Power and motherhood

My daughter is asleep lying next to me in the bed as I reflect on the conversation I had with my therapist earlier today.  I can hear my baby’s steady breath, and the warmth of her pressed into my side. My therapist and I spoke about a sense of empowerment I experienced when I  became her mother. After my labor and delivery I felt like a badass. Holy hell, look what my body can do! I was fairly sure I wouldn’t be able to do it somehow, but I did. I was in pain, I was overwhelmed...but my body and soul were so much stronger than I had ever realized.  After the initial delivery high wore off, though, my inner critic crept in and took over. Perfectionism ate away at my fresh sense of power as a new mother.

Thankfully, my therapist reminded me that my power was still there, just forgotten.  These were the aspects of motherhood we explored...do they feel familiar?

A crisp clarity on what is important and what isn’t. Authority on, not over, but on the subject of my child.  Wisdom from knowing someone as well, maybe better than, you know yourself. Strength from sacrifice, from surviving things you didn’t think you’d survive.  Suddenly and overwhelmingly knowing why you are here and feeling more purpose, more will to live, than you ever imagined. Understanding what it means to really show up for someone, someone utterly vulnerable. Individuation...knowing where your energy needs to go, where it can’t go, and where you won’t let it go anymore, because it is limited and precious.  Meeting the person (or people) you would go to hell and back for. Feeling in your bones that you would actually do it. Being the keystone of another person’s universe, and assuming that role with humanity and humility. It gives me chills. This motherhood thing. The jaw-dropping power of a woman who knows her worth. (A woman’s worth is NOT rested solely in motherhood - it is one of many life stages where women can be reminded of who they are, and motherhood can be found in many many places and forms. This is simply what has arisen for me in my journey.)

This transformation is one of unfathomable power - of realizing what you can do, what stuff you are made of, what you can overcome.  Mothers are powerful. Do you feel it? The iron at your core that can be liquid hot or solid and unflinching - the breathtaking beauty of incredible power expressed in hugs and kisses, righting wrongs, boosting up, and launching into life - gently, firmly, warmly.  You are powerful. Don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise.

This power is also scary.  You have the power to shape someone else’s life.  To teach them how and who to be. Never before have I felt so afraid of my power.  What if I hurt her? Push her to something that isn’t her truth? Crush her spirit? I could, you know.  We’ve all had mothers of some sort - we know the power they’ve had over us. It has become painfully clear how necessary my own health is - physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually...it will impact her.  This is the responsibility of power.

Will you always feel the beauty and strength of your power?  No. Or at least I don’t. But it is still there just the same, waiting to be embraced once again. Will you always remember the responsibility of your power?  No. Or at least I don’t. But it is still there just the same, waiting to be embraced once again.