Getting comfortable with the uncomfortable parts of motherhood: Eryn's candid Q&A interview
Stretch marks, cellulite, and the scars of motherhood have always been a hidden pain for mothers. We love our children but the pains & marks of child labor can make the most confident women nervous. In today's society where sex literally sells there is nothing sexy correlated with motherhood. For years I struggled with accepting that these marks weren't leaving my body and my "pre baby" weight might not be attainable. The marks were just the tip of the iceberg in minimizing how confident I felt as a woman.
It took even more years of self love, self acceptance, and soul searching to begin to shed that shame. For me, seeing the fearlessness of other women and the pride they take in their flaws has helped me see the beauty within myself. One such woman is this beautiful soul... Eryn. Eryn is a successful author and business owner who has taken social media by storm with her candidness and honesty about motherhood. She is an advocate for body appreciation, self-love, and womanhood. Check out our interview with her below to see her take on this delicate topic.
- What encouraged you to start focusing and understanding yourself? You know I cannot pinpoint an exact time but I would say it was around the same time I grew tired of blaming everyone else for my misfortune. Eventually, the same sob story stopped working for myself. I wanted to narrate a different story. I had an epiphany in which I realized that I needed to do different things.
- Was it difficult to break away from corporate America, go on a whim and create something unique to you? As a little girl, I witnessed the benefits and disconnects of a working mother household. For some stretches, I remember my mom being home with us versus when she was at work. I knew the connection with my future children would change if I were in a comfortable work environment. I realized I could create my own environment and only needed corporate America for nothing more than certification. Therefore, from an early age I knew the key to my happiness was finding a job that did not feel like work. Since I am extremely subservient by nature, I felt like I had to work hard no matter the job. I realized that if I was going to do that than I had to learn how to do it for myself first.
- Many women neglect who they are as a person and their bodies because they have so much going on. Why is this damaging? Oh because if you ain't good to it, what good use is it? I am learning this as I slowly approach 30. My body is changing but the demand of life is only increasing. It is imperative to the longevity of my life, to be good to my body. To acknowledge fatigue, aches, and pains. To eat healthy or at least to know how different my body is when I am taking care of her. Our bodies are not built like machines so overtime we are deteriorating in the flesh. Why not halt that process for as long as you can.
- What are some of the habits you have picked up to keep in check with yourself and/or body? Meditation is one of my favorite practices. It slows my thoughts down and allows me to listen to my body. Some physical ailments are manifested by over activity of the mind and spirit. Sitting with myself in stillness can show me deeper into myself.
- As a mother, our bodies scar during the process of birthing and motherhood. This is something you have embraced and unapologetically display on your social media. How did you overcome the insecurities attached to stretch marks, cellulite, etc.? I do not recall a time where I thought stretch marks were not beautiful. I always associated them with growth. For me to grow stronger into my motherhood, I felt it was necessary to embrace all sides of motherhood. It is all about growth, making it feel and look glorious. This platform just allows me to connect with women who feel the same way about their bodies. In that sisterhood, we collectively encourage groups of women to accept their natural beauty.
- Women are scared to embrace sexuality openly. Why do you think this is? Well there has been a loving history of women being shamed for embracing anything that mirrors "masculinity" and assertion or aggression has been defined as such. I believe a true testament of a woman is knowing exactly what she wants and how to communicate that effectively. I do not feel that the shame in being sexual has been handed by anyone in particular but really manifests in an outdated moral compass society is breaking down.
- Do you feel that sex and/or sexuality can make or break a relationship? I believe that relationships deserve that level of comfort where we can share any idea or thought that passes and not feel limited. With that thought, I believe the lack of care or attention to your partners needs and desires can break a relationship-- before "sex" being the culprit.
- Is sex a physical or mental thing? Why? Sex is definitely physical. However, good sex is definitely mental. Furthermore, great sex is extremely spiritual. Your soulmate is capable of making you feel all three. Igniting all of your senses at one time. So that every time you are with them, you feel fulfilled with all your senses.
- What would be your advice to women who struggle with understanding or tuning into their sexuality? I have learned that the best things about myself are deeply rooted in the spaces I reserve for intimacy. It takes a lot of vulnerability to connect with anyone on a spiritual, emotional, and physical level. I believe that it is important to know myself on such levels when understanding my own sexuality. In order to do that I have to invest in myself. This includes dating myself or taking myself to dinner. Really spending time alone in my own thoughts not inhibited by anybody else. This isolation allows me to know what my true self is like. Anchor other women to court themselves so they too can see what they love about themselves.
- You recently released a book, “Moon Matter”, what was your thought process behind it? “Moon Matter”, was birthed from the belly of my motherhood. It is a series of writings that happened once I put my son to sleep at night during the first year of his life; a journal of my first year postpartum. I wrote it to release the pressure honestly. I found that being a mother was a lot harder than I imagined because I strangely felt like my experience was unique. I later realized that this was just depression speaking. The load seemed a lot lighter when I started sharing my story. I realized that my story could help another young woman experiencing the same feelings of defeat in search of her own empowerment.
- What message do you want women to take away from your book after reading it? Oh Girl, I want you to know that you harness all the power. There isn't anything anyone can convince you that you do not have. You have to look at what is in front of you and make the most out of it. What you do not like about yourself, you have the ability to change. This change can also just be a change in perspective. I want you to know that it is OK to feel, it is OK to be, and it is OK to release because everything changes.
- Any suggested habits, routines, books, etc. you recommend to women about understanding themselves, their sexuality, etc.? Please read anything by Zora Neale Hurston. There is magic and gold all within her margins.
- Last thought… what is Erynamelism? Erynamelism would happen to be a term I coined for the thoughts and studies that womanhood tossed at me. These are my findings as I journey and journal through life. I want the world to see this as a single log on how life flows for a woman of color. In all ways. I believe this is important because representation matters. I want my story to inspire others because it is how we really visualize change and progression. I want women to harness every ounce of power we convince ourselves we do not have. Because we do, and we are doing it together.
Still waiting to find out what the tip is? Well if it isn't clear yet... the tip is you. Embracing, loving, and accepting the markings of motherhood are the only way to get rid of those "embarrassing" marks and make them beautiful.... you're welcome.