Two things to gift you today:

Firstly, a printable Mama Goddess poster.

And then a letter for your new mama heart.



Dear B,

I saw you yesterday.

Breasts aching with milk, body aching.

You are a new mama.

Just moments ago,

you were initiated into the strangest, most intense, wildest, hardest fucking path there is:



I just want you to know

dear mama,

you are not alone.

You are not alone as your body aches,

your vagina mends,

your breasts stab with pain.

You are not alone as your days

become nights

stretching long and unending

and nowhere between the two

is one damn eight hour block

of sleep.

You are not alone as you stare

out the window and wonder

just where the fuck your life went

what the fuck this motherhood gig is all about

what the fuck you are supposed to be doing now

who you are now

and what it all means.

You are not alone as you marvel at

how precious and free and unencumbered

and utterly relaxing your life was


How you used to be satiated with

sleep and food and time

and now you are stricken with poverty

of all three

and you wonder why the fuck anybody ever willing chooses this.

You are not alone as you cry

as you sob

as the grey clouds move in and set up home.

You are not alone

as your heart shrieks

when your baby cries.

You are not alone

when you look at the space

between you and your love

and wonder where it got crushed and smothered and bent

by the great force that is

keeping a tiny human being


You are not alone

when you are angry




You are not alone

when you are guilty

when you are the worst mother alive

when you forget where your kid is

when you make mistakes.

You are not alone when you question everything.

When you fret.

When you hear your child screaming everytime you take a shower

only to realise there is nothing but silence when you turn it off.

(Or maybe they really are screaming.

Either way

you are not alone.)

You are not alone – literally – when you

attempt to go to the toilet

and discover that

this one private act has been taken from you too.

Your child needs you.


So wholly and solely

you fear you have been swallowed whole

and that there is nothing left for you.

You are not alone.

You are not alone when your sanity breaks,

your temper frays,

and you dream of running

– running – straight through the door

down the street

away to a quieter place

a place you can hear yourself think

a place you can meet your own needs

a place you can be just you

– not mama, not wife

just you.

You are not alone when you want to escape

the screaming,



needful mess of it all.

You are not alone

you are not alone

you are not alone.

You are not






or selfish

for wanting

a piece of you for you

a piece of your old life back


but this.

You are not alone

when you think you are.

You are not alone

when you question yourself.

You are not alone

when you are convinced

you are the most unnatural mother in the world.

You are not alone

when you believe

this whole motherhood thing

is too fucked up,

too needing of an adult

then you’ll ever be able to provide.


dearest mama,

are not alone.

You are not alone when it is hard.

I want you to know…

this will pass.

It will get easier.

I promise.

Right now, at the beginning of motherhood,

it’s the hardest initiation of all.

No other time can compare.

I want you to know

that breath by breath

moment by moment

it will get a little softer

a little kinder

and you will scoop back a second more of your own time.

I want you to know

that you deserve all the


and healing

and time

you want and need.

That it is a good thing

to find other carers for your wee one

and let them love them

while you love you.

I want you to know

you are




and magical.

I want you to know your body just

created the living miracle

of splitting into two

and sustaining a whole new lifeform.

And that it doesn’t come

without cost or pain or energy

and we can talk about this.

We don’t need to gloss over it.

We don’t need to make it shine.

We can be real here,

with each other,

as mamas.

We can tell the truth about our lives

the holy and the glorious and the love

and the pain and the deep shitty depraved horror and the depression and the angst and the overriding guilt and the crippling anxiety

and that all of them are welcome here.

I want you to know

that I struggled profoundly

that I thought my life was over

that the Leonie as I knew her was gone

and was never, ever coming back

so much so

I burned all my photo albums,

I gave away all my paintings

let go of all my beloved book collection.

I want you to know

I thought the pain would never end.

I want you to know

I was wrong.

And it did.

My child got older. She got easier. She (eventually) started sleeping.

And most of all,

I discovered me. Who I was as a mother. What I needed to thrive. What were the surefire things that would fuck me up.

I, Leonie Dawson, hereby require the following: medication, acupuncture, therapy and childcare in order to not crumple up into the ground.

And I am not ashamed to say that.

I am not ashamed to say that though I adore my children, every moment with children is NOT pure joy and bliss.

That does NOT make me a bad mother.

It makes me a mother. One who knows herself and her own cells.

I’m not saying that you need all that, dearest.

I’m just saying:

whatever it is you need,

you are utterly

and deeply


to have it.

And I support you

and encourage you

to find whatever ways

you can

to have them.

By hook or by crook, by supreme creativity or string-pulling or needs-declaring.

Whatever it is… your needs are worth it.

To have needs is not a weakness.

It is a sacred and human right.

Just because you are a mother

does not make you


of a human.

Dearest mama,

wherever you are

wherever you are

in this great tumble and fumble

of humanity and stretching and reaching and hoping and grasping

I want you to know

you are loved

by so very many

who want to see you shine.

You are loved

you are worthy

you are whole

even and especially when you feel broken.

Thank you for choosing to be a mama.

Thank you for choosing the enormous task of bringing through another soul and body into the world.

The angels want you to know that

it is never



sacrificing yourself.

It is about finding ways for you to thrive

to tend to your precious self

even amidst the greatest storm of your life.

You are good, mama.

You are perfect and you are beauty and you are divine.

And you are surrounded by a whole globe of sisters.

Sisters who hear you.

Sisters who know.

Sisters who love you.

You are not alone.

You are good.

All my love,