Shall we ignore the fact that this poor blog has been sadly neglected and just dive right in? No? Okay. Apologies up front. I’ve been busy! In addition to my current full time gig working for the Yale School of … Continue reading
The other week, I received a comment on a post that went up a couple of months ago, “Love.” The post talked about the ongoing observations I have of my son and his understanding of himself within the world at large. … Continue reading
A review copy of Tanya Selvaratnam’s new book, The Big Lie: Motherhood, Feminism, and the Reality of the Biological Clock arrived in the mail a few weeks ago, and I have to admit, I was curious from the get go. There’s … Continue reading
Yesterday, I had the immense pleasure of joining local radio host Joan Holliday to talk about my favorite book for her weekly book club. I, however, cheated and brought 2 books in. The 1st is Roald Dahl’s Matilda, but you’ll have … Continue reading
My friend Veronica Arreola over at Viva La Feminista has started the #365FeministSelfie hashtag with a call for proud, positive, daily selfies for all of 2014. Veronica writes, Then there are the countless pieces that claimed some selfies as feminist - WOC rarely see … Continue reading
This truly is a happy new year over here in Mamafesto land. The book I’ve been working on for a while is finally out there in the world. The Good Mother Myth: Redefining the Narrative to Fit Reality is officially … Continue reading
I had to re-post today’s Good Mother post up at The Good Mother Myth site. So, so wonderful:
You are a good mother
Not because you did something in particular. Not because you earned your “goodness” badge today. Not because you over-achieved or slowed your life down in just the right way to be the perfect parent that’s advertised in the glossy magazines. Not because you read the right books, made the right sacrifices or quite frankly, didn’t have time to read the books, in fact, didn’t give a damn about the books and had to sacrifice, cause that’s just the way it is. Not because of anything that you do… even though motherhood is a whole bunch of things that we “do.” That’s not what makes you the good mother that you are. You are not a good mother because of what you do. You are a good mother because, quite frankly, you just are.
You and I both know, that you have always done the very best as a mother that you could do, given your circumstances and resources, given your past experiences and hurts, given your struggles — both the ones that you have on the inside and the ones forced on you by the outside world. So many of the difficulties and challenges that you face as a mother have never been your fault and you have protected your child from as much of that as has been humanly possible for you to do. In fact, you’ve even done your best to protect your child from you, when you know you haven’t been at your best. You and I both know that you have always loved your child the best you could, that you would do anything that you could figure out to do for him or her.
So what is a good mother? A good mother is you. It’s time to face facts, to forgive yourself, to throw away the ridiculous, impossible motherhood “to do” list and sit back and realize you did it. I know it seems like a long time ago now, but there was a time before you were a mother. There was a day when not only was your baby born, but a mother was born as well. That was not always an easy or elegant transition. You did not always know what you were doing and made mistakes alone the way. You have never had such an intense learning curve, under the most challenging circumstances. But no matter what, you are the perfect person, in fact the only person, to be your child’s mother. You are good. Not because of what you do. But just because you are. It’s time to accept that. It’s time to let go of the comparisons, the self-criticisms, the worries, the fears. Your love is good. It’s not only good, it’s good enough. It’s time to forgive yourself, to let go of unrealistic expectations, and settle into the reality that you did it. You made it. You are good. Your love is good.
You are enough.
Liz Friedman is the Program Director and Founder of the Postpartum Support Initiative for MotherWoman. Through the Postpartum Support Initiative, Liz has led the Western Massachusetts Pregnancy and Postpartum Support Coalition which is committed to creating a comprehensive safety net for all mothers experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, perinatal emotional complications.
MotherWoman is an organization that supports and empowers mothers to create personal and social change by building community safety nets, impacting family policy and promoting the leadership and resilience of mothers.
You can help support MotherWoman *today* by donating via Valley Gives. Even the smallest amount helps support mothers, families and their communities!
The Good Mother Myth will be out in less than a month (!!!) and I am over-the-moon excited! I’ve also found that as I talk about the book and the array of stories inside of it, that I keep hearing … Continue reading
A few years ago I had a total fangirl moment when I had the chance to do a phone interview with Ani DiFranco for Bitch Magazine. As a teen coming into her own, Ani’s music helped me vocalize the many … Continue reading
I fund abortions. This really shouldn’t come as any surprise. I’ve written about my pro-choice stance before, and I’ve even written about how I’ve bowled alongside my son as we raised money for abortion access (to the shock, awe, and anger … Continue reading