A peek into the magic behind This is Motherhood.
As far back as I can remember, I've always wanted to be a mother. And then, as I grew older, I knew I liked writing—storytelling through my words―but I didn't know if I could do that for a living. So I went into marketing and got a "real" job and a few years after that, I went back to school to get my masters. Then, about two weeks after graduating, I found out I was pregnant.
I was going to be a mother.
Then, Motherly entered my life. And somehow, through a combination of Motherly cofounders Jill and Liz's belief in me paired with an engaging community of mothers who resonated with what I was sharing online—I found my voice. And just like that, my love of writing turned me into a writer.
I'm the MotherlyStories Editor at Motherly and I edited This Is Motherhood. When Jill and Liz asked me to write the initial book proposal, I kind of wondered if they were being serious.
Thoughts that went through my head:
I have never read nor written a book proposal ever in my life.
I am due with my third baby in three weeks and feel very, very (like, VERY) pregnant right now.
If this publishing house likes this, can I even do this? Can I put together a collection of essays? How does one do that? Let me Google that before I say yes.
But I knew my answer was yes. If this book was something I felt I needed to read, then I knew other mothers—near and far—needed this, too.
They needed to feel the softness of this book's pages in their hands as they connected with a woman's words—someone they didn't know, but who somehow knew their heart.
They needed guidance from an expert on how to write an intentional family manifesto.
They needed to be prompted to write a letter of forgiveness—to themselves.
They needed to be encouraged to take time for themselves in order to answer journal questions.
I knew in my gut we could all benefit from these things.
The topics we were talking about—the mental load of motherhood, the monotony of our daily lives, the bittersweet feeling that is watching your babies grow up, the worry that comes with this job, the exhaustion, sex and relationships after baby—these weigh heavily on my heart many days.
I knew I wanted to dig into these topics and pull out every emotion possible from them. I knew it would help me and I knew it would help other mothers, too.
After almost a year of hard work and juggling childcare and giving birth to my third baby, I helped to birth this book, too. When I held a galley copy of the book— our book— in my hands for the first time, I cried. It had been a long journey, and in a way, the journey was only just beginning. (Similar to motherhood, I guess.)
We've covered a diverse range of categories in motherhood, because we all know that while the feeling of motherhood is universal, the circumstances aren't—parenting a child with special needs, single motherhood, being a mom of multiples, adoption, LGBTQ parenting, co-parenting after divorce, becoming a stepmother, postpartum anxiety, miscarriage.
We've dug deep into feelings of failure, what confidence means, being hard on ourselves, celebrating our wins, seeking out joy, being present, letting go—the worry, the fear, the chaos, the happiness, the adventure. This book includes every bit of the roller coaster of emotions we feel in our everyday lives.
This. Is. Motherhood.
But what I think I love most about this book is how it reminds me that we really are all on this wild ride together; we're all connected within motherhood. Even when the essays describe a situation we could never see ourselves in, something incredible happens. There is a lesson, a takeaway, that almost all mothers can identify with, reminding us that even within our own specific stories, the ties of motherhood bind us together.
Motherhood unites us—it doesn't divide us. We're all just doing our best with what we have for the people we love most. This book is a celebration of that, of being a mother. It's a declaration of what it means to be a mom in today's world.
We wrote and edited and sweated and cried over each word of this book. And I can't wait for you to read it.
By moms, for moms—buy your copy of This is Motherhood today.