mother Archives - Dr. Mary Pritchard

How to Be Queen of Your Own Life, Step I

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Closeup of beautiful blond girl wearing a tiara and looking at camera

I was chatting with a friend of mine today about the phases of women’s lives. She just returned from Salem, MA. While there she visited the Witch House and took a tour. Her tour guide was talking with her about the three traditional phases of a woman’s life: Maiden, Mother, and Crone. However, she added that in modern times there are now four phases: Maiden, Mother, Queen, and Crone.

I’ve been toying with adding two chapters to my as-of-yet-unpublished manuscript on Awakening the Goddess Within since December. I believe the time has come. School’s out for the next two months; it’s time to figure out just who this Queen archetype is and how she plays a role in my life.

Thus far, I like what I have found. While the Maiden archetype is young, wild, and free, the Mother is nurturing, caring, and puts others before herself, and the Crone is the Wise Woman, the Queen is a different entity entirely. The Queen is the Sovereign of her own domain. Her “mothering” years are behind her (or at least her children are past childhood and need less care from her) and she is entering a new phase in her life – one where she gets to focus her energy on her own pursuits; define how she will live her life; explore the possibilities with her mature sense of knowing what she wants and what she doesn’t.

In the past 6 months, Universe has sent me numerous signs that it’s time for me to take charge of my own life in a way I never have before; set new boundaries; become Queen of my own Domain. My mothering years are over; my reproductive years coming to an end. Now I can channel my “birthing” energy into my passions and projects that stir my Soul.

So what is the first step? How do you become Queen of Your Own Life? I believe Step 1 is this: Reconnect with Your Intuition and Learn to Trust that Inner Voice of Wisdom. If, like me, you have always been a people pleaser, lacked self-trust, and put your needs last on your to-do list, the time has come for your – and me – to rise to the occasion. Are you ready to become Queen of your own life? 

Mother, Martyr, Bitch?

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BitchIt was a Wednesday night. I planned to take the evening off to relax and rejuvenate after a long week and weekend working. My man promised to make dinner so I could relax and I had a book picked out to read in front of the fire.

I was finishing up my work when I got the text from my man. It was 5:30. He was stuck in traffic and was getting a massage at our house at 6:30.
I texted him back, “Do you want me to get something started?”
“Yes,” he texted back. I asked what I should start. “Everything.” Alrighty then.
30 min later, he walks in. “Do you know how to sew? I ripped my coat.”
I quickly finished dinner, and we wolfed it down before his massage therapist arrived.
An hour and a half later, I had finished hand-sewing his coat and was finally ready to sit down and relax. Except that I was too exhausted to keep my eyes open.
Sighing, I gave up and got ready for bed.
By the time my man finished getting his massage, I was sobbing. I resented the fact that I whiled away my evening of rest do-ing. I resented the fact that I had to cook for him when he was supposed to be cooking for me. I resented him for getting a massage while I wasted my rest time mending his coat. Most of all, I was frustrated and angry with myself for yet again failing to keep a promise to myself and failing to take care of my needs.
“What's wrong?” He asked.
Through my sobbing I relayed my frustrations about spending my restful evening do-ing things for him.
“I never asked you to fix my coat,” he said. “I asked if you could sew. I was hoping you would teach me.”
I stopped and thought. He hadn't asked me to fix his coat; nor had he asked me to fix dinner, for that matter. Somewhere in my mind, “Can you sew?” had been translated to, “Will you fix my coat while I get a massage?”
He followed up this observation with a question, “What happened in your childhood to make you think you always had to do?”
It wasn't any one thing; it was everything. It was what was expected, how I was raised. I was taught that life was about being of service to others – at the expense of yourself. At the same time, I learned that people needed to be reminded – regularly – of your great sacrifice and service to them.
Mother = martyr.
That's how you prove your worth. That's how people know who you are and what value you have to them. It's sad, really.
Of course, the thing that really got me was that I have criticized and judged my mother for playing the role of the martyr many a time in my adult life. I even accused her of liking it, which she denied. Yet, there I was, playing out my role of martyr in the ‘mothering' years of my life.
Then it occurred to me: I have a choice. I don't have to be a martyr – or a mother, for that matter. Women in my generation have many more opportunities than our mothers did. We can choose to play out a different role, roles that our mothers never dreamed possible.
But if I'm not a martyr – if I'm not proving my worth by do-ing then what am I?
I learned growing up that I must be of service to others at my own expense. Anything less was selfish. So if I decide to choose differently – to not be of service at my own expense – then what does that make me? According to women who suffer the martyr complex, likely I'd be a selfish bitch. agrees: a bitch is “a malicious, unpleasant, selfish person, especially a woman.”
I disagree.
In her book, The Bitch, the Crone, and the Harlot, Susan Schacterle defines a bitch as, “A positive archetype of a Bitch at midlife is that of a woman who has become so comfortable with who she is that she doesn’t hesitate to take appropriate action in any situation. Her actions are no longer so governed by what others think, but rather by what she knows to be true. This is a woman whose intuition is so well-developed that she knows in her gut what to do. Part of her personal mission is to perform actions that are shaped by integrity, insight, and compassion. This woman can make things happen anywhere but, unlike the street-defined bitch, there is no selfishness, no unkindness about her; she takes action and creates results that are the highest and best for everyone involved, within a framework of wisdom and love.”
Now that's a definition I can aspire to! Who wouldn't want to be a bitch with that definition? Sign me up!
Yet, if you called a woman a ‘bitch', I'm guessing very few would say thank you. The negative connotation of the term is too powerful.
So what if we, as women, decided to change that? What if we hung up our Superwoman capes and said ‘no thank you' to the martyr complex? What if we embraced our inner bitch, understanding that meant saying yes to our intuition? Our compassion? Ourselves? What if, for once, we were finally and truly comfortable in our own skin? What if we felt free to speak our truth and walk in our power?
I'm willing to aspire to be a bitch. Are you?

Featured GODDESS: Juno

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Patron Goddess of Women

“If you need me, just Call. Know that I have Seen, Heard, and Experienced everything right along with you – the good and the bad, the happy and the sad. I cry with you and rejoice with you. I am here for you.”


Traits Juno Embodies:

  • Nurturing/bonding
  • Loyality
  • Women’s rights
  • Protection
  • Mothering


How to call on Juno:

As Patron Goddess of Women, Juno is always present. Feel her joy when you have a good talk with one of your girlfriends, hear her sighs of pleasure as you sink into a bubble bath, feel her compassion when you experience sadness or grief. As the month of June was named for Juno, She can be found on hot, summer days, lounging by the pool, walking in a rose garden, or in the warm winds that carry floral scents that waft by your nose. If it’s not Summer, you may need to find symbols of Summer to connect with Her: flowers, sunshine, or even Mistletoe (one of her token flowers). Remember that Juno is always there for you, ready to give you protection or help in romantic or familial relationships. All you have to do is Ask.


Prayer to Juno:

 Juno, Patron Goddess of Women,

Mother to Mothers,

Goddess of All,

I Call on You at this time for …. {state your problem}

I Ask for Your Wisdom and Guidance to … {state desired solution or say something like “Help me Know what to do about this situation}

In Honor of You and All Women,

And for the greatest good of All,

In this I Pray to You.

Thank You, Juno!


Tribute to Juno:

As a tribute to Juno, you may wish to donate to your favorite women’s cause or do something nice for one of your girlfriends or your Mother.


Featured GODDESS: Demeter

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Goddess Demeter

Goddess of the Harvest

“The harvest is a time of bounty,
but also a time for transition
as we prepare for the cold winter.
Call upon me when you need help
making a transition in your life.”

Traits Demeter Embodies:

  • Mother
  • Nuturer
  • Kind soul
  • Inner Strength
  • Self-knowing

 How to call on Demeter :

As Goddess of the Harvest, Demeter can be found in fallow fields. If you don't happen to have a freshly harvested field handy, buy a pumpkin or ears of corn. Call upon Demeter when you find yourself in one of life's many transitions. Demeter is particularly helpful in transitions involving motherhood (new baby or empty nest).

Prayer to Demeter:

Demeter, Great Goddess of the Harvest,

You who provide us with nourishment,

Hear my prayer.

As I embark on my new role as [fill in the blank],

I ask for your wisdom and guidance.

Give me inner strength and the knowledge that I have the power within me to weather any storm.

Thank you Demeter.

Tribute to Demeter:

As a show of appreciation, you may wish to hang the sheaths of corn on your door as a welcome to those who enter your home or place the pumpkin on your front doorstep. If it is not Fall and you worry about what your neighbors will think, just keep the pumpkin or corn somewhere you will see it to remind yourself that you have the strength to make it through this transition in your life. When you feel you no longer need this symbol, you may wish to bury it in your background or a nearby park, returning the energy back to Demeter for future harvests.