The first time I went to the “parenting” section of a book store years ago I felt an overwhelming amount of anxiety at the rows of books written regarding the subject. As a new mother I felt ill equipped to confront my new role and I thought that perhaps the wisdom of others would be beneficial. There were myriads of techniques and advice that contradicting one another and made the process of mothering well seem unattainable to me. Do I let my child sleep with me until they decide to sleep on their own? Do I let them cry it out in their own bed as an infant? There was a different theory for each decision and they both had their own logic. The task of going through all these decisions and researching the best solution felt like an arduous and stressful task. Did the main part of parenting consist mostly of the process of tediously researching every stage and decision? What if I chose incorrectly, would my child turn out ok? Deep down, I felt like it had to be more innate. How had everyone survived without the parenting section at Barnes and Noble for hundreds of years? The wealth of ideas and perspectives on parenting mostly created in me the feeling that there was something that I was missing and once I knew that piece of knowledge or possessed that parenting technique, only then would I truly begin being the best mother I could be. But even deeper than the anxiety that filled me that day, was the sense that all those books actually didn’t have the answer for me. It was the quiet voice inside me that didn’t have the answer yet but somehow knew that what I was looking for wasn’t found in another person’s experience and advice. That truth is inside every mother all along.
It’s been almost 9 years and 3 children later since the day I listened to that voice that spoke quietly but truthfully. I left the store that day without a stack of books, but with a newfound strength that I would find my way. Motherhood is a truly spiritual process where we evolve with our child. We have all that we need to be the mother we are meant to be RIGHT NOW. Mothering and parenting isn’t a problem that we have to search for a solution for, it’s an experience that requires all of who we are. It isn’t about changing our child, or altering ourselves to be someone else’s ideal about who we should be, it’s about growing as spiritual beings, allowing for a relationship with our children that’s always changing, surrendering and ready to let go of what isn’t useful anymore, all of which is constantly evolving into something new. It hasn’t always been easy to listen to that process, sometimes the path has been very difficult to face, it’s broken me down in many ways but what it’s reconstructed again has been a better version of what existed before. Once we think we’ve gotten a good handle on ourselves as a parent, everything changes, it’s life’s lesson to all parents. It’s a humbling experience, to constantly not be able to control how things go exactly, but if it doesn’t change us at our core, make us feel helpless at times, then we wouldn’t feel the need to surrender to what life has for us and we wouldn’t feel the need to go deeper into ourselves to find patience, insight, compassion and deeper truths. We may not always always feel warm and fuzzy about being a mother but if we allow ourselves to truly experience the spiritual experience the surrendering process of mothering, we will come out each time, closer to ourselves and our children.
Beyond the advice that every parent learns inevitably along the way and which can bring much debate depending on your school of thought (set a strict schedule vs be flexible to change, allow for freedom or create a lot of boundaries) There are truths that truly transforms us as parents. Those deeper truths are what have guided me on a deeper journey through motherhood which has been both exasperating and thrilling. Every mother has the ability to experience a joyful and life changing experience in motherhood. This is what I believe being a parent, more specifically a mother, is all about. That’s what I want to explore in the blog. There’s a way to love our lives as mothers that isn’t just about saying no all day long, feeling out of control, or drained of all of our personal space. There’s a joy in parenting that can be experienced daily and that cannot be broken down into 10 easy steps in a book. It’s a little intangible at times but it’s very transformative. I will try to explore more than just the superficial woes and stresses but their ability to transform us. We aren’t just referees, bouncers, or chauffeurs..we are aware observers of who we are and how what we do affects our children deeply. Taking care of who we are, our pain, our suffering, begins to be our main concern because without an intimate awareness of ourselves, the relationship with our children won’t be the fluid and beautiful experience it can be. Once I realized that all that I am is what motherhood requires I’ve surrendered to what life wants to teach me in every moment and the experience of motherhood has become joyful. I’ve gained some truths that have lead to me to a deeper understanding of myself and to more peace with my children.
This blog isn’t about what you’re missing or need in order to be the best mother possible. Its about loving exactly where we are. It’s about letting go of all that gets in the way of us flourishing. I hope my explorations can bring you happiness in your years of motherhood. I hope to be able to reach like-minded mothers and that we can form a community of words that can and will transform our world.