You’re invited! Join LifeSite in celebrating 25 years of pro-life and pro-family reporting at our anniversary Gala August 17th in Naples, Florida. Tickets and sponsorships can be purchased by clicking here.
(LifeSiteNews) — In a recent episode of the British Catholic video series One of Nine, an American mother of five shares her insight on how to embrace femininity and motherhood in an anti-family culture.
The host of the show, Maria Jones, visits with Megan Madden, an American mother who has settled with her husband and children in England. Together, they discuss such topics of interest to young Catholic women as coping with the disappointment of miscarriage and modest but feminine fashion. They reflect together on how both the joys and the sorrows of motherhood are what makes their vocations pure blessings.
“I think we need beauty, we need to show the beauty of motherhood,” Megan says in the interview. “Because right now, I think a lot of young women are not seeing the beauty of motherhood, or perhaps don’t want to be mothers, and this is a way that we can witness to the beauty of our vocations.”
The two mothers agree that a common misconception of motherhood is the fear that having children is just hard work and nothing else. On the show, they agree that while motherhood is a challenging life, it is also fulfilling. Holding her seven-month-old on her lap, Megan shares with Maria some of her most difficult moments in her vocation as a mother.
After welcoming a few of her little ones, Megan suffered two miscarriages which caused her tremendous grief.
“I didn’t realize just how hard,” she says about the experiences. “And it just hits somewhere deep in a woman, I think, because it doesn’t ever go away, because you remember your babies. Miscarriages run deep in a woman.”
Megan describes how one of the losses nearly took her own life and described the moments of deep surrender following each death, as if she were “giving the baby back” to God. She and her husband named the two children John and Faustina Thérèse.
Following the difficult story of lost children to miscarriages, Maria shifts the conversation to “embracing being a woman” as a counterargument to the negative “automatic response to having children.” Instead of focusing on what is hard about this vocation, she addresses how women can find true peace and happiness in motherhood. She prompts Megan to speak on her advocacy of modest fashion as a key area in which to embrace femininity.
“Modesty is such a beautiful virtue, I began to fall in love with it,” Megan tells Maria. “Because it is precisely due to the beauty of the body that we want to be modest. And there are such lovely ways to express modesty, and when we do so, it’s such a witness to the world of the beauty of women and the dignity of women.”
“Modesty doesn’t have to be frumpy,” she continues. “It can be done in a way that is lovely and attractive, because I don’t think we’re meant to make ourselves look ugly or purposely not take care of ourselves.”
Megan stresses that there is a great need to show femininity and its complimentary nature to masculinity, especially in a time when society pushes that there are more than two genders. Although not the only form of modest dress, she states that dresses and skirts of an appropriate length are “so explicitly modest and feminine”.
“You don’t want to lose your feminine form in your clothing because we want to show that we are feminine, that we are women, that we are different from men,” she declares.
In 2020, Megan started an Instagram account titled “A Mother’s Lace”. She named her page after St. Zelie Martin, who engaged in lace making.
“The mission was simply to put on beautiful things about motherhood and also to contemplate what it means to be a woman,” Megan tells Maria.
Before moving to Europe, Megan and her husband attended Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland, relocating to Florida after she finished school. They moved to Austria for her husband to gain experience as a professor. Her Instagram mission began when the young family was living in Poland, and finally they settled in England, where they plan to build a long-term home.
“So many women are told to be like men, erase our womanhood, erase our motherhood, not want children,” Megan says about the utility of her Instagram work in the modern world. “And I think being a woman is exactly what will shake up the culture because it’s actually quite odd right now to see a woman enjoying her vocation.”
“It’s not about being this perfect 1950s housewife with high heels on and all done up and smiling, but we can be real about it,” she adds.
“To capture femininity again, I think that this is a huge movement, and it’s a huge way that Catholic women can fight the culture.”
Continuing with her efforts to encourage women to embrace femininity, Megan has also written a book with meditations on the Blessed Virgin’s life and practical advice on how women can imitate Our Lady along the path to holiness. The book is set to be published in 2023 through Ascension Press.
“One of Nine” refers to host Maria Jones herself, who is one of nine children.