Motherhood—from the first mother who ever existed—was meant to be an element of communal partaking, where there were more hands in than just the mother’s.
More resources in than just the mother’s.
More land shared than just the mother’s.
More time and energy and love than just the mother’s.
And it was that way.
Women would free-birth and relish in the splendor of being provided for, unconditionally. It was a pleasure to provide for a birthing woman who would forever be changed and forever need her people. Her partners, families, community. There was a normal and healthy period of deep rest and rejuvenation, and a serious order put in for nourishing and rich meals, where the mother had the bandwidth to fetch water, rest her eyes, replenish her skin, and tend to her garden.
And it didn’t even end there. She would never be the same person, and she was never questioned and always acknowledged for that. It was natural, organic, and absolutely primitive to be that way. No other way was known or idolized.
This was the age of the village.
Somewhere in-between the timeline of history happened a myriad of historical events that ripped the biological and primal needs from women in motherhood and in absolutely all areas of her femininity.
For many women, and myself included, we are in deep remembrance of this era. I miss the village. And I so deeply yearn for the return of village and of the old ways to be restored.
Today, I am met with the arduous reality that I am still learning to integrate and forever will be navigating the path of the single, lone mother and the generational traumas and wisdoms that come with it. In a capitalist society. In a white man’s patriarchal and Christian world. Demanding immediate and impossible performance, consumerism, and life force. As a non-religious, marginalized woman. Who follows her body instincts and human limitations.
I witness other women who have shared their estranged motherhood stories with me.
Women who are being parentified by their parents and not mothered when they need the fuel the most. Women who are declined and threatened to not receive support from those who have it and can easily provide it. Women whose support systems come with strings attached. Women with no support at all. Those who are “secretly” being abused. Those who are clearly being abused by the system. Those who are home alone with no adults to exchange energy with. Those who feel they are failing their children because they have been failed. Those who would rather end their lives than have their dreams (and needs) of motherhood be stolen and exploited.
The list goes on and my heart f*cking pours.
Yet here we are, village-minded mothers who have that inheritance and knowing deep in our bones, navigating motherhood in modern society with little to no real tangible resources for how to do this thing. I’m not saying that there will be a guidebook to how to access this rather large and literally generational altering task. But separating us all and putting us in tiny, separate boxes has been the biggest practice of colonization that we have ever bargained for against our very selves.
We have lost touch with our ancient ways. Our primal way of being. Our inherent and biological nature to rely on one another in interdependency and operate as a species.
Many of us aren’t yet aware of how this network has been slowly stolen from us. Many of us are aware of it and are in denial. And many of us know and just mourn the loss of that primitive current and that primordial feminine and motherly way of life to be normalized and easily accessed by us all.
And I truly believe that our relationship to the native and primitive motherhood village has been ripped from us as a result of the large dehumanization that has taken place toward women at large.
Noticed or not, our patriarchal system paired with capitalistic culture is killing us slowly (quickly now).
We are fed over and over the narrative that women are just dirty and unworthy. We do not contain power. We are the less dominant of our species. Our primal births are treated like medical emergencies and our bodies are exploited and disrespected as a result. Our primal instincts have been deemed as evil. If we practice herbal medicine, join hands with sisters, sing songs of praise, lay hands, intuitively know how to navigate the terrains of life—which many women I know do and will do gladly, wholly, holy, and f*cking beautifully—then we are evil and we are in sexual relationship with evil forces.
We aren’t honored if we aren’t pristine, quiet, submissive, easy, agreeable, unthreatening, nonrevolutionary in the likes and image of patriarchy.
If we fall anywhere out of those lines for the last several thousand years, we are shunned, shamed, naked of our rights, smacked, abused, silenced, locked up, beaten, burned, killed.
We are the first sin. Lilith, affront to the first man’s rather demanding needs of her expressed her right to be equal and became demonized. Then there was Eve—Adam’s second, little wife, sweet and innocent as can be, not a harmful word (or a single word) in sight, punished for the aching of a fruit.
The message that women, no matter what, are inherently evil, wrong, unjust, unholy.
The biggest lie we have been fed.
The biggest lie we have been feeding.
The biggest lie we have fed to one another.
Furthermore, riddled in my bones and paired with my deep ache and recollection of the village era is the era of the priestess and prostitute. Being murdered for offering my sexuality and my healing simultaneously because it went against what was “right.”
Perhaps more than any memory long lives the burning times, when women gathered again to reclaimed their medicine stories and pronounce their offerings to the village. Then, we lost our lives and our fellow sisters turned against one another to save their own. The last thing we saw was a white man, a preacher screaming at us to repent.
Why is any of this important?
The memories of the village, the excreting of women’s power, dignity, needs, rights, and the debilitating historical timeline of being in a human, feminine body?
A sister recommended communal living with other single mothers in highlight of recent events about how debilitating and impossible single motherhood is. And even as quickly as my heart skipped a beat with a “yes,” a force field within me felt hesitant and reluctant, more than the former.
All I could feel was distrust. All I could feel was a noose around my neck that was not put there by me. All I could feel is how what I deeply and biologically crave—which is to bring back the community, the village, that my ancestors experienced—has been taken over and engulfed within my body by even the invisible energies of colonialism that has infected us all.
My deep need felt muddled and lost in the distortion of separation and isolation.
Although my desire is clear, there is deep and incredibly ancient encodings that suggest that I cannot and will not survive alone with my sisters. How much more utterly distorted and backward could that possibly be?
It is in our bones, these memories. The distrust and the remembrance. We feel willing, but afraid.
But, we are living today in the age of “Eremocene”—The Age of Loneliness.
Our culture is set up to fail new families and first time parents—most of all, women and mothers.
We have replaced “I hear you” with “have you tried getting more jobs?”
We have replaced “how can I best support you” with “how can you be more independent and free?”
We have replaced the village with incredibly abusive and painful loneliness.
We have pathologized the needs of our fellow sisters and mothers amongst us.
And we have believed the lies ourselves!
Parenthood and postpartum in the modern age have been deeply insufficient of communal nutrients and baseline needs. We have continued to colonize and put capital gains on ourselves and our immediate loved ones.
Money first. Work first. Value first. Needs can wait.
This completely overlooks the hard truth that it is not our mindset, our skills set, our hustle, or our fault that is creating the pain. It is our social structures, rooted in the societal systems at fault for all of the immense emotional and psychological pain almost all mothers are facing.
Postpartum is only associated with some sort of depressive or psychotic flair to it, when really it is a process all on its own. Mothers are experiencing higher rates of depression, suicidal tendencies, anxiety, panic, rage, and psychosis (I am no foreigner to either of them). And it isn’t because they are “evil.” It’s because they are being structurally let down on all levels.
When it comes to the unfavored responses that mothers express in light of raising future generations in a world that is burning, we have got to focus less on their behavior and more on the unmet need. We have to hear them.
Motherhood is for life. It isn’t a single moment of birth, then we return to normal. We are biologically and cosmologically made to never return to “normal” once we become mothers.
And postpartum is for life. It is not until our babies stop nursing, or eat solids, or grow teeth, or talk, or go to the potty alone that we graduate postpartum. It is every single moment that comes after the booming fireworks of birth.
Our needs just continue to unfold and expand and birth themselves in various ways.
And the message that just keeps reoccurring to me over and over again—and especially with my generation (millennial) and for our network of mothers—is that we need to grieve.
It is no longer the time to be dismissive, quiet, neutral, or tolerant in the face of what I believe is an entire stolen lineage of the sisterhood amongst women and mothers.
In order to fully understand why this threshold is so painful and seemingly impossible to curate here in our communities and on our land today—this deep need for community, support, trust, and family—we must understand the gravity of our history that we have experienced up until this day.
We need to f*cking mourn what has been lost throughout our lifetimes of womanhood and motherhood.
It is the way to remember what home means to our souls. Is the way to connect with our ancestors through a portal that is mythic and non-tangible to our reality today. It is the way to remember the messages and the medicine that is in our visceral, porous, sensitive field of the sanctified body of land and water that is our actual human flesh, our holy home.
And it is the only way that we can empty and prepare ourselves to be within reach of what is next for us within generations to come. As women and as mothers.
And it is perhaps the seed to remind us that we are here to do immense work—that of which we ourselves may not be around to reap the fruits of our labor in this lifetime.
And because we admire and treasure our ancestors in our lineage before us with so much depth and love, it can only be as favorable that we treat motherhood and womanhood as the most high and worshiped acknowledgment toward our ancestors. It is a carry down of the medicine we deeply remember from them.
Motherhood is the most highest form of ancestral respect.
Somewhere within all of the pain of motherhood and going it alone, I am remembering.