The Queen of My Self

An unprecedented number — nearly one fourth — of Baby Boom women chose not to bear and raise children. But we were archetypal Mothers, nonetheless. We gave birth to something of our passion — a business, a career, an art form, a political involvement, a spiritual practice — and nurtured it to keep it alive.

We created our own ways of being and served as role models, mentors, and teachers to the generations of young women who followed us. Who benefited from our endeavors and learned from our examples. Or rejected them.

Those of us who did have children are now experiencing an empty nest or anticipating one. We are no longer 24/7 mothers and have a completely different relationship to our kids. Many of us are grandmothers. (Who would have ever imagined that?)

And now as we reach a certain age and our own mothers are passing from this life, we are called upon to mother ourselves.

I invite you to share your thoughts, stories, and experiences of the many modes and moods of motherhood.


I went to a Catholic Church on Mothers Day and the priest asked all mothers to come to the front of the church for a special blessing. Even though I do not have children, I went up to be blessed as a mother. Since I have been performing as Mother Teresa of Calcutta, I felt free to receive this blessing.

I have always made art about my life. Now that I have Dystonia (a neurological movement disorder in which sustained muscle contractions cause twisting and repetitive movements or abnormal postures), I have made videos about it and performances about it and more recently, found myself “being” Mother Teresa of Calcutta, as a performance. When I put on the Mother Teresa white sari with blue trim, apply the make up and play the audiotape of her talking about the poorest of the poor, I feel as if I am doing a real and positive honor to her memory.

My body goes into a big spasm as soon as I put on the costume. My experience while doing this performance is that I have the freedom to twist and turn and shake and am not self-conscious or embarassed by my tremors or stooped posture, because I am just a person with a movement disorder! In fact, I am not just any person but as Mother Teresa, I am a saint who has aged and is cramped up from having served millions of people all her life! The movement disorder in this case becomes a badge of courage and symbol of holiness, not something that is shameful or to be hidden!

So again, I have used my life, to make good art and I thank Mother Teresa of Calcutta for letting me see through her eyes. Maybe she will even heal me???

– Linda Montano, NY

* ***
Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She offers counseling and upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity. Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™

The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to



Join the Discussion
comments powered by Disqus