Mama Dentata is about Motherhood.

It is about the astonishing female powers of creation.

It is about how we humans come into this world, and how we slowly become ourselves.

It is about how we spend our days, and how we make the future.

A society is a group of people. So if you care about society, and want to do the most good for it you can, you need to look at who is making the people that make it up. Where do all of us humans come from? How are we grown?

The answer, of course, is mothers. Every single one of us is, as Adrienne Rich said, “born of woman.” Motherhood is the fundamental activity of life, and the intensity and hazard of the task is why humans evolved to live in social groups in the first place. It is the work that most needs doing, but it needs a great deal of support to be survived, let alone done well. That’s why they say it takes a village; it genuinely does, and always has. Of course, now everyone is getting connected into a so-called global village, we find ourselves in a messier arrangement than ever before. The forces that effect our children, and our capacity to care for them, can come from anywhere the world over. Intentionally or otherwise. 

But while the context of motherhood and childhood shifts and roils all around us, the fundamental facts of motherhood, and in particular, the urgent developmental needs of our children, do not. What took eons to evolve across a species can’t be changed to fit the whims of one social fad or another. It can’t even be made to fit the preferences of mothers themselves, because the needs of mothers and their babies are frequently - as anyone who has ever tried having one will know all too well - very different indeed. Taking the job of mothering seriously means a constant negotiation between the needs of ourselves, our young, and those around us, and hopefully, if we’re lucky, braiding those very different strands into something strong, and even beautiful. 

But the work of it is unending, and frequently tears us up, or bites us in the ass. Indeed, it often seems that there is no getting it right. Indeed, it often feels that the world around us has limited interest in enabling us to do our job well. Indeed, it frequently feels that the powers that be are out to make our job much harder than it should be. How is it that we evolved to live in social groups, in order to ensure the thriving of our young - i.e. the work of motherhood - yet motherhood is not seen as the job of all jobs? 

Mama Dentata is to be about that. About motherhood. And how it is the one job that most needs doing well. Because it is the work that builds the humans we love with all our hearts. And how those humans go forth and navigate the world (how they work and argue and imagine and vote for the future that will come after us) has an awful lot to do with how they were fed and held and spoken to, from their conception forward. Yes, the future of our species - and increasingly, of our planet - depends more than anyone would like to acknowledge, on how mothers bring all their powers of nature and nurture to bear. And I am extremely grateful to be a part of it.

So Mama Dentata is to be about that work, and all that it entails. And it is to be a ferocious defence of the whole messy, sweaty, bloody, hilarious, heartrending, glorious business. For mothers, and for anyone interested in, well, life.

Who Am I?

I am a writer of many things, and the mother of one little boy. I grew up in Alaska, but have since led a scattered life across Oregon, California, Ireland, England, Singapore, and Germany. I have a double BA from the University of California, Davis in Political Science and Women & Gender Studies. I have an MSc in Global Politics from the London School of Economics. I have somehow managed not to translate these credentials into an actual career, but instead have worked my way through a range of gigs in offices, shops, eateries, and kennels. The last several years, however, have found focus around writing and mothering a very young one in a pandemic.

Interests/ favourite things in addition to writing & mothering include: books, music, mountains, dreams, jokes, backpacks, tea, trains, knitting, wandering, animal welfare, mushrooms, museums, snacks, chats, and cats.

My little guy and I. His face is lovely, but will be kept to a minimum on here, for his sake.

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a ferocious love of motherhood


Writer Rambler Mother. Alaskan Berliner.