Children do not come with an owner’s manual. Sometimes instincts can be all we need, but it is our instinct to grow that is often the most valuable. To parent our children, we must grow and mature with them. There is no getting around this. Children are parent growing machines, making it possible, and necessary for us to take the spiritual journey of sourcing the parent within.
After giving birth to my son, I soon realized that things would come up along the way that I had no way of knowing prior, or at the very least would never have expected, having at that point 20 years of experience working with children and families professionally. I thought I was totally prepared for motherhood. I forgot that I was actually human.
Letting go was the first step to source my parent within. Learning to allow myself to be present with my experience, and not distress to get back to the old image of myself was necessary for me to allow the integration of my baby into my life.
I had a list of, “I never expected….”, followed by “I thought I would be…” I thought I would be writing a book while my baby slept. After my son’s birth I was astonished at how busy three people could be taking care of one infant: myself, my husband, and mother. I realized why some colleagues had chuckled when I said flippantly, “when I go on vacation”; as I referred to my maternity leave announcing that I was finally going to have the time to write my book. I had no effin’ idea. I was not that mother who wrote a book when her infant slept. I slept when my infant slept!
I never expected that I would feel an abundance of time if I was able to take a shower every other day, or manage to brush my teeth when my son was a baby. I had to allow myself to be at ease with what I realistically was capable of doing to be able to mother my son, and take care of myself.
I also had to let go of comparing myself to other women and our birth stories, mine being a cesarean birth. I contended with assessments from others, societal norms and expectations, as I forged what would be my own unique experience. Accepting my experience I began to find the energy and presence necessary to give my infant child the intimacy he needed to be healthy happy and thrive. I was eventually able to confront my grief over an unexpected cesarean birth, instead of pushing it away.
Letting go, doesn’t mean trying to be different than what you are. It actually means loving yourself, and allowing yourself to be where you are at precisely at that moment.
I realized that I do not have to be my illusion of myself or anyone else’s expectation of me. I recognized that I was on a journey beyond my imagining, and that there is a healthy parent in me being born if I allowed the opportunity for her to show up.
Photo courtesy: Infusion Yoga Maui
Image Credit: Cadencia Photography