I first met The Mother Queen in a meditative state. I was 9 months pregnant and imagining what kind of mother I would like to be on the other side of giving birth.
I had spent the past year wrestling with the different mother “avatars” out there, from “The Working Mom”, to the “Stay At Home Mom”, the “Boss Babe” and the “Martyr Mother”, but none of them were cutting it as authentic for me. In fact, the idea of putting on the skin of these mothers had me shudder with anxiety and dread the thought of becoming a mama, almost outweighing my desires to have the life experience of motherhood at all.
Fortunately, The Mother Queen introduced herself in the 11th hour — after nearly a year of carefully picking up and examining all of the limiting beliefs I held around motherhood, the programming I had downloaded from society and witnessed through my own ancestral line.
I raged, I cried, and I sat in the discomfort of “not knowing”, while continuing to follow the glistening threads of what I did know:
That we all came from a Mother
That Mother energy is that of nature and is my nature
That Mothering is just as valuable — even more valuable — than being a successful CEO or accomplished entrepreneur (things that I had previously witnessed as important in my own life and in the lives around me)
That I have the opportunity to create, shape, and define the kind of Mother that I wish to be
That reorienting around a vision of Motherhood that is celebrated, honored, and valued, has the potential to heal a lot of (if not all of) the illness, dis-ease, separation, destruction and violence on our planet
That being a Mother is an opportunity for me to tap into a core part of My Truth in this lifetime and may in fact bring me the very freedom I have been seeking to date
With all of these truths ringing louder within me, vibrating outside of me as I shared them with others, The Mother Queen was able to appear; not as anything physically bound, but as an energy that I could tap into with all of my being.
I was excited by this discovery, and ready for my full initiation into “becoming her” — the experience of giving birth.
Labor and birth was nothing like I imagined, despite all of my intention-setting and planning, yet it was the birth that was intended for me. As I reached down and felt my baby’s head emerge from my body, the intensity of surging pain melded into relief, shock and awe. An invisible golden crown was being placed upon my head. My daughter slid out into the world and straight into my husband’s arms, giving her first cry, and The Mother Queen in me was born.
The parallels were uncanny; both of us in diapers, raw, discovering the world around us with hazy eyes; new connections being formed in each of our brains as we oriented with our surroundings; the two of us reliant on the support and care from others as we got acclimated to our new life. While “the old me” assumed The Mother Queen would arrive with all of the answers, I quickly realized that these answers were to be discovered, one experience at a time.
One of the tensions I felt as I approached motherhood was between my “independence and freedom”, and the truth that this new human being that I’m bringing into the world will depend on me for their survival for a number of years. I found myself wanting to downplay and dismiss how important my role as a mother would be, as if this would free me from this responsibility and eliminate any guilt I’d gather from replacing my body with a bottle, pacifier, or SNOO, or my loving care for that from another caregiver, hired or familial.
For a while, I passionately wanted to hold on to my sense of individuality, turning to the countless examples of women who leave their children at daycare, pump breastmilk or use formula so they can separate from their child for either work or another necessity. If all of these women are doing this, then surely this is the modern way of mothering. This is the answer to the feminist call so that women can live a life beyond the home, have an impact on society, and experience true equality to their male counterparts.
At the same time, I grew curious to explore a different narrative. What if I accepted the importance of my role as a mother, and chose it, fully? What if this would be my way to have an impact on society? Is it possible that this would bring me not just equality, but freedom?
As I stepped closer to embracing this inquiry as an experiment to live by, I no longer associated mothering with a “death sentence”, but rather an opportunity to truly live.
For one, I could see my stress melting away by leaving the corporate world and the rat race I had been a part of for so long. For years I had thrived on a competitive spirit and a quest for productivity that had me striving to check off as many boxes as possible, all at one time. While sometimes I would find my flow and do so with ease, more often I would push things “too far”, trying to do “too much”, saying “yes” to everything while compromising my own health and well being. I would choose to work through my inbox rather than connecting with a loved one; I’d push off hunger cues until they moved into desperation, quickly scarfing down whatever was accessible regardless of nutritional value; I’d spend an entire day sedentary in front of a computer screen rather than getting a walk in outside. All of this was justified by a sense of accomplishment, driven by “getting ahead”, showcasing a title on LinkedIn, and increasing my biweekly paycheck.
I had normalized this way of living to the point that it became a part of my identity; it was “who I am.” After years of personal development, yoga, therapy, and coaching, it became clear that this way of being was harmful to me and the relationships I cared about. I was committed to finding another way, but struggled to break away from what I had known for so long. It wasn’t until I became pregnant, where my body needed to divvy up major energy stores to creating a new life, that I gave myself full permission to really slow the fuck down. I needed do this, for myself, and for my baby.
There were moments throughout my pregnancy, when I was quietly listening to my inner wisdom that the truth was clear: my children, and the opportunity to become a mother, was going to give me the life I’ve always dreamed of. I imagined operating at an intentional, even, measured pace, re-orienting my sense of accomplishment and productivity and finding a new definition of success in the process. In this idyllic world, I saw a woman deeply seated in inner peace, who would write and even publish her work, record podcast conversations and embark on other creative projects, many of which would be driven by the desire to learn and create alongside my children at each stage of their development. I would get to see the world through a child’s eyes, but with the wisdom that I had the power to intentionally create a life experience that is fulfilling for me. I saw this as a gift given to me by my future children, and that in turn, I would give my children the gift of seeing that they too have the ability to intentionally create a life experience that is deeply fulfilling for them.
It’s possible that fulfillment for me looks like slowing down, being in nature, creating music and art and magic … and for others, IS that corporate hustle, the building of an empire, the becoming a #bossbabemom. At the same time, I watch many women struggle with the decision to go back to work, to leave their children in the care of someone else, to step away and risk missing some important milestones from their children. I wonder — is it really the hustle that they are fulfilled by, or is an illusion that’s been pitched to them, to all of us, by a society that wants us to measure our value by our productivity and profitability? Are they just getting “lost in the sauce”?
I catch myself in a paradigm of “right and wrong”, wanting to justify my own choices by making those different from me wrong for theirs — even if this is unconscious. But what if I have the ability to inspire others to make a positive change in their life? What if there is nothing wrong with preaching a reprioritization and reorientation around our mental / physical / spiritual health, our relationship with all living beings, the elements within us and around us? From here, I believe a society would be born where we no longer chase after the dollar but instead experience having all that we truly need. Whether this is a false ideal or not, I know it’s less about trying to enforce my own beliefs on others but rather imagine what could be. We are each sovereign in creating our reality, our choices shape the experience we live.
I see where privilege and access shape my ability to see this as a possible way of living. I don’t have to work because I am married to someone who takes on the financial responsibility for our whole family; my husband works from home and is present and committed to supporting with caretaking on all levels; I have family willing and able to fly and drive to visit from all parts of the country when we need an extra pair of hands; we can hire people to clean our home on a weekly basis; we have a car and are in driving and walking distance to healthy organic food; we live in a state with amazing weather year-round so we can easily enjoy the outdoors; I had a healthy and easy birthing experience shaped by access to midwifery care that centered my education and wellbeing during and after the pregnancy; I can afford postpartum support from three doulas and a pelvic floor therapist, as well as chiropractic care, massage and 1:1 functional training throughout my pregnancy to meet my growing body’s needs. All of these are just some, certainly not all, of the privileges I get to enjoy, on top of living in a white body in a culture that has historically and currently still normalizes and centers whiteness.
Acknowledging these privileges is important to understanding the building blocks I stand on as I write this — but I don’t think this exclusively grants me the ability to live in the way that I am imagining and describing. In fact, money does not buy everything; there are people with more money in their bank account who are disconnected from the importance of self and communal care, are disconnected from what is truly important to them, and are living in a reality of scarcity even when they have so much; there are others who have many odds stacked against them but are fulfilled beyond measure.
So there you have it. I’m still left with many questions, curious to see what things will look like if I follow my current hunch. Will I find what I’m looking for in motherhood? How will this shape my creativity and time? What will be my definition of “having it all”?