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What does it mean to make a person? This course brings deep reflection to this life-altering transition to motherhood and the creation of a new human being
When a new person enters the world, there are at least two births: one of the child, and one of the mother. Mom groups and classes typically cover how-to logistical issues like how to swaddle a baby or how to manage difficult behavior in your child. But there are deep psychological, emotional, and philosophical issues around becoming and being a mother that deserve more of our attention—questions like: What is lost and gained in the transition to motherhood? What are the cultural messages around being a good mom or bad mom? What does it mean to create a new human consciousness? The Meaning of Motherhood explores these complex philosophical questions with compassion, openness, and intellectual curiosity.
You do not need to be a mother to take this course. Although it may be particularly poignant for those who are about to become, or who have already become mothers, it will be illuminating for anyone who wants to better understand the emotional, psychological, and philosophical complexities of motherhood, including fathers, partners, and perinatal professionals. It is also not just for biological birth mothers, as there are many paths to motherhood. During the course, we will be likely discussing some physical components of pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum experience that impacts many moms, while also understanding that this is not everyone’s experience.
Week 1: The Birth of the Mother
The transition to motherhood is perhaps one of the biggest changes in a life, full of overwhelming and confusing emotions, huge physical changes, and profound mental shifts, but often doesn’t get the kind of recognition it deserves. In week 1, we’ll discuss the identity of motherhood and what it means to develop this new identity. What is lost, what is gained, and what does it mean to be a mother?
Week 2: Good Mom/Bad Mom
There are so many responsibilities, expectations, and judgments around what it means to be a mother. In week 2, we’ll explore, and challenge, some of the personal and cultural messages that we carry around that inform our judgments about what a good or bad mom is, and how these messages can impact the self-image and well-being of mothers.
Week 3: A New Consciousness
How do you wrap your head around making a person? How do you relate to a child with whom you are so intimately connected, but who has a distinct and unique experience with independent thoughts, desires, fears, and hopes. In week 3, we’ll explore how this creation of life can raise a deep sense of vulnerability, anxiety, and confusion about the meaning of mortality and human existence.
Week 4: The Village
It takes a village to raise a child, as they say. In week 4, we’ll explore the institutional and social supports, or lack thereof, in the form of family/maternity leave, child care, and norms around visitation, care, and community of motherhood. We’ll discuss ways that we may better support mothers, both at interpersonal and societal levels.
Childcare available for children ages 2-6 for an additional small fee. Inquire for details.
How to Register
Fees: Starting at $99, on a sliding sale