Last week, our Fourth Trimester Survival Group spent some time thinking about Mother's Day. Between the Hallmark nature of the holiday and the systemic challenges mothers face, the idea of flowers and brunch wasn't making anyone particularly excited.
We brainstormed ways to truly honor the transition into motherhood and our very own Tara Strongosky felt called to create this ritual for our group with permission to share.
Mother's Day Ritual
Sunday May 14, 2023 ⚫ Moon in Pisces
You’ll need (or some variation of):
- Your favorite flower (single or bunch)
- A treat, chocolate, or any food as an offering
- A white candle
- Something(s) symbolic and important to you that represents motherhood to decorate a small altar with (these objects can be anything and can represent both the joy and struggles of motherhood - i.e. picture of baby, nipple butter, a tiny shoe, a tarot card, a crystal, etc)
- Pen or pencil
- Notebook or piece of paper
Situate yourself in a quiet spot where you can sit comfortably with a flat, stable surface in front of you. Begin by setting up your altar/ritual space. Place your white candle in the center and surround it with flowers and any symbolic items. Be creative and artistic as you want here. Make it as simple or elaborate as you wish. This ritual is a reflection of you.
Light the candle.
Take 3 deep breaths. You may even wish to meditate for a little while here if you like. There are some great free prenatal and postpartum meditations on youtube if you just do a quick search beforehand.
Take your offering and place in front of the candle. Use this moment to honor your female ancestors, mother goddesses, deities or gods, the Earth, or other people whom you feel reverence towards, especially in your journey into motherhood. Verbally speak to these honorees out loud or in your mind and offer your gratitude and requests for strength, perseverance, or wishes.
Now get ready to write yourself a love letter. Reflect on what the last several weeks in your new role have been like and include all the good, the bad, and the ugly. If this brings up feelings that make you cry, release them! This is a wonderful moment to let those feelings flow.
- What were some of your highest highs and lowest lows?
- What were your favorite parts and the parts you could have done without?
- What are you grateful for in the last weeks?
- When was a moment where you showed great strength and determination or something you are proud of?
- What are some keywords you’d use to describe yourself as a new mother?
- What are some things that have surprised you about the newborn stage about both you and your baby?
- What has it been like seeing your baby grow and subsequently seeing yourself grow?
Now, think about how you’d like to show up for yourself and your family going forward into motherhood. Set your intentions and write them down. Think about all the subtle and beautiful ways that you can trust yourself, provide self-love and care, support yourself, and honor your commitments to your future you. These can be any words of inspiration, goals for you and your family, or a pep talk to yourself. This practice isn’t about trying to envision or become a perfect mother; it's a practice in progress, possibility, and curiosity. Revisit this letter when you need a pick-me-up to remind yourself of all the miraculous hard work you have done thus far.
End the ritual by saying the following and then extinguishing your candle:
I, (your name), thank my body for giving life to and sustaining my baby.
I honor my body and soul for the transformation it has gone through and will continue to go through.
I honor my strength, softness, and all the other remarkable characteristics that make me a mother.
crafted by Tara Strongosky