My first experience with Big Ocean Women was illuminating and memorable. I felt like I finally found my tribe. I discovered strong, courageous women who do so much to contribute to a better world, while also committing wholeheartedly to motherhood and family. The love and acceptance I felt was overwhelming. After experiencing the giant waves of Big Ocean Women, I knew I was about to be a part of something great!
It was on the train to the U.N. conference that I met Jill Kirkham. I noticed she was wearing a U.N. conference badge, so I asked her what brought her to the conference. She told me she was with Big Ocean Women. I had heard about Big Ocean Women through my work with Pro-Life Utah, but I didn’t know much about them. She told me about this unique global organization of women who believe in maternal feminism. I had never heard of this concept before, and I was intrigued. I had to know more. She invited me to come along with her to Big Ocean Women’s first workshop. As we were waiting in line to go through security, she began asking about my reasons for coming to the U.N. I told her I was a pro-life speaker and I was looking to find some like-minded organizations with whom I I could network. I also asked her how it was being a pro-family organization at the U.N. I lamented to her how frustrating my experience had been at the conference with the canceling of many pro-life and pro-family workshops. I told her about how discouraged and hopeless I felt in my efforts to make a difference. I asked her how she keeps moving forward in this work, when it gets heavy. She then said something I will never forget. She told me this world is abundant and there is so much good happening globally. She said Big Ocean Women stay positive because that is what the world needs. I felt inspired by her message and couldn’t wait to learn more about having an abundant life. She asked me a little more about what I do. I told her I was also a writer/blogger. She began to tell me that Big Ocean Women had a media team and they could use a writer. She offered to introduce me to the team. She acted as if I was already a member and I was so excited to be a part of such an innovative community. She introduced me to members of the board and other affiliates. Everyone I met was so nice and welcoming. I knew I had to be a part of this group, even though I didn’t know much about it. I also felt strongly that God was pleased I was there.
The first speaker was Erica Komisar, LCSW. She expressed the importance the mother being present during the first three years of a child’s life. She explained a child’s development is greatly determined by how present a mother is at this stage. I loved and believed every word she said. It made so much sense to me based on all my research and experience as a parent. It was so wonderful to be around a group of feminists who were so supportive and nurturing of mothers. I heard the term maternal feminism several times during the workshop and thought that is exactly what I have been looking for all my life. I have wanted to empower and support women, but it seemed in order to stand for women’s rights you also needed to be against motherhood and family. I always felt this was not right and knew there was a way to support a woman in each of her sacred roles.
Jill made sure I came along with her to the next workshop. Again, I was blown away by Carolina’s words. She spoke of organic systems and maternal economy.
After I left these beautiful women, I felt so energized and also at peace. I knew I had found my home.