Fanning the fire midweek, we are tossing you a spontaneous quote, question, or conundrum related to Monday’s post. We invite you to riff on this prompt or share a story—heartbreaking or hilarious—to spark further conversation about the path of motherhood.

The trickster energy afoot calls for a deviation from our regular Wednesday rhythm. What better way to break form than with a giveaway? Erin Ross, mother of two young girls, daughter of a former Catholic nun, and grand-daughter of a long line of feisty Italian matriarchs, joins us for a chat about Motherhood Lotus and a “must have” giveaway.

MotherHoodWhat was the inspiration behind your Motherhood slogan and sticker?

Erin: A few years ago, after a tough day with my emotional five year old, a friend comforted me with a saying she had heard somewhere that being a mom is the shortest and steepest path to enlightenment. Her wise words brought me peace and a sense of community among women on this ancient journey. A few weeks later another friend was struggling with an issue with her son, and I repeated the words to her. “Wow”, she said, “you should make that statement into a bumper sticker.” I took her advice a year later and printed the sticker on a whim with no real plan or expectations. The response to the sticker and other products has been beautiful.

Motherhood Lotus arose from conversations with other mamas, where has it evolved from there? Can you share about the Matriarch bumper sticker as well?

Erin: When I first heard the sentiment “motherhood is the shortest and steepest path to enlightenment” it struck me deeply mainly because it gave me a sense of being part of a group of women walking this steep path together. There is so much isolation in mothering in our time, more than in other times and cultures. Just reading the quote broke my feeling of being alone in my struggles for a moment.

For me personally, it has evolved into a connection to my mother and grandmothers as well. The Motherhood sticker was created in 2010, my mother passed away in 2011 from cancer. We went through a tremendous amount of growth during her dying process, and I was privileged to be the midwife to her soul at the end. She spent 16 years of her life as a catholic nun before she came out of the convent and married, I was her only child born later in her life. She always told me that motherhood required the “patience of a saint” and challenged her on a deeper level spiritually than all of her years in the convent. So the idea of mothering and being mothered is much more pervasive than it seems at first glance.

The ‘Long Live the Matriarch’ design pays homage to my grandmother and great-grandmother who played an active role in my upbringing and demonstrated a strength and honesty in their love that I will always carry with me. The elephant is an ancient spiritual symbol of strength, and elephants are socially a matriarchal species. This image taps into the concept of the strength and earthiness of the Mother.

MatriarchAlong with honoring and exalting motherhood, your work conveys a great sense of humor. How has humor served you on your path?

Erin: Lucky for me I married a funny guy whose humor has been the source of so much fun. As he would say, “Let the healing begin!” It begins with humor.

How do you stay inspired as a mother and a woman?

Erin: Dance!! As a woman dance and costuming is what inspires me, belly dance is a love of mine, but all forms of dance keep me excited. As a mother, it’s connecting with other mom’s with “HONESTY” when we can all laugh about temper tantrums, both child and adult, and be real about the ups and the downs that makes it all OK.

Travel Mug

In addition to her inspiring story, Erin is generously offering a black stainless steel ‘Motherhood’ travel mug to two (2) winners. To enter, please comment on today’s post by 8 am mst on Sunday, December 9th. We will select two comments at random and announce the lucky winners in next Monday’s post.