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  • Writer's pictureChristie Vella

How I Reclaimed Motherhood & my Female Power

Updated: Feb 4, 2021

Published May 4, 2017

About four years ago, a friend asked me a basic question. He asked me what my dreams were for my future. I couldn’t answer the question. I had no idea how to even start to answer the question.

At the time, I was in a very lonely marriage. I was working full time. I was a mother of three young kids - one almost 1-year-old, a 6-year-old and an 8-year-old. My then husband (now ex) and I had a busy life with lots of people in it. We spent a lot of socializing with friends at events. We spent weekends by the neighborhood pool, drinking beers while the our girls swam and played with friends in the California sunshine.

But my ex and I didn’t have shared dreams and goals for our lives. We really let life happen to us. We weren’t living with a vision for our future, nor were we working toward anything specific. We were adrift, in our shared lives, as well as in our marriage. Reacting to things as they happened to us, often times falling into victim roles.

So the question about what my dreams were for my future came as a wake up call. I realized that along the way, I had lost track of who I was, what I wanted for my life. I was living my kids’ life, and my husband’s life.

But worse than that, I realized that I was living my life according to a set of parameters that I didn’t agree to. It’s a scary moment to realize that you’ve entirely lost yourself in someone else.

At some point in the past 20 years, I had lost track of my own power, my own sense of self and my own truth.

Recently, years past the day I walked out of my marriage, I was talking to a friend/mentor/spirit guide. We were discussing how I’ve been feeling an unavoidable tug to learn more about spirituality and how that plays into this new life I’ve created for myself and my girls. She said it seems that I’m really starting to step into my own power.

I didn’t discuss my reaction with her, but I was confused. I wasn’t totally sure what she meant by that statement. I was also a bit insulted. I thought of the powerful women I know at work - they’re tough, difficult, fiercely focused women. And the powerful women in politics - not really people I identify with or have ambitions to become.

Then last night, I had a conversation with friends, four women, all moms, over wine. One of the women said she’s recently been feeling really guilty about the fact that she’s been choosing to work out at night after work a couple times a week. Rather than go straight home every night to make her 13 and 11 year old boys dinner, she’s making the choice to do something for herself and she’s really struggling with it. Intellectually, she knows it's the right thing to do for herself, and yet she’s been taught to believe that she should be at home, taking care of her two more than capable boys. The interesting thing is that she didn’t except her husband to pick up the slack in this department, that wasn’t even the conversation.

This is a call to action for women, mothers, daughters to practice self care. To figure out the things that we love to do and to make the choice to do them, often. It is really good for our partners and our kids, when we take the time to explore what we need in life. We need to drop the “Mommy Wars”. We attack ourselves plenty without other mom’s jumping in. Females have true power - we can, whether we chose to or not, create life. It’s an everyday miracle that we all take for granted, but it truly is a miracle.

Just because we do, lovingly, thoughtfully, allow a baby thrive inside us and challenge our resources for over nine months, does not mean that our thoughts and feelings and choices are less important than anyone else's. We might make the choice to stay up nights, tending to every single need of these tiny beings that wouldn't survive without us. And while it is entirely natural to lose ourselves in those roles, we shouldn’t.

I believe that most women fear our personal power. Many of us are taught that power is a masculine word and nice girls shouldn’t want to be powerful. Nice girls should listen to their parents, nice girls should take care of themselves, find a man to marry, a job that allows them to be home for their families. Nice girls don’t speak out and challenge people or religions or societal rules. Nice girls make sure everyone else feels good, nice girls are people pleasers.

Walking in my power means feeling all my emotions and not being afraid of them. It means knowing that we as humans feel emotions for a very real purpose - they guide us to our true selves. We shouldn’t be emotional chaos - that takes other people out of their own power. But the other end of that spectrum, the ice princess, isn’t healthy either.

We have to be mindful of how we live our lives and the impact it has on those around us. But we also shouldn't be afraid of our emotions. They are the source of our power. The small tug toward our passions should guide us, the twin feelings of excitement and trepidation indicates a powerful pull. We are done being silenced. So tell dad he’s on kid duty tonight and get out there and explore. As the questions you’ve been dying to ask, take a new class. Find your voice, you passion, and your power.

Published first on Elephant Journal:

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