Motherhood – joy, pain, nostalgia, guilt and so much more. I always wondered if other moms had the same fears, frustrations and hopes I did.
Sometimes is easy to get lost on the endless discussions about vaccinations, online learning, and so many other important things, but what about the big picture stuff? What really goes on in our heads? I always felt the need to be heard, but struggled to find a space for women, and specially mothers to speak frankly.
In this chapter of Raw Motherhood you will hear from Genevieve who is a business owner in Portland, OR where she spreads her incredibly positive energy everywhere she goes.
How do you define motherhood?
That quote about motherhood being like your heart walking around outside of your body has always resonated with me. “The years are short, but the days are long,” is another one that feels ways too real.
Do you feel motherhood has changed you? In what ways?
I am stronger because of my children. I am forged in the fires of motherhood. I have never felt such ferocity and righteous rage as when I felt that my family was being threatened. Motherhood has unearthed the warrior inside of me. I became a mom when I was 19, so I had to learn how to make decisions for myself based on what was best for this little human I was suddenly responsible for. I wanted to be someone my child would be proud of. Postpartum depression rocked my world after three of my four births. Managing depression, while caring for a newborn, sleepless nights, being in tears trying to breastfeed, recovering from cesarean section, and caring for other kids was a daily battle I fought for a good chunk of my life. I fought that war to be here for my kids. To be alive, to be present, to make memories, even when I was dying inside, I didn’t give up.
What is your biggest fear as a mother?
I have a lot of anxiety around my children experiencing excruciating pain and fear, and me being helpless to keep them safe. School shootings, human trafficking, natural disasters, and so many other scenarios. We even homeschooled for a long time because of my fear of entrusting my children to strangers every day. I’m sure some of my anxiety comes from my younger sister being murdered when she was 18. In addition to losing a sibling, I’ve had to watch how devastating it is for my parents to have lost a child.
What support do you think mothers lack the most in society?
Empathy and empowerment. Mothering is not a one-size-fits-all occupation. We each have to make a thousand little decisions every day, and we’re all just doing what we believe to be best for our families at the time. In fact the more controversial the decisions, I believe the more support and understanding mothers need around their choices. We give ourselves enough mommy guilt. We don’t need to give it to each other too.
How can mothers show up for each other?
It makes my heart so happy when I see little pods of moms coming together to watch each other’s kids on a regular basis in order to give the other moms a break that they can count on.
How do you want to remember this period in your life?
I love watching the kids play in the mud, or build things out of recycling, or wrestle with each other. I love water messes and muddy footprints on the floor. I will make a million mistakes as a mom, but I’ve worked so hard to protect their innocence and for their childhood to be simple and wholesome. I want to look back on this chaotic time of raising littles and remember that my kids were happy and knew they were loved.