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Filtering by Tag: Mother Blessing

Backyard Mother Blessing

Rachel O'Reilly

BACKYARD MOTHER BLESSING

Girlfriends gathered on a summer afternoon in Marin County, CA to love-up the beautiful mama-to-be. The backyard location made it an effortless and relaxed setting - even the family pooch made an appearance! Gals were greeted with fresh fruit, mimosas and flower crowns that reflected bright colors the guest of honor adores. Tiny succulents were given as a thank you and a reminder of the golden afternoon they shared.

What is a Mother Blessing?

Rachel O'Reilly

The first time I went to a mother blessing, I was so sweetly surprised at how soulful the experience was. In a sea of back-to-back baby showers where the day is spent playing silly games (that, let’s be real- who actually enjoys!?) and oooing and ahhing over material items gifted to the unborn baby, this newfound ritual was such a welcome departure from the traditional baby shower.

Now let me assure you, I’ll take any excuse to hang out with girlfriends and sip on socially acceptable alcoholic beverages before noon, but the point is this: Perhaps the most powerful and profound rite of passage in a woman’s life is becoming a mother, and the ceremony that honors this event has the ability to reflect this. 

Okay, but what exactly IS a mother blessing?

A mother blessing is a ritual inspired by an ancient Navajo tradition called a blessingway in which women of the tribe would come together to pamper and nourish the mama while offering words of wisdom, building her confidence and celebrating her ascendance into motherhood.

What happens at a mother blessing?

Women will gather in a circle and the host (or other appointed person) opens the ceremony by introducing themselves, offering a little orientation, and then setting the mood by leading the group in a quick meditation or anything that feels comfortable. Guests will take turns going around the circle sharing whatever they have prepared for the occasion. Examples of readings include, but are not limited to: Words of encouragement, advice on motherhood, sharing a positive birth story, a piece of wisdom, reading a poem that speaks to the event... the possibilities are endless!

Rituals + Enrichments

There are several rituals that can occur around the circle in whatever order works for the group. Here are some favorites:

  • Reading of something you wrote, piece of wisdom, or poem: This can be anything that you feel connected with, whether you wrote it or someone else did. It's nice to have at least part of your message written down so mama-to-be can save it, but can also just be free flow from your heart.

  • Birthing necklace: Ask guests to bring a bead to be strung into a necklace for Mama to wear during labor. This necklace symbolizes all of the positive energy and support of her tribe. Usually the bead will have some relevant significance. For example, a turquoise stone has healing powers that protect, balance, and instill inner peace. A shell might serve to symbolize the parallels between the rhythm of waves and the coming and going contractions during labor. Encourage guests to get creative! Side note: In my experience, I’ve found that actually stringing the necklace during the circle isn’t a great idea because the string can get tangled easily. I suggest passing a little bowl around to collect the beads instead. This way, you’re able to curate the order of the beads, too.

  • Feather mobile: In lieu of the birthing necklace, have guests bring a feather and make a mobile with your collection. There are lots of great ideas on Pinterest!

  • Aromatherapy foot bath: Pamper mama by giving her an aromatherapy foot massage with lavender oil and fresh flower petals.

  • Flower crown: Have a flower crown made for your guest of honor! This is one of our favorite traditions. If you live in the Bay Area, Katie of Eothen will make your dreams come true.

  • Nourishing foods: Prepare a board with delicious seasonal fruits and offer it to Mama. The delicious snack symbolizes fertility and will look beautiful. 

  • Henna: Hire a henna artist to give your guest of honor and guests henna tattoos. This is an ancient ritual that has transcended throughout many cultures, and is often used in preparation for rite of passage ceremonies.

Parting words

Shortly after I attended my first mother blessing, my dear friend became pregnant and I offered to host a blessing circles for her. She agreed (a bit reluctantly, to be honest) fearing I might lead them into super granola, hippy-dippy territory she wasn’t sure she could navigate. But here’s the thing; Mother Blessings can (and should!) be designed in alignment with whatever the mama feels comfortable with!

Just because you don’t feel a gravitational pull toward burning a smudge stick to clear the air doesn’t mean you should abandon the whole idea. I promise you that some really sweet, soulful magic stuff happens in these circles regardless of which rituals you decide to perform. After the blessing, I was approached by several attendees who wholeheartedly thanked me, a couple with tears in their eyes, for leading them through the experience. Suffice it to say that since then, many of the women present at that Mother Blessing have become mothers and all have asked for a blessing ceremony of their own. Mother Blessings create a wonderful, cathartic opportunity to express deep, nurturing support for someone you deeply love.

Interested? Explore more tips on hosting a mother blessing.

City Mother Blessing

Rachel O'Reilly

CITY MOTHER BLESSING

A girlfriend's chic apartment in San Francisco provided a comfortable and elegant setting, perfectly reflective of the mom-to-be's taste, for this gathering. The guest of honor was showered with love including her favorite fruits, an aromatherapy foot bath and readings from her dearest friends, who poured their hearts out for this exciting new chapter. Everyone nibbled on delicious pastries and macaroons, and sipped on champagne (with a mocktail for the mom-to-be). Details including rich gem tone flowers and rosebud ice cubes added an extra touch of feminine glam.

Forest Mother Blessing

Rachel O'Reilly

FOREST MOTHER BLESSING

A crisp spring morning in a redwood grove in Northern California offered an enchanting setting for mom-to-be's beloved women to gather in honor of her transition into motherhood. The ladies shared readings of love and wisdom and included beading mom a birth necklace and nurturing her with a flower petal foot bath and ripe fruit. A sage cleansing awakened everyone's senses and added a spiritual touch. Everyone wore white and neutrals and the guest of honor was crowned with a flower and feather piece inspired by the forest. 

Beach Mother Blessing

Rachel O'Reilly

BEACH MOTHER BLESSING

A sparkling stretch of beach on a late summer afternoon in Santa Cruz, CA provided a golden setting for this circle of women to honor the gorgeous mama-to-be. The surrounding landscape provided inspiration for the gathering. Ladies wore whites and neutrals, sea shells were used to create a mandala, and the flower crown was simple and airy. Pillows, shawls and a covered beach chair for the guest of honor ensured coziness for all.

5 Tips for Hosting a Mother Blessing

Rachel O'Reilly

By: Rachel O'Reilly

Since many women have never heard of, or experienced a Mother Blessing, the idea may be new to them. Assure your mama-to-be that a Mother Blessing is a beautiful way to bring together the women she loves, and who love her to celebrate this special time in her life. Instead of silly candy-bar-in-a-diaper games, you're suggesting something that will allow for more connection (and fun)!

A Mother Blessing can be created to suit any mom-to-be's taste. All that's needed is a comfortable and inviting setting and some minor preparation, and the beauty of celebration will unfold.

Here are 5 tips to help you host a glowing Mother Blessing:

  1. Personal touches. Part of honoring the mother-to-be is creating a space that's about what makes her comfortable and special. Think of including a few personal touches the guest of honor adores; her favorite flowers, music, fruit, colors, treats, etc. are all simple ways to wrap her in love.

  2. Pick your rituals. To get some ideas about which rituals to include check out our other post, What is a Mother Blessing? You can do them all or choose 2-3 that suit your group the best. 

  3. Comfort. The intention is to create a relaxed, joyous environment, and the location can be anywhere... If the mama-to-be enjoys the outdoors, find a quiet place where you won't be interrupted by weather or others. If she's more of a city gal, see about hosting at a private home or a hotel suite. The possibilities are endless! For the day-of, make sure the mama-to-be has a comfortable seat that allows her to sit up easily for a long period of time. If ladies are sitting on the floor in a circle, the guest of honor will need the support of a chair or bolster cushions. Have a few back-up options ready, in case the seat you offer her isn't working. 

  4. Nurturing guests + recruiting them to help. Creating a nurturing space for a Mother Blessing also means caring for the guests. Serving light refreshments when guests arrive, offering extra shawls/blankets/pillows for coziness, or giving them a memento to remember the day (a candle to light when Mom is in labor, for example), are ways to make everyone feel special. You can ask guests to bring things like champagne, sparkling water, flowers or snacks. Or maybe you opt for a potluck-style spread or pick up loads of coconut soup from the mama's favorite Thai spot. Let your nurturing side run wild!

  5. Have fun + let your heart shine. As the host, you're setting the tone for the gathering so consider centering yourself before everyone arrives. A short meditation, lighting candles or listening to your song can be a quick way to do this. Let your heart shine with each woman you welcome!

Side note: Anyone we know who has participated in a Mother Blessing, from any walk of life, has *loved* the experience. Don't second guess yourself - just enjoy the process!


To read more on this subject, check out, What is a Mother Blessing?