The Meaning of Motherhood (January 2019)

Meaning of Motherhood
Meaning of Motherhood

The Meaning of Motherhood (January 2019)

from 99.00

What Does It Mean to Make a Person?

What does it mean to make a person? This is perhaps one of the most profound philosophical questions there is, and yet it is largely absent in the cultural conversation around motherhood. This course brings deep reflection to this life-altering transition to motherhood and the creation of a new human being.

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Date: Thursdays, January 10, 17, 24, & 31
Time: 7-9 pm
Location: St. David of Wales | 2800 SE Harrison St.

Tier A Pricing: $199 ($30/hr or above wage earners)
Tier B Pricing: $149 ($16-29/hr wage earners)
Tier C Pricing: $99 ($15/hr or below wage earners)
See our Pricing + Generosity Policy for more information on tiered pricing. 

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When a new person enters the world, there are at least two births: one of the child, and one of the mother. Mom groups and classes typically cover how-to logistical issues like how to swaddle a baby or how to manage difficult behavior in your child. But there are deep psychological, emotional, and philosophical issues around becoming and being a mother that deserve more of our attention—questions like: What is lost and gained in the transition to motherhood? What are the cultural messages around being a good mom or bad mom? What does it mean to create a new human consciousness? The Meaning of Motherhood explores these complex philosophical questions with compassion, openness, and intellectual curiosity.

You do not need to be a mother to take this course. Although it may be particularly poignant for those who are about to become, or who have already become mothers, it will be illuminating for anyone who wants to better understand the emotional, psychological, and philosophical complexities of motherhood, including fathers, partners, and perinatal professionals. It is also not just for biological birth mothers, as there are many paths to motherhood. During the course, we will be likely discussing some physical components of pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum experience that impacts many moms, while also understanding that this is not everyone's experience.

Week 1: The Birth of the Mother

The transition to motherhood is perhaps one of the biggest changes in a life, full of overwhelming and confusing emotions, huge physical changes, and profound mental shifts, but often doesn’t get the kind of recognition it deserves. In week 1, we’ll discuss the identity of motherhood and what it means to develop this new identity. What is lost, what is gained, and what does it mean to be a mother?

Week 2: A New Consciousness

How do you wrap your head around making a person? How do you relate to a child with whom you are so intimately connected, but who has a distinct and unique experience with independent thoughts, desires, fears, and hopes. In week 2, we’ll explore how this creation of life can raise bring up a deep sense of vulnerability, anxiety, and confusion about the meaning of mortality and human existence.

Week 3: Good Mom/Bad Mom

There are so many responsibilities, expectations, and judgments around what it means to be a mother. In week 3, we’ll explore, and challenge, some of the personal and cultural messages that we carry around that inform our judgments about what a good or bad mom is, and how these messages can impact the self-image and well-being of mothers.

Week 4: The Village

It takes a village to raise a child, as they say. In week 4, we’ll explore the institutional and social supports, or lack thereof, in the form of family/maternity leave, child care, and norms around visitation, care, and community of motherhood. We’ll discuss ways that we may better support mothers, both at interpersonal and societal levels.


Danielle LaSusa PhD is a mom, Philosophical Coach, and co-creator and co-host of Think Hard podcast, which brings philosophy to the real world. She has a PhD in Philosophy, a Graduate Certificate in Women's Studies from Temple University, and a certification in Philosophical Counseling from the American Philosophical Practitioners Association. When her daughter was born, she damn near broke her brain trying to figure out what the hell happened. Now, she helps other new moms grapple with what it means to make a person. Learn more at