International Women's Day: Strength of Women and Mothers
Today we celebrate women.
ALL women—not just the ones who were born women, not just the ones who are lucky enough to live with privilege—EVERY SINGLE ONE. We acknowledge our women friends, our wives, our girlfriends, our grandmothers, our sisters, our aunts, our daughters and especially our mothers. I don’t just mean the ones who have been able to birth a baby when I say mother, I mean all women who have birthed an idea, planted a seed, encouraged another, or given of themselves to help someone else thrive. The act of mothering is so much more.
As a doula I interact with a lot of mothers, it’s an occupational hazard, and it humbles me to witness the strength I see women manifest. I consider myself privileged because I get to see a woman’s power. Strength might be tears or vulnerability; it may be choosing hard decisions, or even asking or refusing help—the things that don’t look like a conventional definition of strength. But it is.
Every day, in every part of the world, women, and mothers show strength in ways we’ve never imagined. Cannot fathom. Why then do we continue to beat each other down rather than lift each other up? Why do we fight each other for the one seat at the table, rather than fight together for more seating? Why do we join in the assault against ourselves instead of celebrating each and every accomplishment made by our fellow women?
We need to stop the fighting, stop the judgement. We need to look at each other and understand that an enormous amount of thought, care, and evaluation has gone into each decision and action in everyone’s life. We need to support each other in the lives we are living, as friends, mothers, teachers, and mostly, as women.
My work brings me in contact always and only with the greatness of women. I get to see the superstars in each of us realized. I get to see when women are at our most raw and uncostumed. I get to see behind the curtain. I get to see the truth. And it’s beautiful.
This truth is un-imaginable. The strength and pure power that resides inside each of us are beyond comprehension. Let it out! Stop bottling up your brilliance, or being afraid of the naysayers. Stop doing something you hate because you’re scared of the push back; whether it’s formula versus breastmilk, or having a conversation about your worth with the CEO. Believe that your community will support you. Imagine that if you let your greatness shine the women around you will have your back, rather than whispering behind it. Trust that when one of us succeeds, we all do!
So today, as you meet other women on the street, in the mall, on the internet; instead of judging her shoes, or hair, or her latest idea, take a moment to think about the strength it took for her to come to that exact moment. Think of the power just under the surface waiting to break free. Your reaction/interaction may be the catalyst that can cause her strength to crumble, or to grow.
Above all remember: when women support each other, incredible things happen.
Heather is a certified DONA birth and postpartum doula certified Lamaze childbirth educator, certified breastfeeding educator, as well as a certified Henna artist. She has been an active Calgary doula for the past eight years, is the past-president of the Calgary Doula Association, and was the former provincial representative of Alberta (SPAR) for DONA International. Heather is also a birth doula trainer and the owner of Doula Essentials. She is well-known within the international doula community and greatly respected by the medical providers in the city of Calgary and surrounding areas. She takes great pride supporting her clients through the entire journey.