If you were sitting here right now, we’d drink a Sumatra or Ethiopian brew, and I’d say, “What is it about mothers?”
Then we’d talk about all those times people have assumed something about women’s mothering:
Like we’d be good at mothering, even if we never babysat in our lives.
That we like kids, even if we’d rather sit on chaise in Malibu drinking a Bloody Mary.
As if we’re barren because we haven’t had kids by 30 years old.
Like we needed to derail our career because kids are more important life goals for us.
That we needed to have kids RIGHT NOW because otherwise our wombs would shrivel up and die and we’d feel less like women.
As if we couldn’t carefully consider or know what was best for us, in our lives, and we needed someone else to tell us how to make a life decision that would fundamentally alter every aspect of our lives.
There are women who are mad about the question, “When will you have kids?” because it comes from strangers and best friends alike. It comes and it makes all those kinds of assumptions.
Women get asked this question in the same way women get asked “Are you married?” before they get asked “Do you have a PhD?” It can feel like a woman is being pigeon-holed into a very specific set of life-plans and goals. The assumption is that all women want to get married, or they are not fulfilled. Likewise, people assume women want to have children and cannot be fulfilled until they have children. The secondary assumption is a woman without children is infertile (which brings in a whole other mess of feelings).
And I totally get the anger and frustration with that dreaded question “When will you have kids?” I do. I get it because I’ve been asked that question (and I am super empathetic). I’ve frequently been told that I needed to have a second kid right now (this has increased significantly in the last 6 months).
But there’s a reason why this is still a question, and it isn’t because we’re in the middle of a cultural paradigm shift (Though judging by the backlash against women’s bodily control these days, the paradigm shift does contribute!).
Why do people still focus on the connection between women and children? Why is this still an assumption?
Mothers are goddesses.
Three Faces of Woman
There are three goddesses and archetypes from whom all things come, even in the most patriarchal of pantheons.
There is the Maiden – the virginal goddess. Virgin here does not mean hasn’t had sex, although that might be true (for Artemis it was). “Virgin” or “maiden” in this context means “single” or “independent.” It depends on the cultural background what the specific associations are, but fundamentally this goddess is the young single woman. She is raw potential and passion, and because of this, can change reality’s trajectory.
Then there is the Crone. The Crone is seriously the biggest badass. This is the experienced, usually independent, older woman. She has knowledge. She has skill. She’s tough and she’s fair. The Crone has more magic in her pinky finger than you can imagine. Needless to say, if the Crone shows up, things are about to get really interesting REAL fast.
And between these two powerful goddesses is the Mother.
The Mother is a goddess apart from the Maiden and the Crone because her power is unique. She represents the Creative Urge. She is the seat of Nature, Abundance, and Art (There’s a reason why the Muses of Greece were women!).
Pregnancy and birth are uniquely feminine powers. Men cannot have these. Not all women do, but all women represent and are necessarily associated with these creative powers.
And here’s the thing around this: reproduction fundamentally changes reality.
There is NOTHING in this world that changes reality like a human being, therefore a person who can bring another human being into this world has exponentially more power over reality.
The Mother is extremely powerful – a goddess at the height of her creativity. The Maiden is the potential mother. The Crone is the experienced mother. All three goddesses reference reproduction and creation because of its uniquely feminine aspect.
My point is this: women are scary powerful because of our ability and association with creation.
Creation doesn’t have to be about making other humans. Feminine power is all creative power. It is art, music, innovation, and invention. It is design and synthesis. It is nurturing abundance in all aspects of one’s life and the lives of others.
You may not have been pregnant or want to be. Maybe you can’t get pregnant (this goes for women and men). That doesn’t prevent you from tapping into this primal archetype. Whenever you create or foster abundance, you embody the Mother. Whenever you write, build, design, or paint you are the Mother – that archetypal goddess of creation.
So this week before Mother’s Day, own it. Love it. Live it. Honor mothers around you – of all kinds. And of course, honor the Creative Urge wherever you see it. It’s a reflection of mothers.
How have you embodied the Mother recently? How have women in your life embodied her? Leave a comment below!
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