My family is complete. We made the decision to officially close our chapter of growing new life. We honor so many important passages throughout our lifetime, but our culture leaves women to sit in that void of ‘no longer bearing children’ with little room for closure. I wanted to do something different. I wanted to honor the power of my body and the beauty and connection of my family of four. To commemorate, I created a “Closing Womb” ceremony.
A Mother’s Blessing, also known as a blessingway, is an opportunity to create a moment in time that celebrates and honors a pregnant woman and her journey into birth. This ritual is derived from a Navajo tradition that recognizes and honors the journey of pregnancy and the transition of birth as a momentous occasion in a woman’s life. It is a celebration of pregnancy and birth as a sacred and unique journey where the collective energy of loving women can help guide the mother through birth.
Learn how you can create your own Mother's Blessing Ceremony and download a FREE set of Birth Affirmations!
Capturing the magical chaos of motherhood & your family's story as it unfolds is important, fosters gratitude, and opens your eyes to "big picture" thinking when it's hard. Those memories also have the power to build resilience in our own family's lives. Utilize the tools in the blog in a way that doesn't add another thing to you to do list. I hope you discover the beautiful way reflecting on memories align us with gratitude.
Have you heard the term "fourth trimester"? Did you know that those first 3 months after having a baby is a sacred time in a new family's life as they adjust to their growing family?
It is a time to rest and bond with your new baby. It is a time for your body to heal after the incredible changes it went through over 9-10 months, plus the intense process of birth. It is a time to create a new normal and learn who you are in your new skin.
Creating paintings for "What Are You Without Your Titles?"
This was a really special week because I got to collaborate with my sister on the paintings. Merrill was the guest writer for the blog and reading what she wrote inspired so many great ideas. There were so many ideas that we came up with two paintings this week. You can read her post here.
Painting One- "I Finally See Myself"
The concept for this painting really came from Merrill, with Sleeping At Last's song, Three, as the inspiration. We based the painting on the lyrics:
I finally see myself, through the eyes of no else
I wanted the painting to be simple. The idea was taking the layers or masks off (something three's are good at wearing), revealing the authentic beauty underneath. I kept the clothing as a line drawing so it wouldn't distract or compete with the color.
It was also important that I didn't include a background. We wanted it to represent how we should get our value and worth internally instead of externally (our titles, jobs, accomplishments, etc).
Originally, we wanted to make the "reveal, true self" body covered in florals. I am a fan of symbolism, and I chose herbs and flowers that symbolize self worth. These are the few I picked:
Peony: Happy Life, Strength
Blue Hyacinth: Constancy of Love
Coriander (Cilantro): Hidden Worth
Marjoram: Joy and Happiness
Morning Glory : Affection
I began to paint the flowers under the clothing and it just didn't feel right. I decided that all the florals would be better suited for a separate painting (see below). It isn't as subtle, but I added the lyrics to the body to finish it off. I really like how the final product turned out!
Painting Two: "I Am Enough"
I knew I wanted to include all the herbs and flowers listed above in a new painting. At first, I was going to create a wreath and put a quote inside. I am trying to stretch myself and try new things. This mantra has been so important to me this year:
I AM ENOUGH
I've been discovering more about what drives me. I thrive off of "success" and "being the best". By the way, just like my twin sister - I am ALSO an enneagram Three. I am learning to let go of finding my value in my achievements and instead, finding my worth in just being me.
I drew out the words and surrounded them by the flowers and herbs that symbolize happiness, joy, affection, self worth, strength, etc.
I hope this painting means as much to you as it does me! I feel like everyone needs a reminder that they are enough. You being you is the best thing you can bring to the world. Authenticity is a beautiful thing.
If you are already subscribed to Ampersand Mother, you will receive an email with a discount code for the "I Am Enough" print. If you haven't subscribed, put your email below and you will get a code for 20% off!
For all us moms, whether you have a full-time job or a side-hustle to bring in a little extra income, or you are homeschooling your kids, or you are a full-time stay at home mom drowning in laundry, diapers, and food on floor, we also get lost in the title of mother.
The behind the scenes of painting "What Makes a Home" including the planning, process, symbolism, and hidden images.
It is always very vulnerable to talk about the things in your life you aren't satisfied with, but that is the point of Ampersand Mother. To be honest about where you are in life, accepting it, being aware when it is unhealthy, and making the changes needed for growth.
Follow my journey on figuring out, what makes a home?
We want Ampersand Mother to grow into a place where women can share their stories, the good, bad, and ugly. We definitely plan on sharing ours! A place where talking about nasty postpartum depression is ok or how lonely being at home with young children really is. We want to encourage women to go after dreams while still being stellar parents. We hope to have posts and resources to guide mothers towards their goals.