A Mother You Know

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She who becomes a mother is wild. She brought new life and energy into the world and fights so fiercely to keep it here.

Within her, a ready wildness was so great and brimming that it manifested into an entirely new human being prepared to take on the world with her.

Now that this woman is a mother, she’s gained a discernment of where to devote her wild energy, a special kind that wasn’t present before. Her definition of wildness is her own, decided by her now, and it need not always rebel against others to prove itself .

This is a woman we all know.

She is a mother with a gentle and healthy family life that may actually be what released her from the tug of her culture’s controlling leash.

Domesticity may be what freed her from taking it too personally when she reads internet headlines and friends’ status updates on social media about how “truly free women” refuse to buy into the white picket fenced, childbearing, settled-down dream with a ring on that finger.

Truly free women don’t get married, or succumb to the pressure to ruin themselves by making babies, or stay at home when there’s a glass ceiling to break in the business world, so they say.

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There is a certain kind of woman they’re talking about, though. She is a woman who allowed society to “tame” her, who lives a life of which she feels an oppressive and unappreciative society expects of her.

Is she the woman with the fenced-in yard and a child always on the hip, breast, or at the heel?

Is she the one who didn’t pursue graduate school because her horribly inconvenient uterus got in the way?

Is she the one who bought a house in, God forbid, one place, which surely guarantees never seeing the rest of the world?

Is she the one whose commitment to another individual in good times and in bad, ’til death do they part, is a known sign of buying into patriarchal ideals; the one who agreed to sign away her freedoms and individuality, to entrust such things in another person’s heart?

She must be the one who bends to an imposed set of ideals that enslave her sisters, the expectations that women must tend to their feminine weakness and:

Pick a man and stay with him.

Pick a house and stay in it.

Get on your back and roll over for the doctor, then push out your babies on a timely schedule.

Don’t complain.

Don’t wander.

Keep smiling.

DSC09711bwSo they say these things about her…

Yet her ultimate goal in this life was not to be a mother and that’s “all” (as if it couldn’t be enough).

Each and every mother is an infinite number of things. She is not and never was “just” a mother. She is herself plus a mother. She takes care of herself plus a child, or two or more.

Going out and prowling the night whenever she feels like it, however loudly she wants to do it without needing to answer to anyone else — that’s untamed.

Being the boss at a big organization instead of acting bossy over little offspring as biologically primed — that’s untamed, too.

But raising a little scamp or two or three from her womb to their workhood — there’s a special kind of wildness sought out from within for such a thing.

What this mother you know really wants is to be loud, wild, and free from anything holding her back or holding her down — not unlike those who assume she cannot just because her uterus holds the imprinted memory of a baby, or because her life is centered around a little tribe she calls her own family, perhaps even settled behind a real or symbolic white picket fence.

Whether we are current mothers, mothers at heart, or filled the role in a past life or ready for such transformation in a future one — we know the power of maternity is part of human authenticity and vitality. Respect for this gift is what was actually passed on to us as women, by women, and what we pass on ourselves.

All stages of maternity embody the wild spirit — from the energy of maidenhood to labors of the childcare years to the evolution of self found when hair turns gray with wisdom.

You can find it in every mother — nay, every woman — you know.

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