2023 in Review: Mothering the Mother

2023 in Review: Mothering the Mother

We asked, you answered. As we look back on the mamas we featured in 2023, we highlight the best, most vulnerable, and most inspiring answers to the question: "How does Matrescence’s Mission to “mother the mother” resonate with you?" 


Julia Sarewitz met her partner Victoria Trinko, in a graduate school course specifically focused on the concept of matrescence. As they bonded over their shared interests, they found themselves wondering why the concept of recentering the mother wasn’t taught in prenatal courses or among their community. Together, they founded Seed Mother, an evidence-based maternal education program at Columbia University that explores the emotional, psychological, social, ecological, and spiritual dimensions of becoming a mother:

In one of our recent Seed Mother workshops, a participant shared something that continues to resonate with me. She said that, yes, being a mother “takes a village” but noted that, in our current culture and society, modern mothers often have to pay for that village. In the US, many people don’t live within a village to teach them how to become a mother. And there is such an overwhelming amount of information and opinion floating around on the internet and social media- much of it very well-intentioned, but often not helpful- that sometimes I just give up on trying to stay informed or intentional about the choices that might best serve me as a mother.

This is how Matrescence Skin’s mission to “mother the mother” feels so hugely impactful and helpful to me. I trust that the company has done its due diligence to create safe and self-honoring skincare products… so I don’t have to think about it. This may sound small or insignificant, but to take something off of my plate, particularly in the invaluable name of self-care, so that I might be able to feel a little bit more peaceful or beautiful or connected to Self, that has a radical impact.

This idea of “mothering the mother” is something that I thought about often after having my son. Matrescence is a time in which we are “becoming”, we are letting go of old parts of ourselves to make room for the new parts to emerge. Something I had been practicing long before becoming a mother, through my Shamanic practices, was to listen to and care for past parts of myself: all of the little girls in me who sometimes need extra love, care, and support. So, as a new mother, if I felt lost for a time, or overwhelmed, or confused, I would talk to these younger parts of myself. In a way, I became a mother to myself as much as I became a mother to my son. I think it’s not only possible but essential to turn the concept of “mothering the mother” back onto ourselves. It’s incredibly empowering.

Lastly, there is absolutely a collective amnesia when it comes to that first postpartum year. It can be disheartening to share about something you’re going through and have someone’s response be something like, “You’ll get through it; we all do,” or “Just wait, it gets worse before it gets better.” This societal narrative to just white-knuckle it because it eventually gets better can make a new mom totally shut down, not even want to ask for help, particularly in something secondary to their child’s needs. Matrescence Skin’s mission of “mothering the mother” reflects back to a new mom that, no, you do not have to grin and bear it, yes, you do deserve something luxurious, and, yes, your needs at this moment in time, right now, are important.” 

Ky Lauren shared her experience of going through a traumatic labor and delivery, followed by her battled with postpartum depression. The attorney turned social content creator and Head of Content Strategy at Matrescence spoke of her desire to channel her experience into advocacy for new moms, and how her quest to find balance between “working mom” and “present mom” finally led her to the freedom she desired:  

“I knew I wanted to expand in my career, but I also knew I wasn’t going to commit to anything new unless it felt purposeful. My very first phone call with Matrescence’s founder, Raquel, it hit me that this was something different. This was a brand centered around cultivating the authentic experience for moms. Even our corporate team is all moms. That’s so cool, you know? I came from a very male dominated industry; I once had an older male attorney in court tell me it was “cute” that I was a lawyer. I love working with and for women, especially mothers. I had never heard the phrase “mothering the mother,” before our first phone call, but I realized right away that I had an opportunity to provide other moms exactly what I had needed when I was a new mom.”


Nana Eyeson-Akiwowon seeks to improve the mental health of women the world over. The New Jersey based mom and co-founder of the social impact maternal wellness brand, Fourth Phase, shares Matrescence’s Mission to “mother the mother” both in her career and her personal life.  She shares with us how she strives to advocate for mothers as they walk through the universal experience of motherhood, while at the same time learning to give herself grace in her own motherhood journey:

“Fourth Phase and Matrescence share a common mission. Mothering the Mother is the ethos of our brand; it is why we established Fourth Phase as a social impact company. For each Fourth Phase box purchased, funds and/or products are donated to mothers in need either in sub-Saharan Africa or here in the US. We know that motherhood is a global experience, and that no matter where a mother gives birth - be it Mt. Sinai Hospital or in a rural polyclinic in Ghana - the physical, mental and emotional changes she goes through are universal.”


As a Registered Nurse who operates a mental health hotline, Jamie Spence is passionate about the wellbeing of mothers all over, and works to protect their mental health. As a mom of three boys herself, Jamie experienced postpartum depression after the birth of her twins and beautifully shares her insight on how to navigate mental health, grow into the new version of yourself in motherhood, and prioritize you, not just as a mom, but as a woman:

"Mother the mother" is a beautiful reminder not to forget mom in the mix of all things newborn and/or raising a family.  Moms often sacrifice so much of themselves to keep the family unit afloat, and it is easy to forget her among the societal pressure saying she can do all the things. It’s important to remember that "all the things" come at a price of overwhelm and burnout, poor physical & mental health, relationship tension and isolation. A mother is demonstrative of love, as she is tender, supportive, nurturing, kind, patient, gentle, a cheerleader, and fluid to meet the needs of her family, and she needs this reflected back to her within her community and family ecosystem.  

Educator, advocate, and single mama to two girls, Alisa Ronis shares her incredibly emotional and inspiring journey of adopting her daughters after countless setbacks and a total of 908 days spent navigating the foster system, despite countless setbacks. Her story truly embodies the strength of mothers and the lengths we will go to as mamas to serve the best interest of our children:

“Mother the mother” reminds me of how much privilege I have as a white woman living in America. Sadly, many women around the world are suffering and being treated unfairly. Their children suffer as a result of their circumstances. Mother the mother also reminds me of the power in my friendships. My daughters are Black and are learning to understand the injustices of their world. I’m grateful for the Black women who teach me how to raise Black girls in 2023. They are growing up surrounded by strong women who love and guide them with patience and dignity. I am eternally grateful for the many women that I can be honest and open with. I could never be a mom without the support of my family and friends

Mom of five kids ranging 6 months to 18 years old, Debran Faddis has experienced a motherhood journey that spans so many life experiences. From hearing she wouldn’t be able to have children, to learning she was pregnant at just 20 years old, to recently having a new baby 17 years after the birth of her first daughter, she shares what she’s learned over the last two decades, the pure joy parenting can bring, and the isolation we can all feel as mamas:

“I did not learn to mother myself for the first 8 or 9 years of my motherhood journey. It wasn’t until I started to learn about personal development that I realized how much I had neglected taking care of myself. In fact, that lack of caring for myself eventually contributed greatly to my divorce.

I’m not talking about self-care with bubble baths and time alone, although I do think that’s valuable when it comes to self care. For me, what I needed to learn and implement looked like learning about myself, setting boundaries with others, teaching other people how I expected to be treated and not allowing myself to be mistreated, even in the most sacred of my relationships. It looked like gaining confidence and realizing that I was valuable and worthy and had something to offer, even without considering my contributions as a wife and mother. It meant learning how to get myself to a place where I was capable of taking care of myself and where I cared about myself and what happened to me. That wasn’t always the case, so it was quite a journey to get there.”


Board Certified Music Therapist Lauren Marcinkowski talks about the importance of recognizing the hard work of stay at home mothers. Despite having three teaching certifications, including music, special and elementary education, Lauren reminds us that you don’t need to be constantly accomplishing in your career to be recognized for the hard work we all do as parents. Her reminder that “motherhood is enough” is something mamas that work inside and outside the home can remind ourselves of in those tough moments:

“It takes a village to not only raise a child, but to raise the mother. You become a new person once you become a mom. I used to think that was just a saying, but it’s absolutely true. It’s completely changed the way I view myself and the world. It’s completely changed my life and what I’ve decided to do in terms of my career and mission on social media. I love that Matrescence has specifically created and curated products just for moms. It feels so intentional and makes me feel appreciated in this stage of my life!

As a full time mom, it makes me feel appreciated and that motherhood alone is enough. You don’t need to be doing a million things in your career to be recognized for your hard work. Being a mom alone is enough! Everything else is just gravy.”



As a new mom, Sonia Aikens dealt with postpartum depression and the struggle to find her way back to herself after having children and changing careers. What the teacher turned beauty expert turned business coach didn’t know, however, was that the hardest battle for her family was still ahead. Learning how to fight for herself as a mom in those early postpartum days would prove to be crucial as she navigated her son’s cancer diagnosis, and learning to prioritize self care would be a saving grace in her darkest days:

“I wish “mother the mother” had been around for me 10 years ago. Instead of feeling loved and nurtured, I felt alone and forgotten about. It’s like we were supposed to just have it all figured out. After having the baby, no one asked how we were doing as moms anymore.  When I was pregnant, everyone was empathetic towards me. Complete strangers even. Holding the door open for the pregnant lady. Then after the baby came, no one held the door open anymore. Just let that thing crash into the stroller. Ha!

I love the idea of taking care of the mamas of this world. We NEED the mamas.”

How does the phrase “mother the mother” resonate with you? Share your story on our Instagram and join the conversation! We’d love to feature you in 2024!

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