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When I created my business, I chose the name Mamamorphosis because it was unique and cool, and because it so perfectly describes that thing we do as moms: we morph from what we once were to another version of ourselves – a new version shaped by the wisdom and pain and joy of mommying.

People really resonate with the concept, and as I describe it I invariably am met with knowing smiles and appreciative nods. It happens to all of us moms, and it delights us to recognize what we have learned and to acknowledge who we have become. Take a moment and think about how you lived your life while pregnant, then as a new mom, then at various later stages of mamahood. What amazing transformation. Did you anticipate that it would look like this, 2 or 6 or 18 years later?!?!?

The thing about mamamorphosis is that it can be subtle or screaming loud, it can take years or can happen at hyperspeed. For some moms the change is something intentional, pre-meditated and specific. For others it's only in reflecting on the past that they realize they have changed in profound and fundamental ways.

What is undeniable is that the act of birthing and raising a child changes us. We are different women with different relationships to the world simply because we are mothers. What mommying requires of us and inspires in us influences how we live our lives, what we will and won't put up with, the dreams we put in motion. And taking stock of that change, understanding and learning from it, is a precious and life-changing practice. We emerge from each mamamorphosis with new awareness, and with skin that fits us better than before.

What's also true is that mamamorphosis is not an Ivory Soap commercial. I'm not talking about morphing into a sweet and responsible mama who bakes everything from scratch and heads up the PTSA, who coaches the kids' sports teams and loves every minute of every moms' group. Mamamorphosis is more about getting real, about owning your truth in terms of how you inhabit your life. Many of us despise the baby years and wrestle with feelings of inadequacy and guilt as we plod miserably toward preschool. Some of us love the early years but once the kids have complex opinions, we find ourselves longing for full-time jobs with extra travel. And some of us work extra hard to find satisfaction in lives that feel, quite simply, not fulfilling.

We become more powerful women through claiming and loving all parts of ourselves; yes of course, some parts are easier to love than others. But it's in the embrace of what has been challenging and hard to bear that we find our truth and from there, we create lives that honor and celebrate that truth. This is what takes us through the process of mamamorphosis and out the other side.

You know you are ripe for a mamamorphosis when the restlessness becomes overwhelming, when the longing becomes intense, when your journals are full of frustration. Or hope. You can no longer do your life in the same way. Your cocoon is too small and it's time to poke your way out.

What about you, Fabulously 40+ Moms? Is some part of you calling out for change? What clues are present, when you are quiet and willing to listen? What will you clear away in order to invite your mamamorphosis to do its thing?

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