The world needs you.
Sing your strengths
dance your passions
smile your successes
hug yourself with compassion
for your painful moments
take a second to drink it up
and to rest in powerful certainty
that you are enough.
A mother who is seen
who is heard
who is appreciated
who is valued.
In and out
Mama, you’re amazing.
This month marks my eighth anniversary as a breastfeeding counselor. As I sat in the circle at our woman-to-woman breastfeeding support group meeting this week, I marveled at the capacities of all the gorgeous mothers there in that room. Tears filled my eyes and I tried really hard to express to them how incredible I felt they were. It was hard to describe fully in the moment. So, as I tend to do, I went down to the woods behind my house on International Women’s Day (March 8th) and I spoke aloud a Prayer for Mothers. After doing so, I paused a moment. I was thinking about my “she did what she could” post here on Pagan Families. I was thinking about how I want to do so much. I was thinking of how discouraging and depressing it can feel to to try to “change the world.” I was thinking about my day in and day out struggle to balance mothering with “personing.” To meet my own needs and those of my children and to still be of service to others. I was also thinking about some unfortunate blog posts I’ve read lately that, in my opinion, really add fuel to the media-trumped-up “mommy wars” by relentlessly critiquing mothers (i.e. the “dear mom on the iPhone” post that is making the rounds lately). I want to offer something different than that. I want mothers to know how amazing they are for the many daily gifts they give to their children, to each other, and to the world. I also want to encourage them to give to themselves. So, after I sat for a minute more, I opened my mouth again and the blessing above emerged.
“If ever the world sees a time when women shall come together purely and simply for the benefit of humanity it will be a power such as the world has never known.” –Matthew Arnold
“I long to speak out the intense inspiration that comes to me from the lives of strong women.” –Ruth Benedic
“Loving, knowing, and respecting our bodies is a powerful and invincible act of rebellion in this society.” –Inga Muscio
“I believe that these circles of women around us weave invisible nets of love that carry us when we’re weak and sing with us when we’re strong.”
–SARK, Succulent Wild Woman
In honor of International Women’s Day—and every day—let us celebrate our bodies, honor the mothers, and trust in the nets of love woven around us by a multitude of remarkable, powerful, everyday women.
For past International Women’s Day thoughts about birth activism and feminism see this post.