On Being a Mother Mother

Colin A. Danville

Colin A. Danville

I’ve started calling myself a Mother Mother in my bios and profiles on social media. I have yet to fully define this new terminology, but I want to share what thoughts have come to mind already in doubling up an already powerful word. I made a list of some realities that I feel a Mother Mother lives. Here is what I have identified so far:

  • A Mother Mother centers her fertility, and the possibilities of her fertility, in everything she does.

  • Her day-to-day energies are primarily and lovingly poured into her mothering labors, her children, her co-creator (partner or father of her children)—if she has one, it’s not a mandate— and her familymaking practices.

  • She takes care of the Mothers in her community, and is constantly innovating strategies and developing sustainable resources that serve and enhance the whole Mother Village.

  • She is an entrepreneur and helps other mothers activate their own enterprises so that they can support their families on their own terms.

  • She’s at home or near home most of the time, and the Mothers are always welcome to gather themselves and celebrate their labors at her house.

  • She creates space for other mothers to feel free, safe, and supported in processing and developing their mothering practices.

  • She sees all the invisible mothers, and gives them room and permission to claim their mothering as real and valid too.

  • She immerses herself in learning more and more about fertility, birth, babies, breastfeeding, motherhood, and family.

  • She is often a midwife or a future midwife.

  • She is an artist, of some sort, ever swirling through the magic of her many creations, and engaging the genius of her artistry to navigate with love through the most turbulent and heartbreaking times.

  • She LOVES being a Mother, and feels whole, radiant, and happy within her mothering labors.

  • She is always thinking of the Mothers, and seeing life and possibility through the lens of what most honors, cherishes, and supports the Mothers.

This is just a beginning. I am sure this list will keep growing as I grow into my Mother Mother self. But for now, this feels like an expansive space to continue re/imagining the many opportunities we have to shape and define our mothering paths for ourselves. Whatever the world might call us, however our families might see (or not see) us— we get to say who we are and what our motherhood means for us.

Language is powerful; words carry vibrational impact infinitely. We have the right, and the responsibility, to shape and create the words we use to power our lives. This is why writing is so vital, and why I am so passionate about the space we are cultivating at the Mothers Writing Lab. As mothering artists, it can take us more time to come into our authentic words. Being together in community with other mothers who are finding their words too is a magically generative opportunity to grow deeper in our own practices. Seeing each other helps us see ourselves, and we are all worthy of being seen.


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