need it – giving them calm. Giving them safety in our arms and in our hearts. Giving them a place to call home, even if that place is just the cradle of our words, our encouragement, our hugs, and our love. Mothering is something ANY of us can do. And it has the potential to change this country’s future. To one where more love means more understanding. And more understanding means more progress. And more progress means more safety and healing for everyone who calls this earth of ours home.
So, find something to mother today. Choose someone to mother, that might even mean mothering yourself. Giving yourself or someone else the peace and refuge that maybe you had, maybe you didn’t, but that all of us need. And then pass that mothering on.
Woman on xx