I have re-read these words that Robyn Gordon sent to me a week ago so.many.times. While pregnancy and motherhood often feel completely all-consuming, there's nothing like a pandemic and full-on 24/7 parenting to remind us that it's SO HARD. The uncertainty, guilt, and need for a real break have punctuated all of my recent conversations. So here's our timely reminder that we need to advocate for ourselves, ask for help, and prioritize our own well-being.
I want to share a combined lesson I learned at a young age: everyone's struggle is real and there is enough empathy in the world to go around.
This week Robyn Gordon revisits into her own pregnancies and asks some really important questions about not having all of the answers.
We've also added a Justice Work topic on Mama Love where you can find and share resources, stories, and ask questions related to racial justice, environmental justice, reproductive justice and more.
A newborn mamas circle starts today (welcome mamas!) and we have a few spaces left in our weekend circle starting on Saturday.
Birthing a New World By Robyn Gordon
Some women really enjoy pregnancy. I didn’t. In fact, I hated every moment of those 27-months. I can’t believe I did it, on purpose, three times. For me and others, the debilitating nausea, exhaustion and physical pain leaves us feeling out of control of our bodies and our lives. Even if we’re well through pregnancy, there still comes a time when we have lost the ability to do something we have taken for granted - like tying our shoes, going for a run, or just getting up off the floor unassisted. As the baby bump gets bigger, we can’t control the unwelcome comments everyone, even strangers, feel entitled to direct at us. We lose even more control during labor. Contractions begin, become more intense, and then with a final push, a new life comes into being. And our lives are irrevocably changed.
Art and words by Morgan Harper Nichols.
Robyn Gordon wrote the reflection below after Tuesday's pregnancy support circle and it truly made me pause. I've been feeling the outward call to action in response to the injustice and tragedy in our country. The need to do something, anything. And while there are great organizations to support and resources to gather we also need the reminder that transformation begins with us. In our own internal landscapes, with our families, our neighbors, and our communities.
This wonderful post from Paula Kuka is a great reminder:
I hope you'll be able to make some time for reflection this week. Looking at our own values, lives, and actions so we can use this amazing gift of motherhood to make the world a better place through our own actions and as role models for our children.
For example, physical pain tells us to stop walking on an injured foot, or that we’re dehydrated and need more water (or that it is time for a baby to be born!) Emotional pain can tell us it is time to leave a job or make a change in a relationship. How do we learn from our pain in a way that allows us to grow and thrive?
The wonderful Robyn Gordon wrote this piece after our Pregnancy Circle last week. Joan and I felt it spoke to all of us - pregnant, at home with new babies, and with toddlers and older children. We'll dive into the messiness this week!
Happy Mother's Day! It's a day for US - to feel celebrated, appreciated, and supported.
But many of us are finding this especially hard with stay-at-home orders and social distancing. Everyone is overwhelmed and we are doing more than we ever should on our own. We were meant to give birth and raise our babies and children in community!
Many of our conversations over the past few weeks have been about our traditional sources of support disappearing with COVID-19 - just a few of the ways we've heard your plans unravel:
-My doula can't come to the hospital to support me in labor
-I can't introduce my rainbow baby to my best friends
-My husband may miss the birth of our second child because my in-laws can't come to help
-The (relatively) quiet maternity leave I had planned to bond with my baby is now filled with toddler tantrums and homeschooling
-My sister who was supposed to come be with me can't fly in from California
-Daycare is closed and I can't get any work done with my kids at home
-I am feeling anxious and don't have anyone to reach out to
We've also heard so many creative ways to ask for (and say yes to!) support even amidst a pandemic - here are a few ideas: