In our culture, mothers are divided into two camps: the “Perfect Mothers” and the “Bad Moms.” This false dichotomy robs women of a shared language to speak about motherhood as it really is: an expansive, grey emotional zone of swirling, conflicting feelings. Dr. Alexandra Sacks guides us a through a new way of looking at motherhood through the lens of “matresence” — or the natural psychological experience that is the identity transition into motherhood.
The first weeks of parenting a newborn can be exhausting, traumatic, and completely confusing. You think you’ve read all the parenting books, but then those first few weeks hit you like a ton of bricks. Vanessa Van Edwards shares why she felt betrayed by this absence of information and how she dealt with a business crisis in the middle of her maternity leave.
This year, I’ve been playing around with more mantras and affirmations, or words of encouragement that I repeat to myself. By consciously choosing the words we use, I think we can gently encourage ourselves in new directions. I share some of my more personal mantras I’ve been mulling on as I go into the tender space of welcoming a new person into our lives, on the precipice of giving birth again.
Kate Northrup always knew she wanted to be a mother, and she pursued entrepreneurship partly because of the freedom it could afford her to be there for her kids. What Kate wasn’t counting on was the way pregnancy would change her drive and refocus her energy when it came to the business. She admits that it took her a long time to “get back in the game,” and that her husband and business partner, Mike, picked up the slack. But Kate credits having her daughter, Penelope, with initiating a personal evolution that allowed her to clarify her desires and ultimately renew her interest in the business and the way she thought about showing up for work in the first place. Perhaps there was something revolutionary here: because, as she shares in this episode, she found that she was able to achieve more even while doing less. And that some of her most productive weeks happened when she was working only 20 hours a week on the business. Today Kate shares her “shocking and awesome” birth experience, explaining how parenthood impacted her business as well as her marriage.
There were 10 of us. I came first and helped raise the rest. I did not want my mother’s life. I did not want to alternate between being pregnant and breastfeeding for twenty years, nor did I want the underlying lack of autonomy and choice that represented to me. Yet still, her legacy and example ran deep, and I was always sure that whatever edition of motherhood I might someday desire would come easily to me. I wasn’t prepared for what actually happened.