Today was my grandmother’s birthday and I thought so much about legacy and how we are shaped by our stories and the people in our lives. I wrote a memoir about the woman I was named for and I so grateful and committed to listening and sharing the gift of conversation with our Elders and Wise Women who showed us how they did it.
While I am passionate about oral history, I was unprepared for how much both listening and telling my story might affect me.
Who did we welcome in to our lives at just the right moment?
Who made a difference?
Do you know any women who nursed their little ones?
Do you wonder about healing your relationship with your mom and the people in your life who may want to support you?
Thank you Cardi B for the Images of the Goddess the Divine Feminine
I suppose when I think of our covenant to nurse our babies for the first 365 days, staying connected to nurture ourselves. I get the medieval initial virgin birth Mary Madonna and Child image of sanctity.
My daughter reminded me that image might be due for an update in the land of tik tok and you tube and influencers and shared with me the powerful not so subliminal image of Cardi B nursing her baby on stage at work. Embracing every aspect of her whole self. Sexual, powerful, fierce, and so divinely raucous and feminine.
If she could make it so… then so could I. She deserved my Mother’s Day card of gratitude for the century. I should be so inclined of sending her a thank you card of power bringing her baby so close and so clearly visible if only the world could see. Grandmas living and dead would be so proud!
She truly was my New York City home girl just like me and it was my daughter who sent me to higher ground. She showed me the video that Cardi B held court with her baby attached to her tittie inseparable from what she wanted to do.
Separations from our little ones are largely dependent on the kindness or idle comments of strangers opining on what should a good mother do. We rarely if ever ask what do women want and need. What does love and attachment look like.
What a good mother should look like and what does a good mother want and what choices can a woman make just fine on her own. Many women had no choice on when they should or could leave their baby. Money and food and shelter and safety and what “Kulture” customs insist and define separation from mother and baby, letting go and who’s best interest it is. The things we say we do for the money.
We are not there at that moment! How could we possibly know their story? I know I am so grateful to Cardi B. I want to honor every choice a mother makes to share her body and her love with all Divine creation for whatever length of time and under whatever circumstances.
While this week, at the beginning of the month, the money from the check arriving predominates our thoughts. She calls it forth! She occupies her body and moves in ways that make me smile. Thank you, my daughters, for your choices. Your visibility, your courage. I would not have seen you unless you lived large and sought to influence me.
I honor this day my ancestors, mothers and daughters the matrilineal line. I look for them, I find their names. I say their names aloud. I see the babies they buried, the bodies they claimed and saved as their own when they could and when they couldn’t. I will never know what sacrifice was provided for me. I know I am standing here the only begotten daughter of our Savior the Divine Mother. Look closely she is in our midst. She looks just like you.
My granddaughter: Ava Violet August, 2019
My granddaughter: Taylor Marie August, 2002
My daughter: Amber Joy Meadows September , 1980
My mother: Violette Duckett April 1927-January 2009 b. 4/27/27- 1/ 2009
Her mother: Lois Laws. October, 1908 -February, 1985 10/24/1908-Feb 20,
Her mother: Mary Ellen Thomas 1884–Jan 1912
Her mother: Mary Ellen Thomas ???
My grandfather’s mother: Harriet Duckett July, 1879- 1945
My grandfather’s mother: Ellen Eliza Miriam Samms c..1862-
My father’s mother: Julia McDougall July, 1892-September 1986
Her mother: Elmma McDougall. c. 1878-
Thank you Cardi B, Influencer keeping it real… for nursing your baby …so much love and respect for you. Nursing your baby. Making Money. Showing up and showing out!
Many traditions celebrate the coming of Spring; but there is nothing like a birth, or the restoration of a life thought dead and dormant to signal Spring. Breastfeeding365.com is finally here!
Nursing a baby for a year or more is quite an accomplishment. It is not the same as bottle feeding the baby your breast milk. Making a decision to stay close to your baby and maintain the connection through the fourth “trimester” despite all odds is quite frankly epic! Experiencing long physical separations as a part of the mother-baby couple, no matter how legitimate the reason is traumatic to mothers. Most mothers literally suck it up and move on, but that doesn’t mean there were no consequences. We are changing the way we treat women first and foremost by listening to what they have to say about what happened to them from their perspective.
A few years ago, I didn’t even know what a blog was. Now I read many blogs and use this personal blog as a way to support the women who want to nurse their babies by sharing our experiences. I discovered a while back that writing daily was an essential spiritual practice for me. It helped me to focus my ideas, illuminate my passions and I quickly learned it was one of the best ways I knew to connect with women who had a secret so they would no longer feel isolated and alone. We healed by talking to one another.
Sharing that experience with other women and attempting to put those emotions in to words is to preserve the recollection of what is it like to have a profound attachment to your baby. These genetic memories are ancient, and occur on a cellular level. Feminism can be defined in the many diverse ways of a woman’s lived experience.
I was surprised to learn that many women had no experience with even seeing a nursing infant. Nor could they explain the complex tangle of feelings that occurred when pregnancy and lactation quickly and abruptly ended. Child rearing, like child bearing was in danger of being seen only as a medical event with little mention or concern of the lived experience of women and their families. Nursing a baby was primarily looked at as beneficial to the baby with no mention of the mom and heaps of guilt if you decided that you couldn’t or didn’t want to nurse your baby. Pediatric recommendations of nursing your baby for one year took no account of how that might occur for women in their current role and space.
Nature provides many examples of mammals (live birth-warm milk) tending to the needs of children, nursing mothers, and the family. We are the only ones that can express those feelings as a part of our legacy. Have you nursed a baby, yours or someone else’s baby for one year or more? We want to hear from you and hear your story. Sharing across the miles, and generations as part of our human family.
Many women have no mother, grandmother or elder to learn the stories of nursing their babies. We can introduce ourselves to one another and keep those memories alive. What would you like to see happen on our brand-new breastfeeding365.com website? What questions do you have? How can we help you share your story?