Have you ever wondered what it’s like to go through life childless?
Most of you reading this are Mums and have a different lifestyle than someone like me with no babies.
And I’m in awe of you. The love of mothers. The challenges mothers face at all phases of their child’s development. The societal expectations and pressures to be perfect - the perfect homemaker, cook, wife, lover, mother, and successful career woman. And thin and well groomed and with 1000s of insta followers.
I’ve had friends with babies tell me their life now has meaning.
But I know that you are more than your role of mother. That even without the work you do to mother, your life and who you are still has meaning.
You are more than your role of mother. Your creativity and drive to contribute to the world in other ways didn’t stop when you gave birth. Am I right?
OK, maybe some of you are creatively and professionally fulfilled by keeping house and full time parenting. And don’t get me wrong, full time parenting is a profession. You need to be child psychologist, teacher, and parent all in one.
But I don’t even think that works. Your children need more than one or even two people in that role. They need the whole community involved.
Which means that when you’re engaged in your work outside the home, and someone else is in the parent role - be it a father, aunt, grandmother, childcare worker, teacher, babysitter, or other community member… it’s called a village raising a child. It’s healthy.
This is what we experienced at Radiant Woman this year. Nine amazing Mums and a brilliant support team, all coming together to support these nine girls through their Rite of Passage journey into womanhood. One Mum with her daughter could do a celebratory process alone, but it would be nowhere near as powerful.
All of the Mums at Radiant Woman this year were beautifully supportive, not only of their own daughter, but of all the young women who were there.
I see the profound love of these mothers. I witness the challenges they face in parenting a teenager through these turbulent years. A Rite of Passage process is a transformational process for the girls as they let go of childhood and step into adulthood. And it’s also a transformational process for the Mums as they let go of the child they have nurtured so closely, in order for the young woman to emerge. Beautiful. Really. Fucking. Hard.
I witness all this in gratitude and awe.
And so how, do you ask, can I say this journey is not for me?
Can life really be fulfilling without experiencing the journey of motherhood?
As women we have so much intelligence and creative potential that to say that there is only one role in life that will bring fulfilment is crap.
There are as many and varied paths as there are many and varied women.
Would I be more drawn to motherhood as a path if our society was set up so it was as valued as other professions…. either recognised by our economic system as a productive input… even, shock horror, paid a wage on par with it’s real value to society… and if there was sufficient paternity leave… availability of part-time flexible work for both mother and fathers… without judgement and risk of demotion… that is, if gender equality were a real thing…
Because even in this futuristic gender equal world… the village needs aunties…
And just like the Mums in the Rite of Passage journey are transitioning from Mum to “elder” or “wise woman”… my role and experience in these Rite of Passage journeys also marks a transition for me… from youth to middle aged???… from young and close in age to teenagers and feeling ore like an adolescent myself… to grow into more of an aunty role…
You can only maintain a sense of stability in yourself and your life if you acknowledge these significant thresholds… which is why Rite of Passage journeys are so important in adolescence… and are also important for the Mums who attend… as well as for the whole community….
Some would even say it takes a child to raise a village….
It’s in caring for the youth and the young that we come together as community….
It’s in caring for the youth and the young that we start caring more about the future of our planet, our food sources, and our societal functioning…
It’s in caring for the youth and the young that we begin to value the important contribution they have to make…
It’s been a beautiful journey…
I wouldn't change it for the world...
Dates for Radiant Woman January 2019 announced soon….
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