Every woman’s experience of motherhood is unique, we have all experienced it first hand by the simple fact that we have all been born. Sometimes it is through these formative experiences that our perceptions and persuasions around how we need to be as a woman are shaped—propelling us toward or repulsing us away from motherhood, sometimes it is an innate intuition to have children or not have children, sometimes it seems by accident or intervention.

However it is that the reality appears to land there are as many angles on the subject as there are people in the world.

Despite all angles, the assumption that “a woman is this…” and “a mother is that…” informs all facets of life including cultural, social, family, relationship or work. If thoroughly digested those outside narratives can become inside narratives where they become the thoughts that we think are our own. Later, through circumstance, these thoughts and desires aren’t always met with a reality and sometimes this can be experienced in disruptive or challenging ways. Yet it is often in these moments of apparent dissonance that we are able to see things in a way we weren’t able to before. What we once accepted as a ‘norm’ is no longer a ‘norm’ or a possibility, let alone a reality, and then life as we formerly thought we knew it unravels.

Mariette Reineke and Marian Lowe both experienced this when a desire and need to have children wasn’t met with the reality. What was assumed as a given, an evolutionary necessity, a life calling and purpose became a complicated, tenuous, effortful endeavour where life circumstances didn’t meet the expectation. Subsequently many veils were lifted on what they once thought was true. Little did they know that years later they would come together to share about their experiences and realise through each other that there are as many angles on this subject as there are people in the world.

Through this realisation and many others this website is inspired as a space to share through interviews and articles some of the many expressions on what it is to be a woman and what it is to be a mother so that the multi-dimensional richness that is Women & Motherhood may be as apparent as it really is.

W&M team


For a long time, I missed something. I went searching outside of myself, travelled the world, had different partners and even went to India to visit a guru. Nothing helped. Maybe a child would give me a sense of purpose and fulfillment? I did not have children, but in the past 12 years, I have deepened in relationship with myself. I re-connected with what I know is true, and having a child from a need it not it. I live with my husband and love being in the world, among and with people, knowing that I am complete, and have always been. 

Marian Lowe


I used to think that having children would make me more valuable and would give me greatest purpose. Then, following an unraveling of unfulfilled ideals and expectations I woke up one day to realise that my worthiness is not dependant on anything I do or achieve, neither any title I am given or praise I am awarded. Value as a human being is essentially innate, it is always there and always will be, no matter what, without question. I have also learned over the last decade that letting go of ideals offers a freeing way to live.

Ingrid Ward


I am a mother in this life, having given birth to three children, but I am also a mother of many more, for as a woman I have innately within me a mothering energy that always is available to everyone, not just my children. It has taken many years of my life to come to realise what, as a woman, I offer this world, whether I bring children into it through my body or not. Having children does not define me, but moving through the world as the wise, delicate and all loving woman I am, does.


Growing up as a young woman I would often be asked the question “do you want to have kids when you grow up?” to which my response was usually a shrug of the shoulders. There was nothing in me that neither wanted nor did not want kids because what I saw from families around me did not activate me to want to have kids. I saw women lost in the title of ‘mother’ and could not connect to the purpose behind having children. If we fast forward to now, I am a mother of one with another on the way and neither of them have come from a desire to have children to fulfill me. I have learnt that one of the most important things for a woman when she has a child is to not get lost in motherhood because she then cannot offer the fullest of that which she truly is to firstly herself, and then to anyone else in the world, including her children. This takes her away from the true enrichment of her purpose and connection to herself in many ways.