motherhood

On the heels of Mother’s Day
I have been reflecting…

Seems to me to be a day
that brings up much
for so many of us

Not all of us can be mothers
Not all of us want to be mothers
Some of us lost our mothers
Some of us just became mothers
While some of us love being a mother
more than anything
And some of us are so very happy
to never mother anyone

We might love our mother
or have never met her
She could be our best friend
or feel like an enemy

Motherhood might be
the thing most sacred to us
or it might have felt forced onto us

Mothering could be something
that we feel has brought out the best in us
or something that has tested us
and has us feeling depressed
or even trapped
or guilty

Or maybe we have tried everything
to get pregnant to no avail
and have had to let go
of giving birth to a child

Or maybe we had a baby
and they didn’t make it
so we’re not sure
if we can call ourselves
a mother anymore
And we cannot bear to try again
because the loss was too much
to risk feeling that pain once more

For those who do have children
there is much contradictory information
advice and wisdom
about how one should mother
what that means
and what qualifies someone
as a good mom
and so much pressure
to be the very best mommy
we can be

And if we decided mothering is not for us
there is often judgement hurled our way
by people who see it as something wrong with us
or an act of selfishness
to choose not to parent
There are those who see it as unnatural
to not do the thing
our body is able to do
as if the fact that we can become a mom
means we should

For me, being a mother
was a given
I just assumed
it was something I would become
But then I became sick —
I made myself sick
I starved myself for years
getting so skinny
I lost my ability to bleed
and have a baby

There was no way
that as I was draining
the life out of me
I would have been able
to give life to another
My body shut down
and I couldn’t seem to get well
so slowly
I let the dream
of being a mother go

It was the hardest thing
I had to come to terms with in my twenties
It felt like the ultimate loss
to know that my obsession with skinny
and my consuming eating disorder
had cost me
the ability
to have a baby

I don’t have an eating disorder anymore
and I have enough body fat now
that my period returned
and it is now possible for me
to become the mother
I assumed I would be

But having been through it all
The not knowing
The not being able to
The not caring
The wanting so desperately
The loss
The fear
And the excitement
I just want to acknowledge
motherhood
and Mother’s Day
can mean many different things
to each of us

It isn’t always Hallmark cards
and storks bringing babies
For some of us it’s a bumpier road
but as far as I can tell
it’s always an opportunity
to look deeply within
and find a way
to grow…

❤ Emily Joy Rosen

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Emily Rosen is the co-owner and CEO of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating where she oversees business development strategies, student affairs, marketing and public relations, and keeps a pulse on the fields of eating psychology and nutrition to ensure the Institute’s position as a leader worldwide. Emily makes things happen. Her passion for health and transformation has provided her the opportunity to speak and present internationally and be at the forefront of a new generation of women leaders committed to making a heartfelt difference in the world. Her tireless work and faithful commitment have touched the lives of millions of fans and followers worldwide.