Thursday, February 2, 2012

Going Viral

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog called "Warriors, Every Last One" which went a little viral once it was posted on the Best for Babes Facebook page.  All of a sudden, women from Atlanta to Aruba were sharing my writing on their blogs and Facebook group pages.  I even tracked some traffic to an online knitting and crochet forum on the website  Jack's sweet little face was popping up all over the country as women shared my writing.

And that is pretty cool!

I started thinking of the image of a warrior and why that does or does not resonate with women.  I certainly didn't invent the concept, there are blogs and websites dedicated to this image of motherhood.  I started thinking of our standard definition of the word "warrior" and I found 2.

1)  a person engaged or experienced in warfare; soldier

Our standard definition of warrior.  But I don't consider myself engaged or experienced in warfare and I like to consider myself a champion of peace.  So I can understand if that definition of warrior turns you off.  In the words of Yoda:  

“Oh! Great warrior!  Wars not make one great!”

So true, that is.

But then I found this definition:

2) a person who shows or has shown great vigor, courage, or aggressiveness.  

I thought about the kind of mother that I want to be.  Do you remember the scene in Dumbo where Mama Jumbo defends her baby against the taunts and bullying of the circus crowd?  Seeing her baby in danger, she leaps to his rescue, risking her own safety to ensure his.  Vigor, courage, aggressive?  Yes, yes, yes.  I read a beautiful article hailing Mama Jumbo as one of the Best Moms ever:
The circus workers think that Mrs. Jumbo has gone crazy and lock her up lest she injure anyone else. Dumbo is separated from his mother and left unshielded from the unrelenting attacks. But, showing the fortifying effects of a mother's strong love in his heart, he turns what others see as his greatest weakness into his greatest strength and uses his ears to fly. The metaphor is apt: a supportive mother can give her child wings.
I thought about the Warrior pose in yoga.  Both legs extended, one knee bent for balance, arms outstetched to the horizon before you and behind you or pointed upward to the sky, to God.  It is a stance of power that grounds you to the earth, but pulls you to the sky.  It reveals determination and optimism.  I want to be that kind of mama.

Perhaps I should explain what drove me to the warrior image in the first place.  The morning after a lightning fast labor and delivery, my family was gathered in the recovery room as Trevor retold the events of the night before.  "I've never seen Nancy like that.  She was like a solider going to battle."

You should know that Words of Affirmation is my love language, so hearing this description of the night's events was such a powerful testament to my husband's love for me and his admiration of what I had accomplished (with his help of course).  It also got me thinking.  Pregnancy had been very hard on me.  I fell very ill during my last month and had suffered migraines, nausea, and horrible water retention throughout.  When Trevor compared me to a soldier, all of a sudden I looked at my poor, broken body with new eyes.  

I had battle scars.  I had physical evidence of my vigor, courage, and aggressiveness in carrying this baby, delivering him naturally, and feeding him from my own body even when we struggled for so long.  I started thinking of how quickly I almost abandoned my desires because things got a little uncomfortable.  I wanted women to draw upon their own strength, their own warrior, whatever she looks like for them.  Not every woman has a Trevor to affirm them like I do.  So if they don't, I wanted to memorialize my experience in writing so I never forget how powerful I am and maybe someone else might remember too.

In a testament to the expanding image of the "mama warrior", this Google image comes up: 

So stay tuned.  This won't be the last you hear about Mama Warriors...

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