When I was 20 years old, I was on the path toward law school. I was intent on becoming a child advocacy lawyer in order to protect all of the vulnerable children that I saw in my day to day life. I was naive and I thought this would change the world.
I married a man and we made four babies and I realized that child advocacy does not need to happen only in a courtroom, but way before that time. I became a childbirth educator and a birth doula, and did not ask for it, but found myself becoming mentors for younger mothers. And through this, I came to realize, I was doing child advocacy.
I stood in my kitchen last night with this man who is leaving me. Whose childhood is so full of horror, I cannot even fathom it. I break to a million pieces thinking about the little boy who endured so much, and it presses me on to continue this work. We have a great opportunity, midwives and birth workers. We may not always see it come to fruition, but every interaction we have with an expecting family and with a new mother, we are planting seeds. We are advocating for those children in how we treat their mothers, in how we honor their family, in how we speak of the baby and to the baby.
One of the amazing benefits of Facebook is that I can watch the families I worked with in their very beginnings blossom and grow. And it warms my heart to no end to see how many gentle mothers I see. How they choose parenting with love and respect, and how they are choosing to love and respect themselves as well.
Peace on earth begins at birth? I think it's worth a try.