Anyone else feel completely lost in the day to day ordinary tasks sometimes? The constant cooking, cleaning and answering of questions.
It can feel menial can’t it? ‘Menial’ meaning; not requiring much skill and lacking prestige. It may feel that way, but Motherhood is very powerful.Reading this passage made me feel re-inspired by my role of Mother and the power in its expression in the day to day, so I wanted to share.
These are a few paragraphs from one of my new favourite reads… ‘Motherwhelmed’ by Beth Berry. I found these words refreshing and a bit invigorating, I hope some of you will too.
In every single moment as mothers, we are modelling human behaviour, shaping awareness, and affecting change. Whether we’re cleaning dog poop from tennis shoes or doctoring a bloodied chin, impressionable, interested and intelligent young humans are paying attention. Stories are forming. Hearts are being held. Consciousness is being born.
There’s nothing menial about it.
When my teenager runs in the room, freaking out about what she should wear to dinner with her boyfriend’s family, I am not merely being called upon to play fashion police (if you knew me you’d laugh at the very idea). I’m also being entrusted with someone’s fragile and emerging sense of self. If I choose to see beneath the obvious cultural measure of importance to my own maternal measure, I might sense several things: a need to be affirmed for her lovability, a desire to be seen for her inherent beauty, and a self-consciousness around her changing body. In that moment, there is nothing menial about what I am doing. I’m validating someone’s self worth.
When my 13 year old screams in horror as her sister barges into the bathroom, I’m not merely being called upon to remove the perpetrator and set things straight but also to affirm her sense of justice, respect, and healthy boundaries. I’m honouring her intuition so that she’ll know how.
When my 15yr old responds sassily to something I say, I’m not merely needed to correct rude behaviour but also to teach effective, compassionate communication. Shes asking me where the limits are. She’s trying to figure out what to do with strong feelings she’s not yet learned to manage. I’m creating a safe space for her to discover herself, practice using her voice, and refine her strengths.
When I receive a text from my grown daughter that includes photos of her new vacuum cleaner and handmade Christmas decorations, I see right past the domesticity and holiday spirit. I see self-emergence, kindred creativity, and a desire to be seen as equal. By validating her as beautifully, wholly independent of me, I am not merely making peace with letting her go but also equipping her with the confidence she needs to create a life she loves.
It’s not different in your own ‘menial’ moments.
When you respond to your babies cries in the middle of the night, you are not merely enduring sleep deprivation, you are also shaping her most primal sense of security that will sustain her throughout her entire life.
When you listen to his long winded tales about superheros and Minecraft, your not merely validating his interests but you are also teaching him what it feels like to be heard by someone who loves him deeply.
When you give birthday gifts only a grandma can get away with, you are not simply doing your duty but also widening their circle of love, expanding their sense of safety, and speaking directly into the hearts of the emerging next generation.
We are a big deal mamas. I would even go as far as to say that modern-day mothers- the consumers, voters, value shapers, lovers, and story weavers we are- are among the most influential forces on the planet.
I like the idea of being one of the most powerful forces on the planet right now. It can also feel confronting. Let’s not let that feeling shrink us, let’s adore our children and hold every act and conversation we have with them from that place.
I love this book and all of Beths work. If it interests you too, follow her @revolutionfromhome
Be blessed Mummas.
Sincerely, Rachel. xx