Today’s guest, Summer Edwards, home-birthed her two sons and is the oldest of five home-birthed siblings. For her, the choice to home-birth was clear. She wasn’t aware of the philosophical reasons other women had for home-birthing, it was just something her family did. When she returned to work after her first child, she realized she wasn’t returning to her previously satisfying career but a segmented ‘Mommy track’ within the organization. She then morphed her creative side project into Lead Mama Lead, a community working to revolutionize the workplace for women at a systemic level.
During our conversation, she describes the physically empowering, 20-hour intense first labor experience and how she believes it has impacted her first born child. She attributes her ability to move past the pain and trauma of the malpositioned birth to her midwife who reminded her of the beauty of surrender. Her second birth experience was completely different, and Summer shares her birth stories with so much joy and confidence you will be inspired.
Summer’s online course is designed for working mothers who grapple with imposter syndrome and overwhelm, and the next group will launch this fall.
Expectful is a guided meditation app for each stage of the motherhood journey — you can sign up for an exclusive one-month free trial here!
In This Episode:
How she confronts systemic birthing and motherhood ideologies
The difference in her first and subsequent birthing experiences
How she learned to trust her intuition and her body’s natural abilities
The Fear/Pain Tension Cycle
How the childbirth experience translates to other areas of life
The physical, emotional, and mental benefits of trust and surrender
The hostility she faced when sharing her natural birth experiences with others
The beginning of the Lead Mama Lead social change movement
The benefit of a mother’s perspective in for-profit, nonprofit and government agencies
How to get a free one-month trial of guided meditations through Expectful
About Our Guest:
Summer Edwards is an activist, systems thinker and social change specialist, writer, leadership and wellbeing coach, and mama to two young boys. A second generation homebirthing mama, one of Summer’s earliest memories was watching her little sister being born. Although she was only 4 years old at the time, the significance of that seminal event was not lost on her. She took those formative memories into her own challenging but peaceful homebirthing experiences.
Summer is passionate about building a meaningful career which still allows plenty of time for her children, and she believes that all mothers should have access to the same, should they desire it. Summer is tired of seeing mothers blame themselves for the overwhelm and exhaustion that they feel in trying to fit themselves into a workplace and a model of success that was designed for men with a full-time wife at home. As a leadership and wellbeing coach, Summer creates spaces for mamas to come together, support and learn from one and other, and to let go of the unfair pressures that society places on mothers to ‘do it all’, so each of us can figure out how to work and mother in our own unique way. Her online program Overcoming Overwhelm takes mothers through a 3-month process of untangling themselves from these unfair pressures, calibrating individual definitions of a successful life and career, and move towards finding more peace and joy in the day-to-day.
Through her movement and social enterprise Lead Mama Lead, Summer brings women together to lift each other up and be inspired in both the online communities and in real-world retreats and workshops. She believes that strongest leaders are those who lead wholeheartedly and who forge their own path in leadership and in parenting. She delights in supporting women to reach their potential as leaders and as changemakers, while taking care of themselves in their wellbeing. Summer firmly believe that everyone should have access to flexible career-worthy jobs which allow time to for family, community activism and creative pursuits outside of work. She hopes that by the time her sons are fathers that this will be the norm for all parents, and indeed for anyone who wants a meaningful career combined with a life outside of work. The Lead Mama Lead movement is here to move this conversation forward.
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