I’m Katy Huie Harrison, PhD author, storyteller, and mama to Jack and Branham, my spunky little loves who will grow up learning all about their 4 older siblings in Heaven.
About Katy Huie Harrison, PhD
Katy Huie Harrison, PhD, is an author, speaker, and advocate whose work aims to shift the social conversation about motherhood so it better supports women at all stages of their motherhood journeys. She’s author of the popular pregnancy planner, Expecting & Organized: Pregnancy and Newborn Baby Planner, as well as the miscarriage book Mourning Retreat: A Journal for the Sisterhood of Pregnancy Loss.
Outside of Undefining Motherhood, you can find Katy’s work featured in places like Romper, CNN’s Headline News, Love What Matters, Scary Mommy, Pregnantish, Fertility Smarts, Fertility Rescripted, Fertility Rally, Atlanta Mom, Motherhood & Social Exclusion, and more.
She’s received such honors as being named on of Fairhaven Health’s Changemakers in Fertility, and she was awarded the title of Woman of the Year by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Atlanta in 2019.
She holds a PhD in English from Georgia State University, and she was a Marion L. Brittain Postdoctoral Fellow at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Who counts as a mother?
Although I only became what most people call a mother in June 2017, I’ve considered myself one for years. My definition of motherhood, I’ve learned, is atypical. To me, becoming a mother is a product of the heart, not the legal system, the lab, or the womb.
How does social pressure impact our experiences of womanhood and motherhood?
Just as I question the way we define motherhood, I also interrogate my own experience of it. How social pressure to have children when I didn’t yet want them altered my entire view of what’s fulfilling in life. How suffering from recurrent miscarriage, while being asked repeatedly why I didn’t have children yet, nearly crushed my soul. How the social pressure to breastfeed . . . or to stop making life so hard and just give my baby a bottle . . . or to cry it out . . . or to never let my baby cry . . . or to stay home and savor every moment because being a mother is “the most important job in the world” . . . or to go back to work and be a “productive” member of society . . . how the weight of all these conflicting opinions and unsolicited advice makes this already difficult job feel impossible.
We must maintain our own self-identity
Being a mom is amazing, and I’m abundantly thankful, but let’s be honest–it’s also really, crazy, unbelievably hard. It’s not just life-altering; it’s redefining. Who I am, at the core of myself, is no longer who I once was. How, in such a drastic shift, can I be sure not to lose myself in the mix?
My hypothesis is that the only way to maintain a genuine self-identity among the turmoil is to undefine the experience, and myself, entirely. Here, I document my experience testing that hypothesis, failing to implement it, bouncing back from the failure, and understanding why I believe it all matters in the first place.
Some of my writing is deeply serious; other times, it’s lighthearted and entertaining. Isn’t that how life goes, after all? I hope you’ll join me through the good and the tough of it. We have so many important things to discuss!
In this space, I invite you into my life, my mind, my heart, and my journey. Join me in discovering all the ways in which motherhood, like life, is beyond definition, beyond rules, beyond boundaries.
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