The Emotional Labor Union
Our voices are power.


The ELU is a safe space and a platform to talk about your experiences. Devoting time to critical thinking and interaction empowers us to sharpen our speaking skills and define the source of our feelings as well as reminds us we have voices that deserve to be heard.

Voices as Power

Motherhood is Transformation

Motherhood is transformation TheELU

I shaved my head this week. How does this relate to our topic of Motherhood you might ask? There are some parallels I promise! For one, people now touch me without my consent which is how I bet a lot of mothers feel. I have liked the haircut for a while and I know that I would regret having never tried it but let me tell you ladies the fear I felt for cutting off my strongest symbol of femininity was REAL. I have never been so close to chickening out on something I said I would do. Heart racing I decided to close my eyes and dive into the unknown of what my scalp looks like.

But it’s just hair you might say! I agree. What’s also true is that society LOVES its norms and is made easily uncomfortable by outliers. My mom called my brother to tell him how nervous she was for me.

“I just don’t want people to treat her differently.” My mother’s fears were lost on my brother.

“She’s an adult who made a decision about her body and it’s just hair that will grow back and she looks great! We have great genes in our family.”

My brother’s knack for complimenting himself in roundabout ways aside I, however, do understand my mom’s worry to a certain extent. She mentioned at our discussion that having a child is like having your heart walk around on the outside of your body and when that heart decides to make a drastic decision that is outside the confines of what society deems ‘normal’, I imagine the tendency is to worry for that heart.

Like shaving my head I am terrified of having a child and I’ve got my reasons. Can we really even afford a baby? What if there are complications? What if my husband will never be ready to have a child and it ultimately separates us? How will I navigate being my own person to being someone’s mom and maintain my own autonomy and individuality? How could I possibly add one of the largest responsibilities one could have to my already overwhelming schedule?

Ultimately none of these fears outweigh my decision to have a child in the next couple of years. For me personally, shaping another human is hands down one of the most powerful things I can do in my lifetime and fear about the future is not a good enough reason to stop me.

Just like the fear of shaving my head, the fear and anxiety of having a child are real too. That said - there’s nothing like trusting yourself that you made the right decision before the fear sets in and I know that the worst kind of regret comes from not pursuing the things you want out of fear.

I wanted this haircut and I want to have a baby someday. There I said it. The more I put my aspirations out into the world, the more I hold myself accountable to achieving them and that’s a good feeling.

Read our Motherhood event recap and recommended reading here.

Casey Stewart Upton

ELU Founder

Casey is the founder of the ELU and is unapologetically navigating creative entrepreneurship. While she admits she doesn't always know what she's doing, she's fully embraced the 'fake it til you make it/everyone is faking it mentality.' She enjoys naps, whiskey and all things cat-related.