It was a cold and gray Sunday afternoon. I lit a couple of candles (Crossroads Caramel Apple makes the whole place smell divine), tidied up a bit, and hopped on Spotify for some mellow music. Two friends, Amy and Leah, arrived at my house early with flowers, food, and beautiful fabrics and decorative pillows.
It was the day of my mother blessing.
Mother blessings are customized, sincere, and full of love. Don't get me wrong-- baby showers are fun. Showers involve silly games, tons of baby products, and most importantly…cake. But baby showers and mother blessings are very different from one another.
It's at a mother blessing that we celebrate a woman becoming a parent. Close friends (primarily women) of the mother gather around to help mama prepare herself for birth and motherhood. At this gathering, we do not lose focus on this new being that will soon be earth side, but we take the time to recognize how this little human will change the woman as a person. Although mama may be given birth and postpartum gifts, it's not about consumerism and products and all that fluff that's typically paired with baby's arrival.
This ceremony is about sisterhood and community. Feeling connected and supported as a new mom greatly affects the postpartum period. How could it not? The mother blessing ceremony includes activities that acknowledge this time of growth and the new role the expectant mother will soon take on. Every gathering is sacred and will look different depending on the mama's needs and desires. I believe we should celebrate every mama and parent this way as they enter into this exciting, and sometimes overwhelming, stage of life.
At the end of the day, I felt full. Full of gratitude, acceptance, and intuition. These women remind me to trust my body and my baby. They encourage me and tell me that I am enough--that whoever this little being is, he/she will love me through and through. No matter how new or lost we feel in parenting, we all have innate abilities and characteristics that guide us in our experience. And when we have a hard time believing in ourselves, our village of people will be there to lean on. To acknowledge the struggles, the triumphs, and the "holy shit, we made it through" moments.
I'm so very thankful for my village.
If you are interested in putting together a blessing ceremony for a friend or would like more information, please contact Leah Rose Hagen of Birth Journey Doula Services. She is sure to help you have the best experience possible!