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Sisterhood

October 6, 2006

I missed this one the first time it was sent to me and I’m SO glad Jen decided to check up on it. This is amazing and moves me beyond words. Thank you, ladies, this has become my all-time favorite entry!

A Different Aspect of Motherhood: Sisterhood

Louisa:

During an evening of Mamas only hi-jinks and a few strategically placed libations My mama friends and I were inspired to create this class picture. We are all of us mothers, some of us three times over. We have all of us birthed everyway under the sun, some of us nursed our babies for years, others for weeks, some not at all. We are students and professionals, Christian and Buddhist and Pagan. We are lovers and wives and partners and proud single women. The playgroup we created so our babies could play together grew to become a place for us to gather in sisterhood. And several years later this is the amazing result. We had so much fun taking these photos. It was healing and liberating and bonding and wonderful. Im proud and honored by the women standing with me in this photo.

Emily:

When asked to pose for this pic my first thoughts were “Have we all gone completely mad?” Once I got over my “taught by society” body insecurities I was excited. When have that many women with post pregnancy bodies all been so bonded in sisterhood that we all can walk around with our stretch marks and cellulite hanging out? Hey, I don’t even get that naked in the locker room at the gym. I am honored to be included in this picture with the strongest, kindest, most supportive women in the world. We are all working to make a difference in this world even though it may not be on an Angelina Jolie scale, there is something to be said for just trying to raise good people. That task is more difficult and daunting than I ever imagined it to be. As I struggle to make my children feel secure through a sad divorce I remind them that there are many, many people who love and support us. We are truly blessed to be a part of this mama empowered group without whom I might not have the strength to get out of bed and face another day. Much love to all my beautiful sisters.

Mel:

I posed because I wanted to send a pic to Shape of a Mother anyway and it was definitely more freeing to do it with a group of other women. It was helpful for me to see that we all had post baby bodies. I am almost 30 and I feel like at some point I have to embrace my body stretch marks, fat and all. Life is too short to spend time wishing you looked like all the fake bodies in Hollywood . That picture is what real women look like and I am proud to be a part of it. It was nice to be half naked and vulnerable in front of women whom I have grown to love and feel accepted and loved back.

Libby:

for me, posing ‘nude’ wasn’t exactly a huge issue, but the fact that I was surrounded with a group of beautiful mothers added not only a bit of self-confidence but also reminded me of the empowerment of not only childbirth but being a mother as well. Having a group of friends who are all different in their own ways but sharing something so special is priceless.

April:

This is the power and beauty that comes from the knowledge that you are part of a wonderful culture, a culture of mommies. I would never have submitted a picture on my own, most likely because I wouldn’t have felt that I struck important enough of a pose, that I had nothing so significant to offer. But these ladies lift me up, validate fears, offer shoulders to cry on, impart words of wisdom that make all the difference in a time of need, pass no judgement on my beliefs and provide opportunity to celebrate our stretch marks, swinging breasts, and soft tummies. They laughed at my concern when tons of my hair fell out post-partum, they drove me home and held my hair back the first time I had alcohol since before I was pregnant, they talked me through my labor and delivery making my second birth successful and empowering, in spite of a full medical staff. They are standing by me, behind and in front of me, surrounding me with support as I am separating from my husband and learning to be a single mommy and somehow always come to the rescue for a babysitting emergency. They taught me to not be afraid of pain, whether physical from a non-medicated birth, or emotional from a rocky marriage. These women are my sisters, neighbors, teachers, confidants but most importantly, my friends my family. With these women I feel strong enough to proudly display my body made beautiful by creating 2 babies, one by epidural, one unmedicated but induced, both breast fed, both amazing.

Jen:

Since posting pictures and my story on Shape of A Mother had been on my todo list for the last three months, when the opportunity presented itself after several drinks with many of my amazing mommy friends, I didnt have to think twice. As a matter of fact I think my expression went something like, that is the best idea I have ever heard! I was ready to take my clothes off at that very moment.

I could go on about this forever, but Ill try to make it quick and not too sappy. Motherhood has provided me with a gift I could have never imagined. Motherhood has offered me a chance to really know, respect, and love other women. I met all of these women in one way or another through the experience of motherhood. We are different. We come from different backgrounds, even different countries. Some of us have home births, some of us have c-sections. Some of us breastfeed for 2 years, some of us cherished the bottle from Day 1. We have different incomes and different lifestyles. Some of us have good marriages, some of us are single moms. We have different religions, and different political ideas. Some of us are tall, some of us are short, some of us have small breasts, some of us have huge breasts. But regardless, we are all proud, strong, self-willed, intelligent women. We support each other in this distinctive experience. Beyond, the indescribable effect of a child in your life, this picture offers a representative of another element of motherhood. I love my friends, they are true friends. They are invaluable.


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24 Responses to “Sisterhood”

  1. Lena Says:
    October 6th, 2006 at 10:35 pm

    I think this is one of the most beautiful pictures I have ever seen.

  2. Drea Says:
    October 7th, 2006 at 4:51 pm

    Thats so cool! I am so jealous… I really wish I had friends like that to feel comfortable around….I dont have any around me that I’d do that with… and it really does make me sad.Guess this is one of the drawbacks of being in ministry… you move around so much you dont have the chance to build strong friendships.

  3. Mel Says:
    October 7th, 2006 at 5:14 pm

    What a spirit of joy! When I gave birth to my first child, I felt such an overwhelming solidarity with women all over our earth and all through history. This picture and these women’s voices are the perfect representation of what we need as mothers … to put aside competition and criticism, and instead to love and support each other regardless of our differences in body shape, parenting style, birth choices, or anything else. Well done, ladies!

  4. Mandy, Ethne & Eliott Says:
    October 7th, 2006 at 6:29 pm

    ABSOULUTELY BEAUTIFUL, LADIES!!!

  5. Anonymous Says:
    October 7th, 2006 at 10:26 pm

    I find this to be very courageous.

  6. Mary Says:
    October 7th, 2006 at 10:42 pm

    I want to join your playgroup! You guys rock!

  7. Autumn Says:
    October 7th, 2006 at 10:59 pm

    this picture is really fantastic. all of these women are so beautiful.

  8. Livs Mommy Says:
    October 7th, 2006 at 11:13 pm

    How beautiful!!

  9. Amber Says:
    October 8th, 2006 at 6:06 am

    What an excellent idea! :o)

  10. cooler*doula Says:
    October 8th, 2006 at 8:31 am

    WOOOH , Ladies! You look amazing…Sadly, I can’t see my playgroup moms going for this… Libations, you say? I’ll see what I can do!!!;)

  11. Karin Says:
    October 8th, 2006 at 9:47 am

    LADIES – YOU ROCK IN EVERY WAY! Thanks for sharing your friendship, and your stories. KUDOS!

  12. Stacey Says:
    October 8th, 2006 at 6:20 pm

    That is so awesome.I wish I had other Moms like you around here :D

  13. Anonymous Says:
    October 8th, 2006 at 7:04 pm

    Calendar girls, anyone? ;)Beautiful ladies…just beautiful!!! BOTH pictures!

  14. loz Says:
    October 9th, 2006 at 5:44 am

    Ladies what a wonderful celebration of womanhood and of motherhood thankyou so much for sharing this with us:D

  15. Anonymous Says:
    October 9th, 2006 at 7:22 am

    Awesome!!!!!! I think I see my body in that pic many times. Thanks for making me feel normal!!!!

  16. bon Says:
    October 9th, 2006 at 8:03 am

    Eeek! Gorgeous women!I have a “Shape Of a Mother” badge on my blog complete with cropped photo of Madame Zebrabelly, and my two year old wants to “go to da mama tummy” every time we sit down to read. It’s good to be recognizable.

  17. Min Says:
    October 9th, 2006 at 12:33 pm

    Wow…that is awesome. I have no girlfriends. It must be so amazing to have such a wonderful bond and be so proud as to do something like that together. Amazing! You are all wonderful!

  18. katie Says:
    October 9th, 2006 at 5:28 pm

    This is awesome! What great friendships you all must have.

  19. kati_girl Says:
    October 10th, 2006 at 1:59 pm

    By far my favorite post on this site!

  20. Anonymous Says:
    October 10th, 2006 at 3:50 pm

    I wish I had a big group of mom frineds to hang out with. Your all so lucky to have each other.

  21. Manic Mom Says:
    October 11th, 2006 at 7:07 pm

    You girls ARE CRAZY! I LOVE IT!Happy Mommyhood from Manic Mommy!How many babies from the whole group?

  22. story midwife Says:
    October 12th, 2006 at 9:00 pm

    WAHOO! Wonderful, beautiful, STUNNING WOMEN!! And need I mention BRAVE! You’re amazing — all of you!

  23. Anonymous Says:
    October 19th, 2006 at 12:06 am

    What a simply fabulous post and pictures. It brought tears to my eyes! I wish I had such a great mommy group!

  24. jen Says:
    October 21st, 2006 at 1:21 pm

    Total baby count: 23

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