Why 97% of mothers are burning out and what we can do about it.
That’s right. You knew it already, but just in case you’re one of the many who need affirmation from a trustworthy source, the results from the annual State of Motherhood survey are out and things are looking dismal for us life-bearers and future-generation nurturers.
Mothers are struggling.
Although this was true even before the catastrophe of 2020, the pandemic has certainly cast a bright light onto the shadow side of motherhood, making it glaringly obvious that we are digging ourselves into the ground, suffocating under a mask of never-ending not-enoughness.
The martyr and supermom archetypes are literally killing us.
Take it from a burnt-out midwife, mother of three, and grateful survivor of postpartum depression and anxiety, who has risen from the ashes with a passionate mission–to midwife a new archetype for motherhood.
Maternal mortality rates are rising. Black mothers are dying at 3-4 times the rate of white mothers. Perinatal mood disorders are the most common complication of pregnancy and maternal suicide is a leading cause of death. Mothers make up 33% of essential workers and 89% feel unsupported by society.
If you’re feeling burnt out, overwhelmed, depleted or depressed…
YOU ARE NOT ALONE. AND IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT.
As write Beth Barry states,
“We are not struggling because we are inadequate. We are struggling because we are mothering within a society that is misrepresenting, misleading, and inadequately supporting us.”
Can I get an “Amen!”???
The hard truth is that no one is coming to save us.
It’s up to us to create a new culture for motherhood. One that allows us to be imperfect, to include ourselves in our circle of care, to receive support, and to hold our dreams with the same love and care that we hold our own children (WITHOUT #mommyguilt or #mommyshame).
Mothers from all walks of life are feeling all the feels because these are actually symptoms of the need to awaken into a new kind of motherhood. Collectively we can weave together a new vision for sustainable motherhood and make it happen.
To get the ball rolling, on February 11, 2021, on the new moon in Aquarius, I brought together 37 brilliant speakers from 8 different countries around the world for a global summit on empowered motherhood.
Map for a New Motherhood addressed the maternal mental health crisis, the epidemic of mom burnout, and the gross racial disparities in maternal health outcomes, by building supportive communities to engage in conversations about maternal health and wellness, empowered birth, postpartum support, sexuality, entrepreneurship, decolonized & sustainable motherhood, and connected parenting.
Join this powerful conversation with mothers who are midwives, doulas, authors, podcasters, fem health specialists, business coaches, herbalists, activists, and leaders in maternal empowerment, as we collectively envision and create a new archetype for motherhood, the MotherFly.
Let’s face it, we are the shock absorbers for society. So when the pandemic hit, we were hit the hardest.
“Of the nearly 1.1 million workers ages 20 and over who dropped out of the workforce, 865,000 were women, including 324,000 Latinas and 58,000 Black women, compared with 216,000 men” –Swapna Venugopal Ramaswamy, USA Today, October 21, 2020.
For those who have remained employed, we have taken on the brunt of juggling home-schooling and work.
But let’s remember that, with few exceptions, we are the models for our children, the leaders of our families, and the backbone of our communities, Our radiance and well-being (or burnout and depletion) have the power to ripple out in exponential ways and radically shape the evolution of our world. Maternal wellness is an indicator of societal wellness.
Put bluntly, if moms aren’t right, no one is right.
On the other hand, when mothers are uplifted, their children benefit. When mothers live their dreams, the world is transformed.
We will not return to normal, because normal wasn’t working for us.
As with any birth, there will be labor pains. There will be unexpected twists and turns, glorious messes, and moments of doubt. But what’s on the other side of this initiation will surely be worth the effort.