The Making of Messy Madrecita | Part 3: My Motherhood Vows - I Vow To Be Messy
It was the third session of a potent and nurturing postpartum integration workshop. The facilitator tenderly asked “let’s start today by exploring a question: what kind of mother do you want to be?”
What. . . kind of . . . mother . . . do you want . . . to be?
My brain slowed, struggling to grasp each word and make it make sense with the next. Hands sweating, I hoped someone else would volunteer to speak first; I was shocked and utterly embarrassed that I didn’t have an eloquent, off-the-cuff response.
The facilitator tenderly asked “let’s start today by exploring a question: what kind of mother do you want to be?”
Actually, I was drawing a huge blank and had zero idea what I wanted to say.
To make this situation even more uncomfortable, feeling unequipped to answer these types of questions is quite unfamiliar for me. I am drawn toward the intentional and meta, sometimes to the detriment of my own flow and happiness. During my pregnancy, I created ~14 google docs spanning from a birth plan, partnership intention setting, baby sign language resources, to my philosophy on postpartum nutrition; but not once did I ask myself “what kind of mother do I want to be?”
Maybe the ascent to motherhood felt so non-linear, that there was no delineated entry point to consider.
Maybe I just trusted myself so much as a mother that this question didn’t occur to me.
Maybe I have been busy, sleep deprived, and generally trying not to lose my mind.
Or… Am I a total jerk? Lacking self awareness? Asleep at the wheel of motherhood?
Fast forward to today, and I can clearly see that my self consciousness was speaking in that moment, but I’m choosing to share this very intense insecurity spiral; it shows the weight that the question “what kind of mother do you want to be?” held for me.
All I know is: I’m ready now, 13.5 months after her birth. And I’m excited to share, and get a conversation going around our Motherhood Vows.
I didn’t write my vows, my intentions for my role as your mother, before you were born. And I have some regrets about not doing so. But, in a way, it’s perfect: you see, my biggest offering in my role as your mother is my promise to show up as I am. To show up as my full self – “mess” and all.
So, while I did not write my vows before you were born, I am doing it now. And inviting myself to embrace the “imperfection” – just the way it is.
I am not promising to kiss you every night, or put you first. I love you too much to put my love in that kind of box. The vows I make to you – the promises I make to you as your mother – start and end with the promises I make to myself.
I vow to be my whole self for you. To bring, along with my love, and care and selfness – my rawness, my imperfections, and my humanity. To show you through my own honesty and revealing, that we are all perfect – that YOU are perfect – the way we are.
I promise to dare myself to show you my full self – my shadows, my challenges, all of it – and to love myself unconditionally. To build authentic trust that I love YOU for who YOU are, because I love ME for who I AM.
I vow to trust in myself, my intuition and inner motherly knowing, and as best I can without getting stuck in the noise of what is Out There.
I vow to love myself as much as I love you.
To forever return to the act of discovering who you are – and not who I want or expect you to be.
I vow to trust that you have all the answers within you, and to trust myself to hold space as your guide first, and teacher second.
I vow to empower YOUR sovereignty, and divine self-actualization – starting with honoring my own individuality.
I vow to ground you in acceptance, and nurture you toward YOUR version of aspiration.
I vow to replace messiness with humanity.
I vow to guide you for the future world, and not the world you were born into, and to evolve myself as is needed
Make no mistake, these vows are not here to make the hard stuff go away. I know better than that!
Someday, you will “mess up”, and that will be the time my vows will be put to the test. Is this all bullshit? Are these just nice words? How available will “embracing you in your wholeness” and “unconditional love” be to me when you come home hours past your curfew, or you tell me that you wish I would disappear?
And so, I envision these vows as a practice. A living intention and prayer, an invitation to cultivate new ways and beliefs within myself over many interactions, and many years of healing and fortifying.
I love you so much, Naya, that my sheer CAPACITY for love is growing and amplifying each day. It’s wild. I hope to show you the biggest gift we can give is to direct some of that wild love toward ourselves.
Now will you please come here for a hug? Sometimes, I can show you what I’m trying to say better with a hug than with my words.
All my love,
Your mother, your Messy Madrecita
Just like that first tongue-tied moment when first asked what kind of mother I wanted to be, I know there will be many times throughout this motherhood journey when I will draw a blank, not have the words, and feel like the Messy Madrecita that I am.
But, I also know that I will continuously show up as my full self for my children, for myself, and for you. I hope that you will join me in this meeting of vulnerability, and share this space with me in curiosity and compassion.
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