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I love this picture of my mom and me.

When I was younger, this photo reminded me that my mom was not only my mom. I could glimpse her as a daughter, a sister, a wife, a friend, a co-worker, and a woman with experiences, feelings, needs, and interests of her own, independent of me. I was in awe of this and of her.

My mom always laughed when she talked to her best friend. She still does. When I was young, this felt like another glimpse into my mom as not only my mom. She was someone else, too. And that felt good. I felt her laughter in me as a lightness, a freedom, and a reminder of all a mom can hold.

I remembered this when I came across this picture yesterday. Only I’m the mom now. I’m a mom who was first a daughter, a sister, a wife, a friend, and a woman with experiences, feelings, needs, and interests of my own, independent of my kids.

I’ve been a mom for almost thirteen years—since my first miscarriage. Becoming a mother invited me into a kind of vulnerability that felt remarkably unsafe and transformational. Vulnerability seems like the best way to describe the feeling of having part of you living permanently outside of you. I delivered our baby girl out of this body, and she delivered me to my healing.

I mothered through post-partum anxiety and two babies with health challenges along with impossible expectations and four decades of beliefs and conditioning that weren’t serving me. From the outside it may have looked like I lost myself in early motherhood. But I know now that I was (and am) actually remembering myself through motherhood.

My kids are watching me build this business. They’re watching me connect joyfully with women. They’re watching me learn homeopathy. They’re watching my husband and I rewrite our relationship contracts. They’re watching me reach and release and write and paint and sing and dance as I remember myself. And they’re watching me heal.

My kids are aware of my love for them and my love for myself. And like I did, they’re glimpsing their mom as not only their mom. They’re witnessing all a mom can hold, rather than all she’s been conditioned to hold. Our sons and daughters need this. We need this.

I’m honoring all of the women today who are wanting to mother, who are re-mothering themselves, who are waiting for a child, who are new mothers, who are old mothers, who are grieving the loss of a mother, who are grieving the loss of a child…there are so many possible experiences of mothering. I honor your experience.