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LIZ GLENN, part 1

WITHOUT using labels, who are you?

I feel a strong kinship with the Greek goddess Eos, goddess of the dawn who opened the gates of heaven so Helios, the sun god, could drive his chariot out across the world. As I open the curtains and set the mood for our home, I’m aware of the gravity I have in our family of things.


Describe your kid. 


My kid is the axis upon which my world revolves. I know it maybe shouldn’t, but it does. My kid is so vivaciously full of life, a hodgepodge mixed media artwork of every good, delightful thing that makes me want to get up every morning.


Describe your household. 


My current home is my actual childhood home. There’s residual magic and also deep psychological trauma here. Since leaving California and moving here, there’s been a lot of healing that’s had to take place.



 Please share your own website/work:




Where are you from and where do you live, and what do you like about this place? Is there anything you loathe about it?

I’m living in the place I’m from, in Bay City, Michigan and I like that there’s a kind of poetry seeing my daughter in places I used to be at her age. There are little pockets of art and some really good people, otherwise I believe in my heart of hearts I’m here for a season for a specific growing purpose but I do not belong here.


When and how did you last surprise yourself? 


Falling in love with my current partner! It’s not often I surprise myself.


What do you adore about being a mother?


The poetic dance between loving seeing myself in another and also the joy of experiencing this part of me as something completely apart from me and entirely her own.



What do you despise about being a mother?


The societal expectations that subconsciously weigh on me that do not equally apply to fathers. I feel inherently that I must sacrifice all parts of myself, every quiet moment and desire or else be a “bad” mother. I know I did not come up with this on my own.




What's something you want to do differently than the generations of mothers before you? 


I can’t speak for all generations of mothers, but I know my own mother, and how she would shy away from any camera to the point that I don’t have many honest depictions of her and I wish I did. I wish I could know the stories from seeing it myself beyond what she or I can recall from memory.



What is something you’re proud of so far in your motherhood journey?


I’m proud of my dedication to my daughter’s autonomy and the respect I’ve maintained for her in the face of opposition. While I don’t subscribe to any one parenting style, I do believe in teaching our children to honor their bodies and learn not to people-please, while still remaining loving and respectful of others’ feelings. For example, not forcing her to hug family members the way I once had to. It’s a hard balance to keep.




What do you think is the biggest misconception about motherhood?


That there’s any one right way to do it. That there’s a “good” mother or a “bad” mother. Anything that’s black and white is a myth.



 What do you think is the most common thread of motherhood?


I think transformation in some way is the common denominator for all mothers, no matter what that motherhood journey looks like. We get turned inside out one way or another.



 Where and when do you feel most at home?


At home, in the presence and embrace of my daughter and partner. Also, on the beach by the ocean in California.



What energizes you?


The sun. It seems a little too scientific or practical an answer and yet, living in California then moving back to Michigan has been a dreary transition that makes me yearn for the glow of sun on my face.



What last made you belly laugh? 


A Mae Martin stand up special.



 When do you and how do you feel totally relaxed? 

Carving out time to get professional massages is a huge priority of mine. It’s the top thing I try to do for myself.


What is something that makes you cringe?

Looking back on 2000's Facebook memories, haha. I’m trying to be more compassionate toward my former selves but Facebook did us dirty with the status set up how it was.



What is something that's stopped you in your tracks in the past year?


My daughter’s face at night when she’s sleeping and I drink it in. How is it that we miss them most when they’re asleep? Noticing how baby-like she still is. Noticing how quickly she’s growing into a tween. Time is insane.




What is something you've recently ate/listened to/read/watched that really captivated you?


The book The Baby on the Fire Escape by Julie Phillips. I can’t put it down. It’s refreshing to hear different takes on mothering especially by artists, even if their stories don’t look like mine (especially because their stories don’t look like mine)




Who or what kind of mother do you look up to and why?


I think the mother I look up to is made up in my mind’s eye. She’s who I want to be. Wild, free, artistic but also deeply attentive to and loving toward her children. I’m sure such a mother probably exists but I don’t know them personally.



 When was the happiest you’ve seen your kid(s) and what were they doing?


It’s so simple. When she’s with my partner and I, usually in bed, and we’re all being silly and making jokes and laughing together. She’s enveloped in love and humor.


Describe a perfect day with your kiddo.


I’ve had a few of these and mostly they were at the beach. My kid, a deeply devoted video gamer and lover of all screens, really, completely and totally at home playing with a stick and some sand. It feels like one of those impossible moments where I’m finally doing parenting right. She’s singing to the ocean with arms wide, performing some kind of spiritual ritual that is deeply personal to her and I sigh and think to myself that it’s a perfect day.



Describe a perfect day without your kiddo.


I’d still be at the beach, but I’d also be scheduling myself a massage. Also having lots of sex.




What is one tiny victory you’ve had recently?


Reconnecting with myself. Since moving back to Michigan in 2022 I’ve been deeply disconnected from myself, to the point of apathy, and I recently hopped on a webinar Yan Palmer was offering on zoom and she woke back up the inner Knowing inside of me in a way only Yan can.




What is one silly frustration you've had recently?


Oh, all sorts. My days seem filled to the brim with silly frustrations. Perhaps expecting my ex-husband and daughter’s father to parent her the way that I do. It doesn’t feel silly in the moment, but I know it’s impossible with any kind of step back.



 Where is somewhere you've never been that you'd like to go with your kids? 


We’re obsessed with the Netflix show Hilda and I’d love to take my daughter somewhere Scandinavian and Hilda-inspired, somewhere with folklores of trolls and elves.




Where is somewhere you’ve never been that you'd like to go without your kids?


As a former homeschool mother, it’s hard to think of a place I wouldn’t want to take my kid because every place seems like an opportunity to learn. However, sitting in the sun on a bungalow in Tahiti is something I know she wouldn’t enjoy and I would deeply enjoy the solitude there.




What do you dream of for yourself? For your children?


I dream of a compassionate, open-minded, affirming world where we can all be as truly ourselves as we can possibly be.




How did you feel about being pregnant? What do you remember most about pregnancy?


Nearly 10 years ago is such a long time ago and I’ve lived a thousand lives since then. I loved being pregnant. I wanted to be a mother so badly, it’s the one thing I’ve always been sure of. I also remember the distinct looming dread of knowing I would have to go through something terrifying and painful to get to the other side. That was daunting. It’s also amazing how much love someone can have for someone you don’t even know yet but is growing inside of you. Paradoxically, that someone is growing inside of you and yet you know nothing of them.



 What, if anything, do you want to remember about your birth story? Early motherhood?


I desperately wish technology would lend us something more than just video. I want a full sensory experience when I travel back to early motherhood. I’m not saying it wasn’t hard, it was, I remember the incredibly difficult C-section recovery and lack of mobility, but I also felt deeply whole and satisfied.




Any deep or humorous or urgent thoughts on…


Blended families?

 Is there anything else so heart wrenching and beautiful? Knowing now in hindsight that a divorce was absolutely right for my marriage. The empathy I feel, as a child of divorce, for my daughter’s sorrow, missing having her parents together. The gratitude I feel for finding a partner who treats my child as their own. The joy I experience seeing my child and my partner bond. The void I experience every time my daughter is with her father away from me. It’s a rollercoaster experience.





Sex is such a vital facet to who I am. It’s an inherent way of connecting to myself and my partner and a spiritual expression, yet as someone who also strongly identifies as a mother to my core, this feels shunned and hard to compartmentalize. Preparing to explain sex to my daughter in an age appropriate way feels daunting. How do I explain biological procreative sex is often completely separate from pleasurable sex? How do I explain the parameters around acceptable ways to explore one's own body that doesn’t breed shame or harmful narratives? Why isn’t this discussed more??



Gender constructs?


Gender is a construct and I wish more parents would convey this to their kids in an age appropriate way. I wish we would abolish “girl toys” and “boy toys”, “girl clothes” and “boy clothes” for good. A binary altogether, really. I wish people could just be who they are without fear of condemnation. I wish there was more language offered to kids who feel different than how they’ve been labeled so they didn’t feel so lost.






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