What does empowerment in motherhood mean to you?
For me, empowerment MUST start with awareness – of the (many) ways women are marginalised and oppressed after becoming mothers, and of the barriers to flourishing that society at large puts in our way.
We are doing the work of mothering in a society that is governed by outdated, patriarchal rules, and which puts forward the gold standard of ‘perfect motherhood’ without acknowledging that perfection is impossible to achieve.
Why are we sold this lie? Because it keeps us in the hamster wheel of striving and ‘failing’ – and because while we are running around in that hamster wheel, struggling under the weight of the mental load that is thrust upon us, we can be kept small and subservient.
Nowhere is this more pertinent than in the workplace, where returning to work mothers are literally killing themselves to be present at work and at home without dropping any balls along the way – all with precious little (if any) reward.
To be truly empowered as working mothers, therefore, we must take a bird’s eye view of the goldfish bowl in which we are trapped and seek – collectively where possible – to make cracks in the tank.
We must also upskill ourselves with tools to support our own well-being (because, let’s face it, society isn’t going to hand them to us on a plate). Without honing these skills, we are buying ourselves a one-way ticket to burnout, which impacts not only us but our families too.
Finally, we must harness the power of connection; seek out other mothers going through the same, be vulnerable with one another, share our experiences and come together to brainstorm ways to overthrow the system that has us trapped.
So, to summarise, my 3 tips for a more empowered working motherhood are:
- Awareness – of the BS we are fed about perfect motherhood by society and the reasons why we must reject this harmful stereotype;
- Upskill ourselves with tools and strategies to overcome the barriers we face as women and as mothers (coaching can help with this);
- Connect – with other mothers to support and empower one another in pushing for change.
To learn more about the work I do with mothers in these areas and my range of free and paid offerings, feel free to get in touch directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or via my profile page.
You may also wish to follow me on Instagram @flourishingmother and join my FREE Facebook community into which I stream free weekly live event with guest experts on topics relating to maternal well-being: https://www.facebook.com/groups/flourishingmothercommunity
November 1, 2023