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May 6, 2023

Confessions of a Helicopter Mom

By Maria Marshall

When I first became a mother, if I knew what I know now, I would have been a better mother. I wasn’t a bad mother…for all practical purposes, but I lacked the self-worth I’ve finally found.

I put most of my energies into over-managing my children’s school projects, writing assignments, and other extracurricular activities. My helicopter tendencies, perfectionistic expectations, and constant searching for validation through the achievements of my children kept me and my ego very busy.

I googled “award-winning science projects” and ordered every book on the subject. I mean, my ego couldn’t afford for them to get a less-than-honorable mention. God forbid! Each year I baked and brought to school Halloween cookies that would be the envy of Martha Stewart and every other parent too busy to spend three whole days slaving in the kitchen. I even wrote my children’s college essays. Ok, they made some slight revisions (which I vehemently opposed), but they did get into their first-choice schools. And, of course, I took credit for that as well.

I love the raw honesty and self-exposure to the role you were playing in your children’s life. It reads very much so like a confession- Is there space for you to flush out how this made you feel, and what you got out of it by showing up in their lives this way? In addition, is there space for reflection in the present, looking back on these helicopter tendencies.

But then something happened to me. The minute my twins left for college, the youngest home with two years of high school to complete, my mother died, and my world came crashing down. I completely lost my identity. My 25-year marriage took a nosedive, and I had to discover who I was without children to helicopter and a codependent relationship that kept me small, frightened, and disempowered. 

Alone, four years later, in a new house during a pandemic, processing a divorce and all that comes with it, I prayed, meditated, and asked to see what I desperately needed to heal in order to love myself and be whole. In relentless waves, painful memories, repressed childhood traumas, and agonizing realizations came up to the surface to be witnessed, felt, acknowledged, and released… I guess most spiritual authorities refer to this new experience as The Dark Night of the Soul. 

My Dark Night lasted 6 years. (I wish it was just a night). But in that time, as tumultuous as the realizations, revelations, and resulting heartbreaks were, a miracle happened. I learned to let go, and while there still may be some old remnants of control and perfectionistic tendencies, I let go of enough baggage to learn self-love. In the process of discovering who I am without all the agonizingly painful experiences and traumas that made me believe I was unlovable, a vision of how I could support other women came to me. Gaia Goddess. For the first time in my life, I was willing to believe in myself enough to risk failure and dive head first into creating a business that would not only support the healing of others, but also our beautiful planet, Gaia.

That love and deep satisfaction I cultivated for myself fuels the intention, mission, and vision for Gaia Goddess, an eco-feminist empowerment movement for all women in search of healing, self-worth, community, and empowerment. Gaia Goddess’s website, www.gaiagoddesslifestyle.com, offers free online healing circles, meditations, and a library of wellness content designed to guide women on their journeys. Additionally, we offer classes, immersive training, and in-person events and healing retreats, both domestic and international, to allow women to connect and find their own supportive community. We are developing an app for our Rose Gold membership community where they can connect to their own forums, some of which include Women in Business, Maternity Support, Mindful Mothering (which I could have definitely benefited from), Creating Financial Literacy and Freedom, and Supporting Women in Transition (women processing a divorce or loss of a partner)…

Our next retreat in Greece, will be a five-day deep dive into women’s healing and the reclamation of the divine feminine power that exists at the core of everyone’s being. When we as women come together to support and nurture ourselves and one another, something very special and powerful transpires. Old programs, traumatic experiences, and things we’re not even aware of reveal themselves. Then, we get to choose to release and replace these painful experiences and their resulting emotions with deep, reverent love for ourselves, each other, and our world. 

As an aside, all those successes of my children, with or without my contribution, accolades from friends who admired my culinary skills, and praise from my husband never amounted to a cent of my self-worth! I learned worthiness comes from within, and developing a self-love practice takes time and patience.

I’ve been working on loving myself for years. There are still aspects of myself and my body that I have not fully embraced. I often joke that when I am in a lotus position, levitating off the ground, you will have known I conquered my body issues and finally found enlightenment.  

But it’s OK. I’m OK, and I don’t have to be perfect, even in my self-love! I’ve learned to have loving compassion for myself and nurture myself first. Gaia Goddess provides nurturance and unconditional love for women to flourish, cultivate self-love, and embody their fullest expression of the empowered and awakened Goddess within. Come explore all that Gaia Goddess has to offer, and make sure to sign up for our newsletter and membership to activate your path of healing.

Love, Light, and Gaia

Maria Marshall



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May 16, 2024


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