The now fading cultural narrative around motherhood–the one you likely grew up believing–has normalized women giving out their energy and life force to others from a state of depletion.
In this dying paradigm, we were the last to fill our own cups…metaphorically and literally. We have been told by our parents and teachers that motherhood equals martyrdom, that women should wear their servitude like a badge of honor. We women were taught that our needs and desires are not as important as the needs and desires of others.
My mother’s generation has had this belief system so deeply seeded that she has been unable to separate herself from this story. The unraveling of this and other stories of lack and separation is the inner work that we choose for ourselves. And fortunately many women who are now becoming mothers have been able to see the falsity in these belief systems and begin to rewire their brains and bodies and lives to a regenerative story of motherhood. The transformation is alive and well within each one of us.
When I was in my postpartum window with my first and second children, a decade ago, I found it extremely challenging to ask for help from others.
Some part of me felt deep down that I didn’t deserve help, and that by asking for support, I was somehow burdening the people around me. I judged myself as a failure because I couldn’t do it all by myself, couldn’t manage the choices of my own life. I had a lot of shame around asking for help. And I had to work through these beliefs and decide whether they were supporting me in living my most authentic, vital life. The answer was, of course, no, they weren’t. They had to go.
After years of unraveling and recreating my own myths and stories, I realize that these beliefs were simply lies that I took on as my own, borrowing from a system that touts independence over community and puts money (not family) in the center of the web of life.
By the time I got to my third postpartum window, I knew better. I had done the big work of dismantling these programs within my own psyche and deciding for myself how I define power, strength and courage. I now see that asking for help is an act of courage and self-knowing. Asking for help and allowing others to give to us is a gift to others. To know one’s own strengths and limits is a gift to the world.
As a postpartum doula I know firsthand how rewarding it is to give lovingly to a new mother who is wide open to receiving. Her receiving of my love and care allows the channels of love to open between us and for us to both tap into new levels of abundance.
There is a new paradigm arising within the consciousness of humanity.
In fact, it is already here. You reading this article is a sign that you are already living into it. It is a paradigm that is both new and ancient, for it draws upon the wisdom of our ancient ancestors as well as pulls in the new stories of human possibility and co-creation on this garden planet Earth.
Humans once viewed mothers and women as sacred and honored them with the utmost care, respect, and devotion. Little by little, we are remembering the rhythms and ways by which our ancient ancestors attuned their lives, and we are realigning our lives…with care for the mother at the core. This emergent system acknowledges the mother as the center of nourishment for the whole family; when the mother is nourished, the family system and the community thrive.
Now, mothers are opening their eyes and hearts to recognize the value in nourishing ourselves first.
We are investing time, energy and money into loving our bodies and seeing them as vessels of sacred life. We are remembering how to love and invite even the darkest parts of psyches and emotional bodies back into wholeness, because we know that every part of us deserves to drink from the overflowing cup of love. We are embodying these ways and modeling them for our daughters, so that the next generations of mothers will be rooted in deep self-care, trust for their bodies, and radical inner knowing.
This is the sacred, enlivening work of motherhood: to be sovereign (self-governing) beings, connected directly to Source, drawing nourishment and wisdom from the depths.
So that we sit proudly on the thrones of our own hearts and look within FIRST when we have questions. We trust the guide inside to show us the way forward. We ask for what we need and we receive it with grateful hearts and open arms. We invite the sacred into our daily lives through prayer, meditation, song, and dance, so that every breath, every step, every dish we wash becomes a renewing act of love, a gift we offer to life that returns to us as nourishment.
Writing compliments of
Blog Contributor, Doula, Song Carrier
Kate Lindsay is mother to 3, plant whisperer, song carrier, storyteller, and doula. She believes when a mother is nourished, her world becomes a sacred garden: wild, vibrant, and regenerative.
Kate is a Holistic Health Counselor, certified in 2006 by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. In 2012, she trained with DONA as a birth doula, and in Spring 2020 she completed the CSWS Ayurvedic Postpartum Caregiver certification. Along with birth and postpartum work, she co-facilitates women’s Song Carriers circles in Austin, TX and is a devoted gardener and steward of Mother Earth.