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Blog Listing

A collection of stories, insights, pain and laughter that details our lives, our experiences as women and mothers and the wisdom that comes out of that.

Sometimes I feel stupefied by motherhood

Julie Tenner

"...

18 months ago, when Bridget was pregnant with Sylive, I remember her saying how ‘off her game’ she felt and by contrast, how ‘on fire’ she thought I was. 

At the time I thought she was delusional, but now I find myself in this same position; feeling somehow ‘dulled down’ in new motherhood and by contrast ‘everyone else’ (including Bridget) seem to have their shit together, their ducks in a line, they’re ‘all cylinders firing’....What is that about?!..."

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Appreciating when we 'self-sabotage'

Bridget Wood

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It's no coincidence that while driving to the airport to catch my flight to Byron Bay, I was listening to a webinar teaching about balancing emotions when I found myself becoming my own immediate 'case study' just moments after it finished. I plunged into anxiety when I realised I'd missed the freeway exit to the airport, and was heading straight for the Westgate Bridge, adding 20 minutes to my trip. 

After calling my husband in tears (the benefit - he gets to step into his masculine 'action and solution' mode, and feel needed at the same time as I'm off 'stepping out in the world'; value on family, tick!), I gave myself a pep talk and got to the airport with five minutes to spare...which I quickly chewed up by going to the wrong gate, getting security spot checked for explosives twice, ordering, and having to throw out, my chai latte because of the extra security screening after going to the wrong terminal.

A classic comedy of errors, which with less awareness I may have blamed on everything in the 'outside world' or on my own stupidity, however knowing that we are always acting in alignment with our values and what's important to us, I could recognise that what was happening was my subconscious trying to keep me 'safe'; that is, the identity I hold onto as safe. My animal nature wanting to protect me from what I fear to lose if I 'step up' too much in the world, which is what this trip to Byron Bay signified. I dreamt of this when I was dreaming of bringing my daughter Sylvie into the world. I felt her energy there, and the pull to create events there too. To make meaning in motherhood and conscious conversation.

Because family and relationship, connectedness and attunement with my children, are really high values of mine, if I perceive that expanding in business will take away from that, then I'll tend to curtail myself in this area at every turn. But the thing is, this belief is not truth - it's just that; a belief. Held onto strongly at times to validate my choices in life, and perhaps unconsciously on some level, it's not even my core belief, but epigenetically handed down to me from my grandmother who worked her whole life to raise 12 kids and contribute to her Church, was absent emotionally much of the time and felt guilt for that, and my mother, her twelfth child, who gave us everything she perceived she missed out on; the pain so great she went the opposite way in service of us.

When we talk of 'self-sabotage', we miss the love in our actions. That so often, our actions are driven by what we most perceive is missing in our world, thrusting us forward to pursue what we most desire.

Could self-sabotage therefore, actually be a form of self-love?

Instead of making errors out of 'stupidity' and 'not thinking' (which is common negative self-talk), was I actually being guided by what was most important to me - albeit in a very roundabout way?

When we open our minds to consider the benefits to us of the things we judge ourselves for, we awaken a greater capacity to love ourselves for all our foibles, beginning to see that there are no mistakes.

So what is it that you would love to do, be and have in the world, but instead find a host of reasons why you can't do, be and have them?

Are these things really inspiring to you, or fantasies that having nothing to do with what your life demonstrates as important?

What feels most missing at the moment? Are you willing to create it?

There is an inspired vision within all of us, that wants to contribute to this world in our own unique way, to turn our obstacles into opportunities, and yet so often we fall into patterns where we continuously recreate the same dynamics that while 'keeping us safe' in our perception, they are not aiding our growth.

The quality of our lives is based on the quality of the questions we ask ourselves, and our willingness to step out of a 'security' mindset and into a 'service' one. To look for meaning, to unlock wisdom, and transcend illusions of pleasure and pain to find the love at the heart of it all.
 


Bridget Wood is Co-Founder of Nourishing The Mother and a lover of life and connecting people to themselves through wisdom, introspection and quality questions. Bridget is also the Director and Events Manager of Suburban Sandcastles. With an insatiable appetite for knowledge and a desire to understand the bigger picture of human behaviour and how the world works, Bridget is on an inspired path to learn more deeply who we are beyond the limitations that we, and our society and culture, place upon upon us. 


If you could look into a crystal ball, what would you want for your children?

Julie Tenner

This is a question Bridget asked me today:

"If you could look into a crystal ball, what would you want for your children and how can you lay the foundations in parenting?"

One of my favourite questions is what do I want, yet we have to remind ourselves to ask it...What do I want.....?

For my children I want:

  • A courageous individual who can laugh at themselves and continue to show up
     

  • Someone who can connect to their pain, turn towards it and love even harder
     

  • Someone who has enough self-belief to be selfish and self-motivated, enough humility to know they are not defined by what they achieve and enough honesty to be dark and know their wholeness
     

  • A human who feels connected in their body and beautiful in their skin
     

  • A relationship with their family that catapults them into seeking, but always brings them home to loving arms, warm hearts and deep conversations
     

  • The ability to think outside the box, to challenge the status quo and to ask why

Of course, whatever I want for them is in some way what I am seeking for myself, which is funny when we think of our life like this.  We are all looking for and seeking the very things we perceive were or are missing for us.

It's why we're the perfect parents for our children, because our own wounds will lead us to actively seek the 'remedy' to fill the void (the pain) we feel - what we want for them will be part of our own genius.  We have already travelled the path they are on or will be on, we've already done the hard yards, learnt the lessons and gained the very wisdom they need distilled down to them to get through their life's challenges and towards your desired outcome.

It is always why it can be so darn painful to parent because our children are hardwired to push our buttons, which 'forces' us into growth and (hopefully) the right toolkit to find our way through with ever greater wisdom, genius and abundance in this area of life.

So when you look at what I want for my children, you can see my own values at play:

  • Family
  • Career
  • Wellbeing

Which speak to my own voids within each of these areas.  What I want for my children is essentially the essence of what I perceive was missing for me and that my heart aches to achieve.

The next part of Bridget's question was "...how can you lay the foundations in parenting?", which I find inspiring.

How do you lay the foundations of emotional intelligence, of wholeness (acceptance of light and dark), of stepping towards pain (not avoiding it), of the art of communication and resilience?

  • We listen, we hold space for raw unedited emotions, we acknowledge the painful and uncomfortable by bringing them out of the darkness and discussing whats going on for each of us.
  • We allow rage and anger and we find ways to MOVE them.  They are only toxic when they stagnate like a bog with no flowing water.
  • We invite in vulnerability and slow softness.  We teach our children the quiet side of abundance.
  • We give language to their feelings, we connect these words to their body sensations, we learn baby-steps to self-awareness and we help them carve out a toolkit to move these emotions through their body.
  • We hold the space for them to experience and struggle with challenge in their lives.  We don't solve it for them, we trust they have everything they need inside them to find their way through with a stronger sense of self and a clearer intuition.  

How do you lay the foundations of body connectedness, awareness, governance and love?

  • You provide opportunities for them to experience their body outside of what it looks like and enjoy it!  Massage, movement, playing, dancing etc.
  • You marvel at how amazing their body is when it heals, when it communicates to them through sensation.
  • You bring their awareness back to their body, especially when they are lost in their head.
  • You teach them how to tune into their body, how to breathe to where it feels tight, how to ask what their body is saying to them and listen for the answer.
  • You teach them that their body is sacred, it is precious, no part less so than another.  It is their right and their 'job' to stand up for their body, to protect it, to keep it safe.  
  • You teach them how to know what they desire, what they want, how to listen for what they need and how ask for it.
  • You help them know the deep truth that pleasure is their birth rite.  They were born of pleasure and into pleasure, they are literally made of love.  This is their barometer for discovering in this world - if it feels pleasure-full seek it out, if at any time it stops being pleasurable, stop, and it is always ok to stop at anytime, anywhere.

How do you lay the foundations of self worth, self belief, creative thinking and enough tenacity to stick at something?

  • Be crazy with them!  Show them what it is to live loud and proud, with a sprinkle of "the subtle art of not giving a fuck".  Be you, be real, be authentic - all easier said than done, but they're watching you and learning.
  • Celebrate their quirks and offer them tools for continuing to show up even when it hurts.
  • Recognise their genius and talk to them about what you see them really loving and excelling at.
  • Offer boundaries and know you are worth the time, effort and energy involved in maintaining them.  Talk about respect, honouring yourself and listening to your needs.
  • Discuss the universal principals of challenge and support, the importance of finding your way through something not around it, how our genius expands when we are willing to keep going and the rewards are even sweeter (then actually allow them the time and space to experience challenge).
  • When the going gets tough, don't look to remove the 'problem' (the person, situation etc), instead ask what your child needs to step up into their power and how you can help resource them to move through it.
  • Continue to ask, why?  Watch documentaries, have difficult discussions.
  • Celebrate the milestones of change - when you know they've been working really hard on something, when its been a continuous conversation in your family and then they actually display it, point it out!  Let them know the effect it had on you, how you felt in response to witnessing them achieving this.
  • When they creatively find a way around your rules, occasionally hold onto a sense of humour about it and recognise the creative genius involved in working that situation (and everyone in it) out and figuring out how to get their needs met.
  • Be willing to have negotiations.  On everything.
  • Encourage them to pursue what lights them on fire, what illuminates their soul and makes their heart beat a little harder and a little faster.

If you want to step up with us to resource yourself to learn about the parenting you never received and have the toolkits to providing the vision you have for your family, join us on Monday 16 October for Aligned Parenting.

It's just $149 for two weeks of content and coaching with us, including a LIVE Webinar, private Facebook group, and a further 6 weeks access to the course content to revise at your leisure as well as immediate access to our members only Facebook group.

Join or find out more here.


Julie Tenner is Co-founder of Nourishing The Mother and is The Pleasure Nutritionist. Julie is a Naturopath, specialising in women’s and children's health, with specific focus on awakening women to their full potential – health for the mind, body and soul – creating lasting life change for you and your family by “coming home” to your magnificence.


3 ways to transform challenging behaviour in your kids

Bridget Wood

As mothers, the catch-cry ‘Is it wine time yet?!’ kinda goes with the territory some days, but if we’re going around in circles in a challenging dynamic with our kids, it’s not just about them – there’s some ownership needed.

1.     Recognise the Universe inside you
When things are going awesome in our lives, and things just seem to divinely appear, we love to bow down to the magnificence of the Universe for guiding the way. Conversely, how much have you sat with the fact that when the Universe continues to deliver, but in ways that we don’t want, there is also divinity at play? The great mystic and poet, Rumi, said ‘You are the Universe in ecstatic motion’, which essentially means that we are creating everything. Perhaps we are all manifesting our own Universes and momentarily (at least in Universal Time) get to circle in the orbit of one another’s, giving the illusion that there is one singular reality. It’s humbling to ponder. Regarding our kids, they are acting in ways that are assisting our growth, even if it might be challenging. The perception we have of them, is informed by our own beliefs, triggers and values, and the bigger the ‘story’ we have, the bigger, in our perception at least, the challenge we’re being invited to work through.
Get curious when you feel a familiar feeling arise in you and ask yourself – what happened immediately before I became aware of this feeling? When have I felt this before? What does this remind me of? What is it asking me to face within myself?
When we begin to ask questions about what’s going on for us, we get a glimpse of the co-creation at play between us and our children, and in the relationships with those around us. We have the opportunity to shrink away from the pain it’s bringing us, or lean into it and choose a new story. It’s not what happens to us, but how we perceive it, that decides our experience of life.

2.     Identify the trigger
What is it that sees you go from calm and centred to wild and angry? That you always just seem to get (sometimes irrationally) frustrated with? Or maybe there’s a big wound or source of pain you keep getting pulled into with your kids? It’s no coincidence that it keeps pushing your buttons – it’s there for you to learn from. Usually it’s roots are buried deep in your own childhood. Take my friend Sally; she grew up with a father who lavished love through food, and a mother who was enormously judgemental about food, weight, and appearance. Who still serves her adult boys big slices of cake, and the women in the family, a small sliver each. Sally is deeply challenged by the judgement her mother directs to her four-year-old daughter about her eating, and food choices, and wants her daughter to have a much more balanced approach to food.  We got talking about our kids and what they eat, and Sally mentioned her daughter seems to want to eat all the time, but she’s getting her to focus on meal times rather than eating whenever she wants. As we pulled apart ‘why’ this is a problem for Sally – what would happen if she actually did just let her daughter follow her appetite and eat when she’s hungry, Sally realised that what was playing out in the dynamic with her daughter was actually related to the issues with her mother. She was perceiving her daughter’s food habits as a problem because of her own story and emotional triggers. Filtering her perceptions to conform to a long-held story – to ‘keep safe’ the beliefs instilled in her, even though they are uncomfortable. Finding the ‘space in between’ the trigger, and the emotional response, is our opportunity to re-pattern our own experiences coded in our brain, and choose a new path for us and our children.

3.     If you spot it, you’ve got it!
Carl Jung, the famed psychologist, coined the term ‘The Mirror’, which means that we can see nothing in the people around us, that isn’t also within us. Most of the time, we are either to proud, or too humble to admit that was we see in others, we have in us, just in a different form that we haven’t brought light to. Our most ‘disowned parts’ we tend to breed in our children, to get us to love those parts of ourselves – because no matter how painful it gets, we will always love our children. How profound is this incredible design that’s leading us back to love. To wholeness. To oneness.
Next time you find yourself getting frustrating at your child thinking in your head, ‘they’re just so…’ or ‘I wish they would just….’, ask yourself where you also display the same trait you are finding difficult to witness in them. Sit with the idea that you are only seeing this, and being frustrated by this, in order to face it within yourself.

You can still have the wine, and the vent, and let off steam in whatever way you need, but developing the curiosity to understand what your world is trying to teach you; what your children are seeking to shift in you, brings a richness to mothering like no other.

If you would like to integrate these tools more powerfully into your life, explore our online programs Aligned Parenting and Loathing To Loving 


Bridget Wood is Co-Founder of Nourishing The Mother and a lover of life and connecting people to themselves through wisdom, introspection and quality questions. Bridget is also the Director and Events Manager of Suburban Sandcastles. With an insatiable appetite for knowledge and a desire to understand the bigger picture of human behaviour and how the world works, Bridget is on an inspired path to learn more deeply who we are beyond the limitations that we, and our society and culture, place upon upon us. 


 

 

 

 

The elusive seductress of self-worth

Bridget Wood

Self worth.  We could all spend a lifetime trying to work out the secret to deep, integrated worth and still never quite attain a universal solution.

The reason for this is that each of our recipes are slightly different and our paths to acknowledging ourselves vast.  There is no one size fits all approach.  

We all want more.  More self value, less comparison.  More awareness, less judgement.  More compassion, less critic.  More self belief, less self flagellation.  More body love, less body punishment.  

And we want it for our kids.  

We want our daughters to go live the life they imagine, unencumbered by our self doubt and resignation.  

We want our sons to be fully seen in this world, unrestrained from our apprehension and doubt.

The only universal truth here is that what we embody, they seek to repeat or repair.

You know this because everything that was 'good' you seek to replicate in your own life.  Everything that was 'broken' you seek to undo or do the opposite of; we're all healing an inner child and not because anyone told us to, because we have an innate driver to be whole.  

The 'good' informs us as much as the 'broken'.  We pursue a life, full of choices, based on their very presence.  Whatever you perceive to be missing in your childhood, your family dynamic, your parents relationships creates a void, a gaping black hole of a wound that is constantly seeking to be filled and like a black hole, it sucks everything into it that looks like contains some sort of panacea; we filter our world and the daily barrage of information, specifically (though unconsciously) seeking for 'things', dynamics, relationships, experiences and meanings to fill it.  

Enter life purpose and your hidden genius.

So there IS method in the madness.

For me, it also highlights that we can wish whatever we want for our children all we like but ultimately 'their fate is sealed' by what we DO and embody for ourselves.

If they don't see it, they can't replicate it.

The self worth we wish to foster in our children is as much what we do to and for them as it what we do to and for ourselves.

The self worth we foster in our children influences every relationship they will ever have, including the level of intimacy they move towards.

So are you taking the time to parent yourself consciously?  

Aligned Parenting is about the dynamic mix of consciously parenting our children (and equipping ourselves with a toolkit to do this) as much as it about what to do with ourselves to heal our own wounds and triggers so we can show up for them with a 'clean slate', as unhampered by our own judgements as possible.


Julie Tenner is Co-founder of Nourishing The Mother and is The Pleasure Nutritionist. Julie is a Naturopath, specialising in women’s and children's health, with specific focus on awakening women to their full potential – health for the mind, body and soul – creating lasting life change for you and your family by “coming home” to your magnificence.


Tears, Tantrums and 3 year olds – My Top 5 Tips!

Julie Tenner

"...We can help our children learn feelings, empathy and how to grow through these challenges.  We don’t need to fix it, change it, or have the answer – so breathe, relax your body, relax your mind – you don’t have the pressure of finding the solution, only of listening to how you are feeling, holding space for the same feeling within them and showing them the way back to balance THROUGH this emotion...."

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On letting go of the mother you 'should' be, to embrace who you are

Bridget Wood

Before I became a mother, I read ALL THE THINGS. "How not to f*ck them up" was one of them. I was going to ace this motherhood gig and do things the 'right' way to raise a securely attached, confident, lovely human being.

Sound familiar? Maybe you've found yourself 'down the rabbit hole' of trying to be the 'perfect mother' too. You'll know it if you have other voices in your head, that aren't your own, telling you how to do things, or berating you when you 'fall short' or you're not 'conscious enough'.

In my case, all the voices in my head from all the 'experts' didn't know one thing; they didn't know me. The parts of myself I would face, the buried beliefs I would invariably dig up, the long-lost pain of the past that was creeping into my consciousness saying, 'come, this is the way', when I want to run in the opposite direction, numb out, or fight it.

Because the thing is, whatever we have 'run from' in our own childhood, we are going to 'run into' with our own children, until we can make conscious the unconscious dynamic that's at play.

That thing they do that gets you going from calm and centred to wild, within seconds? It's not isolated to them, like a mirror it's reflective of something bigger, and not separate from us. The anger masks the fear that's coded into our brain, because our children 'plug us in' to our own 1,2,3,4+ year-old selves, to face, and integrate, what we've got marked as 'unhealed' in the recesses of our psyche.

Facing these parts of ourselves - THIS is the work of motherhood, if we are to step into our greatest alignment as parents. Beyond the tasks, techniques and service to our children, is the awareness we are being called to give to ourselves, and the dynamic we are in with our children and family.

What is it you find you are most judging yourself for in mothering? Where did you pick up that belief? If you think it's true - who said so?

Do you have a version of the 'gold standard' in mothering? What does that look like? Have you ever considered what the drawbacks might be to you or your children if you were 'that'?

When we want the very best for our children, we can tend to internalise the voices and opinions of others who we look up to, instead of connecting to our authentic selves and bringing the best of 'us' to the moment. Our children can send when we're wobbly or incongruent, and keep pushing the same 'button' for us to help us find our voice, transform old beliefs, and smash our fantasies of there being 'one right way'.

So I'm not going to be the poster 'Pinterest' mum.
Nor am I going to play on the floor with them happily for hours on end.
But I'm going to listen to my children, respect their wholeness, and nourish them as best I can.

You've heard it a thousand times before - there is no 'perfect mother', but there's a million ways to be a good one. When you step into your unique truth, values, and vision for yourself and your family (and no one else), this is where you get to shine, and feel aligned. Your children are guiding the way - and in your greatest 'rub' with them, lies your greatest wisdom. May you find the space within you to feel it, hear it and see it. You've got this, mama.
 


Bridget Wood is Co-Founder of Nourishing The Mother and a lover of life and connecting people to themselves through wisdom, introspection and quality questions. Bridget is also the Director and Events Manager of Suburban Sandcastles. With an insatiable appetite for knowledge and a desire to understand the bigger picture of human behaviour and how the world works, Bridget is on an inspired path to learn more deeply who we are beyond the limitations that we, and our society and culture, place upon upon us. 


5 tips for tuning into your child emotionally

Julie Tenner

"...It can be REALLY challenging to have the answers and 'rise to the occasion' when our children test our limits, and patience!  Often their emotional outbursts can be so intense and reactive for us that we feel lost and overwhelmed by this whole parenting gig.

What I'm here to tell you is, you've go this!  you CAN do it.  you actually already have everything inside of you that you and your child need.  

Sometimes we just need a little help to find it and that's the purpose of this blog!  Let's get honest and practical about how to help our children learn and develop emotional and empathetic skills..."

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Communicating with the masculine - my 6 best tips

Julie Tenner

"...Whether you are communicating with a man or a ‘developing man’ (aka your son), there are certain ways that they respond to and certain ways that switch them off, which I've found to be largely universal for all men.  

So after having listened to my husband’s responses in this weeks podcast, where I interview him on birth and intimacy afterwards, I’m reminded of just how important the way we approach them is.  Consequently, I thought I'd share what I've learnt in communicating with the masculine.

Masculine communication basic 6..."

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The benefits of 'not coping'

Bridget Wood

I woke at 6am in my daughter's bed, being grabbed at by her, and jumped on by my 4yo, while my husband slept off the drugs, and trauma, of a major surgery, in our bedroom.

Five days of solo parenting, and strung-out emotionally, with concern, love, and hospital visits, meant that my 'reserves' were low. My sense of spaciousness that I really work hard to maintain, was, let's face it, pretty much non-existent. 

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The day I realised I wanted a baby, not a birth

Julie Tenner

“...I’m REALLY not sure this baby is EVER coming” is what I remarked through tears to my husband, to which he answered “you know that’s not true, she is coming”.  Did I know that?  No.  Seriously, I didn’t.  I know that makes no sense, I know that rationally its impossible to stay pregnant forever, but what I couldn’t put words to was the feeling of dread, the irrational fear of my body not working, of my baby ‘not working’ and of being stuck here indefinitely.  Stuck here, sore and tired and weepy and in some ways mourning the ‘loss’ of a baby I thought I was having yesterday..."

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The Due Date ‘breaking’ – what to consider when you’re in-between worlds waiting for baby

Julie Tenner

"...Waiting for baby.  How many times have I heard this in my lifetime.  How many times have I been on the other end of the phone to women sobbing and lamenting the waiting.  How many times have I offered listening and love, yet words that echo “there is no due date, come back into your body, trust the process, baby knows when the time is right”.

SO many times have I been the practitioner on the receiving end of these transitional moments that those conversations overlap in my mind like white noise.  Yet this is the first time I find myself here as the client; the weepy, conflicted mother-to-be, battling between mind and body, and I am hit with how much I missed in these conversations..."

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Three things to do for the mother-in-waiting

Bridget Wood

The baby clothes are all washed and folded, nappies stocked up high, the room prepared, and now there is...waiting. In between worlds. Body heavy, perhaps emotions feeling the same; oscillations between excitement, fear, anticipation, resistance, joy, sadness and everything in between. 

On the precipice of transformation, of shedding identities, and creating new ones.

Her body calling her inwards, primal wisdom from the ages compelling a woman deeply inside herself to face herself. For many, that can be a lonely and scary place. 

In a culture where birth is a process to be managed, not a transcendent moment in a woman's journey of self, to be honoured and revered and nurtured, we often need to remind ourselves to tune into what the mothers-in-waiting around us really need.

Be her tribe, create reverence, hold her space
We all have people around us who love us, but the people who we can bare our deepest, darkest selves to, without judgement, are golden. Be her safe place. Create the space to hear her. Make safe all the big feelings. Offer empathy, not solutions. 

This comes in the forms of cups of tea, flowers 'just because', lingering in a hug just a little bit longer, text messages that let her know she's in your heart, pre-prepared meals, gentle advice where it's welcomed.

When the baby arrives, it looks like folding washing, bringing meals, listening, cuddling her babe while she lingers a little bit longer in the shower, taking older kids for a play date. 

This is the fabric of the village, of creating a tribe. 

Do it for yourself, do it for your friend, your sister-in-law, or the mum at school. 

Honour the goddess within, and pave the way for a family life of connection and reverence. 


Bridget Wood is Co-Founder of Nourishing The Mother and a lover of life and connecting people to themselves through wisdom, introspection and quality questions. Bridget is also the Director and Events Manager of Suburban Sandcastles. With an insatiable appetite for knowledge and a desire to understand the bigger picture of human behaviour and how the world works, Bridget is on an inspired path to learn more deeply who we are beyond the limitations that we, and our society and culture, place upon upon us. 




 


 

 

5 questions to transform your motherhood

Bridget Wood

Motherhood can be monotonous and painful, or it can be the pathway to our most awakened selves, full of wisdom, mutual learning, and growth. Frequently it is both of these things, and key to bringing mastery to the family dynamic is through the quality of the questions we ask ourselves.

The first step is bringing awareness to the ‘rub’ you’re currently facing in your motherhood. What is it that you find ‘hard’? Is there a fantasy that comes into your mind when you’re faced with this that says ‘if I only I could/be/do/have x, y, z, then this wouldn’t be happening? With every fantasy, sunshine-and-rainbows, one-sided view of the world, comes a hidden nightmare - we just don’t see it yet. Bust that fantasy, and you find freedom, presence, and gratitude for where you are right now. So what are the drawbacks of the fantasy in your mind?

Here are some great questions to ask yourself to bring awareness to your dynamic:

What am I trying to control here?
When we feel powerless in relationship to our children, we tend to want to ‘power-over’ them, through trying to control behaviour, eating habits, sleeping habits, even their feelings. No human being (regardless of age!) particularly enjoys being told what to do, and the more you try to control your children, the more resistance this will create, played out through challenging behaviour or disconnection. 

Perhaps you’re feeling overwhelmed and trying to control things outside your influence? What would it feel like to loosen your grip on the things that aren’t significant, or are outside your control? If you didn’t concern yourself with the things outside of your influence, what would that create more space for?

Reducing the ‘brain noise’ allows us to be more present and focussed, and available to our children and partners. 

What am I trying to run from?
Our animal nature wants to seek pleasure and avoid pain. Our angelic nature sees pain as our portal to consciousness. The willingness with which we ‘lean into’ pain tends to be in accordance with what we value most. We face challenges more readily in the areas of life we’re most inspired by, and run from them in our lower-valued areas. So everyone is running from something! What is it you keep running from, that you ‘keep running into’? 

Maybe it’s setting clear limits and boundaries with your children, that ensures everyones needs are honoured, or perhaps there’s someone in your life who you are deeply triggered by, whether kids, partner, mother-in-law or boss?

These dynamics don’t show up in our life by coincidence, they are there to teach us; and so it is wise to ask the question - what is this situation trying to teach me about myself? (and no the answer isn’t ‘That I definitely don’t want to be like that!' because whatever you spot in them, you have in you, you just haven't recognised it yet)

Who am I blaming?
We tend to blame others when we feel like they’ve let us down in some way, or when they don’t conform to our value system. When we blame, we make ourselves a victim, creating feelings of disempowerment that keep us ‘stuck’. It feels good to blame others sometimes - like we are somehow vindicated from any part we play in the dynamic. However when we are willing to take ownership of our role, it actually begins to release us from the discomfort, and move into more spaciousness. 

Pay attention to your language as it’s a feedback to let you know where you are in blame-mode, or putting unrealistic expectations on others. Statements like ‘my baby should sleep more’ or ‘my child needs to learn to play with others’ are directives from your own (or other’s) values onto your children, which, when our children don’t follow suit, sets us up for a cascade of feelings like anger, blame and criticism. 

In these cases, you could ask yourself why these things are important to you, and what happens if your children/others don’t conform to your expectations, and the benefits of this, to lessen your own emotional charge on it. Because this is the thing - no one else is responsible for how we feel.

How can I bring more playfulness into this situation?
Play is a beautiful way to foster connection, ease tension, and bring lightness into your family dynamic, and it can be used in so many ways, to work through resistance with our children and ourselves, and deepen relationships. But it requires you to be willing to put in a ‘circuit-breaker’ on your own patterns of behaviour - to play your way out of situations where you might instead have got angry or yelled. 

Sibling dynamics are great to use in play - my son occasionally will playfully ‘bonk’ my daughter on the head and then run away saying to me ‘You can’t catch me!’; this can go one of two ways - discipline the behaviour by saying ‘Don’t hurt your sister’ OR see his invitation for play and connection and follow his lead. Yesterday we did this with a game I made up called ‘Sauropod seven-thousand kisses’, where I became a Sauropod dinosaur trying to catch him to give him kisses, allowing him to dictate what he needed in the game, by me saying, ‘If you keep running away from me, that means you need even MORE Sauropod kisses!’. Children generally don’t tell us when they are feeling sad, left out, or disconnected - they show it through challenging behaviour. As adults we show it through numbing-out, distractions, or anger (anger tends to mask our hurt, as a protection mechanism). 

When we choose play with our children in this way, not only do we create a pathway to healing for them, we do it for ourselves, too, by re-patterning our neural pathways and earlier experiences, so we no longer need to be ‘run’ by them and can choose to move forward with greater intention, rather than knee-jerk reaction.

How is this challenge serving me?
The things we find ourselves resisting most, are often the areas where our greatest growth lies. When we see all ‘bad’ in a situation, we are not seeing the complete picture; what challenge are you facing right now, and how is it actually helping you, rather than hindering you? Is it strengthening relationships, compelling you to increase your own empowerment, teaching you something you’ve been resisting learning? 

The quality of our life has a lot to do with the quality of the questions we ask ourselves. Broaden your thinking and see your world shift. 


Bridget Wood is Co-Founder of Nourishing The Mother and a lover of life and connecting people to themselves through wisdom, introspection and quality questions. Bridget is also the Director and Events Manager of Suburban Sandcastles. With an insatiable appetite for knowledge and a desire to understand the bigger picture of human behaviour and how the world works, Bridget is on an inspired path to learn more deeply who we are beyond the limitations that we, and our society and culture, place upon upon us. 


 

 

 

 

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So why wouldn't you plan it out and use it to the best of its ability in YOUR birth??!

When designing a playlist for birth, the advice I give all my clients is this..."

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When we avoid rather than step into the discomfort of women in pain, we repeat this cycle.  We make it okay to avoid emotion and we dishonour the women around us.  We cement the feelings of shame and isolation...."

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"...What is the gold nugget under shame and blame within a partnership?

It provides some strong feedback to get back in love with who you are. 

You can only find the answers you seek or listen with an open heart to criticism, when first you are in-touch with your own magnificence. 

But how do you do that exactly?..."

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