My Journey into Becoming a Mother
Being a Mother is one of the most important jobs in the world and I say this with sincerity. I still have those overwhelming moments, where I feel like I can’t even think about the future world my daughter will have to navigate by herself, but then I pause and remember that my role as her mother, is to provide her with the tools she will need, to carve her own path.
If depression is when our mind is focused on the past and Anxiety is when our mind is focused on the future, then by focusing on the present moment we can free ourselves from it all. Children are masters at this. As adults we sometimes forget to be present and Motherhood reminds us how to do this, giving your undivided attention while playing with your child without allowing your mind to wander. Children are tapped in, they know when your mind has wandered off and you are just going through the paces, so Motherhood invites you to naturally find your way back, ‘mind-training’ for the living in the now.
Motherhood is a lot different to what I expected in both good and bad ways. In full disclosure I don’t think I ever spent much time daydreaming about becoming a Mom, or what sort of mother I dreamed to be. I never really imagined this for myself. On a deep intuitive level I felt I would be a mother to many children, so I trusted in this and knew when the time was right I would be ready. Then the time came, I had a moment of clarity while standing in the sitting room when I knew I was ready to receive my baby and she was ready to enter this world. I knew this on a deep intuitive soul level. My external world was not ready for this, my boyfriend and I had just moved to a new country on temporary visas, I was working part-time and had left a career in Marketing that I had spent many years building in my home country.
From an outsider's perspective, this did not look like the ‘ideal time’ but my soul knew it was. So I trusted in that and received my spirit baby. Our babies find us in all sorts of way (they can grow in our bellies/ grow in somebody else's belly/ fostered / adopted) many many ways, and I genuinely believe that they choose us as their parent(s). It doesn't matter if you birthed the baby from your body of not. In my opinion a mothers connection is a soul connection. I also understand that motherhood isn’t always an option or maybe a desire for many people and that’s OK too. We all have our own individual journeys, some by choice and perhaps some painfully not.
I recently read a comment advising against using the phrase ‘Starting a family’ and that two people in a relationship can already be a family. Children aren’t required to make it a family. This really got me thinking about the use of language around motherhood and parenting and I fully agree. It’s all these little lessons along the way that help me become a more loving caring human.
So what does being a mother mean to me?
My first year of being a new mother was really spent on figuring it all out. I was kept so busy and equally sleep deprived that my capacity for anything other than meeting basic essential needs wasn’t there. It’s only really after her first birthday that I had time to catch my breath and reflect on my journey into motherhood. I’ve had so many moments of growth and realization along the way that this question of what motherhood means to be is so huge, it’s almost impossible to answer in one blog post but I’m sure going to try!
For me becoming a mother was a complete Metamorphosis of every part of my being. A remembering of my true Self. What happens when you start to place yourself first and you start truly listening to your needs, desires and what your soul wants, every single relationship in your life changes. The work begins! This is why so often when women become mothers they start fulfilling their true life-purpose (your dharma). In Rob Sharma’s book ‘The Saint, the Surfer and the CEO, Surfer’ he says:
“The true journey of life is not about self improvement but about self-discovery.”
We are born perfect, whole and complete but we forget this along the way, as we forget our true sense of Self in order to please others which usually starts with pleasing our parents. The journey into motherhood is a remembering of this, so we can consciously help raise our child's soul. I fully understand and accept that my daughter is her own individual person, her own soul with her own journey and her own life purpose to fulfill. Yes, I grew her physical body inside of mine, but she does not ‘belong’ to me, she is not an extension of me, her soul choose me as the vessel to enter this world and this is something I will always remind myself of, so that I can stay humble and guide her as best I can.
I will remember this, especially during challenging times, because I am the adult, it does not mean that I know better, that there is no hierarchy to this relationship. Our children hold the power to raise us into the parents they need us to become. They are the wisdom holders, the light bearers.
The other day Abbey asked me ‘Mammy do spiders cry?’, I paused and thought about my response to this. All children under 4 years of age are still operating under Theta brainwave states which means they are very connected to their internal world. Their analytical mind is not yet active so they are taking what you say as ‘truth’ and soaking in every piece of information like a sponge. If you think of it like this, we are all born with a blueprint, and the blueprint represents who we are. Everything we learn along the way from our families, our tribes, our life lessons these then create imprints on the blueprints, and sometimes we so closely identity to these imprints in later life, that we forget our real Self, the blueprint.
I try my best to use these parenting moments to kneel down and talk openly with my child, as best I can without consciously installing any of my preconceived conditioning and judgments (my imprint). In this instance I brought myself down to her eye level and spoke to her about all creatures having feelings and that all living things can feel in some way. Explaining it is our duty to be kind and considerate of all creatures on our planet. You’re probably thinking that’s a lot for a two year old to contemplate and understand, it’s not. She is forming her own belief system and opinions daily.
When I was pregnant I went through a huge emotional overhaul; I intentionally put myself through it as I wanted to release all my own ‘sh*t’ so that I didn't carry it into my child’s life. I knew that I had a lot of anger, fear, resentment, disappointment to work through. At this stage, I had already spent a solid 4 years on my spiritual path, slowly releasing many things through different methods, several years of couch therapy (traditional talk therapy), Yoga, Energy healing, CBT and it all helped in different ways. I’ve always been a deeply emotional and spiritual person and it’s actually something I love about myself. I love that I feel deeply and that I want to be as true with myself on every level that I can possibly be. It’s not easy and it’s not always fun but it is so worthwhile and so deeply satisfying for the soul. I face my fears with an open heart and it takes time to heal, but it makes me stronger. I believe this is one of the main reasons I can now hold space for other people in trauma/pain/grief/heartache because I can be fully present for them, I can hold the space for the pain to exist in its ugly dark essential messiness, without judgement, while maintaining full compassion and healing. (again another blog-post).
We all have subconscious programming running in the background that we aren’t aware of until we call it forth and decide to rewrite the program. If you haven’t yet heard of Dr Joe Dispenza, I strongly advise you discover him. His book ‘Breaking the Habit of being Yourself’ - is my Number 1 Book of all time. I read a book a week, so this book is very significant for me. When I was pregnant this is what I wanted to do, I wanted to re-write my subconscious story about being a mother and parenting. I did all of this through the practice of Yoga Nidra, then two years later I then went on to study it as a teacher and now guide others. I have some free Yoga Nidra guided meditations on my website here, if you are interested in giving this a try or try my free Inner Child Meditation on Insight Timer here
I think it’s safe to say (well especially for any of us born in the 80’s) that we all think we can do a far better job at parenting than our own parents did! Parenting beliefs in Ireland in the 80’s was that ‘children should be seen but not heard’, and discipline was mainly implemented through fear. I don’t doubt that every parent loves their child but I also believe that love is not enough. As well as love, a good education , good healthcare and dental, nourishing food, a safe place to sleep - children also need the freedom to become their true Self.
Dr Stefali Tsabary explains this beautifully in her book ‘The Conscious Parent’
“The challenge to you as a parent is to allow your child’s spirit to emerge without your domination. Can you let go of the relentless urge to have your children be extensions of yourself? Are you willing to foster the internal space in them that will enable them to flourish free of your need to project your will onto them?”
The language we use when parenting plays a massive role in this and is something I am actively learning so that I can model this for my daughter. It’s in no way perfected but I am consciously aware of the words I speak to her. Simple things like not overusing words like ‘that’s good or bad’, not using the term ‘good girl’ as a positive, so she doesn’t think she wasn’t good before she proved herself. Increasing her vocabulary around emotions and feelings for example feeling: frustrated/disappointed/upset rather than just angry. Trying to help her identity the different emotions she is feeling and then allowing her to feel them fully before trying to ‘make it better’. Not telling her she is ‘fine’ or ‘ok’ , and at the same time acknowledging her feelings. These are all simple little things but in the long term scheme of things, its allowing the space for her to explore a full spectrum of emotions and feelings .
I know from guiding adults in Yoga Nidra (Guided Meditation where you are brought through the polarities of feeling opposite emotions) how closed off to feeling the full range of our emotions we are. In fact some people are so closed off, that they can’t now even identity which emotion /feeling they are experiencing. When this happens we start to use blanket statements like ‘I’m tired’ , ‘I’m stressed’ , ‘I’m in bad form’, ‘I’m angry’ but the real question is why.
What lies beneath that?
Why are you stressed?
Where do you not feel supported in your life right now ?
What is your heart telling you?
Fear is manifested in the form of stress. The best way to release your fear is to feel and experience it, surrender to the fear and stop resisting it. Sit with it and see what happens and as you do, as your acknowledge it, it dissipates and goes away. Allowing our children feel fear and teaching them to know why is such a wonderful gift to be able pass on.
False - Evidence - Appearing - Real.- Christopher Witecki
I do believe that we can allow our children to become their authentic Selves while still maintaining integrity and discipline. I remember when I was doing my Yoga Nidra teacher training, my teacher Jana Roemer was referring to her 3 year old son as a ‘wild animal’ , I was intrigued by this but I didn't fully understand it. It was only when Abbey turned 2 that I got it. She is a wild Animal , an infinite being figuring out this crazy little complex world all by herself.
I want to be there for her to allow her to get to know herSelf.
The beauty of motherhood is that she allows me to see the world through her eyes.
She finds magic in the mundane. She dances for no reason. She talks to the birds and smiles at every stranger.
What a honor it is to be a mother to such a beautiful little soul. My only wish is that I can continue to grow and expand to serve her for the remainder of my life.
Happy Mothers Day