stay at home mom

Divine Mother Danielle { Motherhood Photo+Interviews } Choosing Your Path as a Mother

Divine-Mothering Photo+Interviews

{ Divine Mothers of June Session 2 }

{ Danielle }

Choosing Your Path as a Mother

I asked Danielle about her high point and low point within her motherhood journey. Her answer as simple.

“The low point is easy, lack of sleep… We are now just getting enough sleep that I feel  ok again… I was a working mom for a long time. The high point was becoming a stay at home mom.”

When I asked her to expand on why she felt this way, she explained how she had been taught to pursue a career and hadn’t given much value to motherhood. Not until she became a mother herself. She expands in an email she sent me after the interview and I will leave you here with her incredible words.

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“The message I received when I was growing up was that girls can do anything they want to do — especially if it was something that was traditionally dominated by men. In many respects, the message I absorbed was that traditionally masculine activities were somehow better than traditionally feminine activities — a career was better than motherhood, hard science was better than arts, playing sports was better than dancing. Without even realizing it, I soaked this in and it subconsciously affected all my choices in life. I chose to play a lot of sports as a kid – soccer, softball and basketball – and loved it. I chose to major in physics and math. I chose to join the Air Force. I could do anything the boys could do. All this time, I was adamant that I wasn’t going to have children. I didn’t see the value in it. The message I had internalized was that having a career, and especially a technical career, was better or more important than being a mother.”

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“Now two births, two miscarriages and a 15-year career later, I have completely reversed that belief. I am proud and grateful for my time as a physics student, active duty Air Force officer, reservist and engineer, but I now believe these activities pale in comparison to the miracles that are reserved only for women. My mothering journey has led me to realize the gift that is my female body — the gifts of my hormonal cycle, of pregnancy and birth, of breastfeeding, and of continuing the human species. These are special gifts to be honored. I no longer aspire to do what men can do. I feel blessed to be able to do what women can do.

The high point of my mothering journey thus far has been becoming a stay at home mom. I worked two jobs (as an engineer and an Air Force reservist) until my daughter was 3.5 and my son was over 1. Gathering the courage to leave my career behind was a huge struggle for me, an act of willpower of overcoming all the subconscious beliefs I collected over the years. It was hard to do. It was necessary. It was beautiful.”

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“I could see my daughter falling apart as I worked. It got to the point where her separation anxiety was such that I could not get up from the dinner table to get a glass of water from the open kitchen without her melting down. Becoming a stay at home mom has allowed me to mother my children in a completely different way than I could when I was working full time. We are more connected as I am more physically present. My children bring so much joy to daily life and I am blessed to be here to experience it with them. I feel so grateful for the magical opportunity to stay home with my children. It has forced me to grow and change to become an even better mother and person and to know and value myself as a woman more. My children have been my light leading me into peace and joy.”

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“It took a hard journey of uncovering my truths for me to come into this place of awareness. These photographs hold within them significant meaning for me. They are a visual representation of both my struggle and the beautiful place my journey has thus far brought me to. They are a milestone marking how far I have come. For me, these photographs honor the miracle of my female body, honor my bond with my children, and illuminate the value of motherhood. For that, I thank you.”

Danielle, thank you so much for sharing your incredible journey as a mother and human. I completely agree with your sentiment. It’s not about working vs SAHM. It’s about the message that we receive in this society that puts so much more value on what are considered “masculine” activities while also putting down the “feminine”. This is why women’s voices are needed. This is what this project is about. Giving back motherhood and being a woman the value and respect it so equally deserves.

Repeat after me,

I am an amazing woman.

I am beautiful.

I am strong.

The light within me is divine.

Danielle participated in Divine-Mothering Photo+Interviews of July Session 1, check out this blog post for more images of that session.

If you are interested in this series please consider subscribing to our blog and following our FB page.

If you are interested in participating in this project, please check out the Divine Mothering Community on FB and click Events.

Photography by Liliana Beatriz Fotografia

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