We here at Mothering Matters are coming back from a summer hiatus. Wait, that’s not the right word. A hiatus would imply that we’ve been hanging out, reading magazines, going on vacation. What we’ve really been up to is the business (or busy-ness) of motherhood. We are sorry for our time away, but we are very excited to get back to this blog and community, which continues to grow each day. Thank you for joining us.
Since this is your blog too, we want to hear from you. What do you hope to get out of this site? What do you want to hear more about? Who are the writers/moms/scholars/ministers on your Mothering Matters wish list? We want to reach out to others in the religion/theology/ministry worlds (and beyond!) to write for the blog – so who are your dream contributors? What would you like to hear them explore on the pages here?
If you are interested in writing for the blog, please send us some information about yourself and what you’d like to write about. You can learn more about how to contribute, and what we are looking for, here.
So thanks for visiting our blog and joining this community. We hope you continue to send us messages via Facebook or Twitter (@MotheringMatter), or you can feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are excited to continue this conversation about mothering, theology & religious practices with you.
Until next week,
Annie, Claire & Liz
by Annie Hardison-Moody
Recently, I was reading Grace Ji-Sun Kim’s post at Feminist Studies in Religion, titled Writing and the Community that Sustains Me. It’s a lovely post about the ways that we don’t write on an island – there’s a network of people (friends, relatives, colleagues) who support us when times are good (hey! I wrote something today!) and when they are hard (when we struggle to write or work through loss, death, or hardship). I’ve been thinking a lot recently about my own community and the people who sustain me through the good times and bad.
I wrote a post on another blog last year about the friends who have seen you during what I call the “mom cry.” It’s that cry that happens when you think you can hold everything together – and you do – until you see that person (as a child, often your mom) with whom you can just let it all out. I don’t cry around people a lot, but my good friends and my family have seen my “mom cry.” They have held me when my heart was breaking over a miscarriage. They have listened as I ranted angrily (crying through it) about the unfairness of infertility and loss. They are the women who meet me when I’m at my wit’s end, my breaking point, when I just can’t hold it together any longer.
Recently, my friends have been going through some hard times. They are dealing with losses related to adoption (potential revocation of an adoption), losing a child during child-birth, dealing with a parents’ life-threatening cancer diagnosis, anguish over shootings at a naval yard where a spouse works, and the list goes on. They have been forced to confront our vulnerability as human beings head-on. We live. We love. We also lose.
I’ve spent a lot of time over the last few months with some of these friends, grieving with them, being angry with them, and also (sometimes) hoping with them. That’s what it means to be in relationship. You take and you give – knowing that the next time, you might be on the opposite end of the spectrum, needing support or needing to give it. That’s the wonderful thing about community, right? It’s that net that is there to catch you when you fear you might fall. And it’s that support that is there for you if and when (God forbid) you end up falling anyway.
I don’t have any novel theological insights about community and motherhood and loss to report…but over the last few weeks and months, being there for my friends, and also coming to know this little life that’s growing inside me, I’ve come to the harsh realization that we are remarkably vulnerable creatures. Torn apart by each other. Torn apart through loss. And yet, it seems to me, that this vulnerability is what reminds us of how much we need each other, and it demonstrates to us (in such stark ways) just how wonderful – and tragic – it is to love. When we are broken down, it’s that same love – found in relationship, in community – that can bring us back together.
by Annie Hardison-Moody
Thank you to our regular and new readers, from the editors of Mothering Matters! We are excited about the interest in the site so far, and we hope to continue to grow our readership. As you might already know, this blog is a companion to an edited volume on mothering, theology and religious practices. Our hope is that this site and the volume will create a safe space for these conversations, and in an effort to widen the dialogue even more, we want to invite others to contribute. In the coming months, we’ll have posts from authors who are contributing to the volume, as well as other scholars and practitioners we know who are interested in and working at these intersections. However, we realize that there are so many of you thinking and writing about these topics, and we want to hear from you as well.
If you are interested in writing for Mothering Matters, you can learn more about how to contribute on our Contribute page. Here’s some information:
We welcome submissions for the blog that bring together the realities of mothering and parenthood with theological scholarship and/or religious and spiritual practices. We invite thoughtful, well-written posts of 500 – 1500 words (generally). We encourage submissions that draw on relevant cultural topics, while being attentive to everyday life experiences. We value pieces that speak to the wide range of experiences of mothering.
To submit or propose a piece, email us at MotheringMattersBlog@gmail.com.
Thank you again for continuing to read the blog. Please don’t hesitate to comment (either here, on Facebook or, via Twitter @MotheringMatter) and let us know what you’d like to see from the site.