I felt the overwhelm arise in me. The clothes piled up on the couch, waiting to be folded. Lego underfoot. Baby getting frustrated. Every cushion in the house, and my bedcovers, on the floor; ‘a jumping castle!’, my four-year-old exclaimed, while sailing through the air.
My face softened. My hurriedness ‘to do things’, vanished. Where I was seeing mess, he was creating magic, I heard myself realise. I walked back through the rest of the house with new eyes. The Lego plane was on its third ‘rebuild’ for the day, the fabric book Sylvie had spent 20 minutes playing with had been left in favour of a hat, which she was trying to get in her mouth.
These elements of our home filled with so much potential for learning and wonder; expression and mastery. That I’d previously seen it all as ‘stuff to tidy up’ almost seemed foolish.
As mothers, how much do we really allow ourselves to be still and marvel at their interests, their learning, the unfolding of who they are, right in front of us?
So often, the layers of responsibilities and subordinations to others, or our ‘perfect mother’ ideal gets the better of us. We hear grandparents or older people wistfully suggest we should ‘enjoy every moment’ while we’re feeling pained at the supermarket, enjoyment the farthest thing from our minds.
It’s no doubt the juggle of motherhood is real. How do we balance the tenuous relationship between being with our children and keeping up with the cooking, cleaning, life admin, and if you’re working, that too? It’s an age-old question, but one that I think we keep coming back to because in our heart we know these early years are fleeting. We know that what we do, and how we be, around our kids, matters. We know that their relationship with us forms the very blueprint for their future relationships, and how they relate to the world.
We also hear, in our moments of exasperation and ‘auto-pilot’, how much we sound like our own parents. And at some point in our parenting journey, we decide whether the way we are doing it is still working. If we are meeting ours and our children’s needs, or just treading water. Just managing all the balls in the air, or thriving as individuals and as a collective.
The truth is, like no business is successful without work, focus, and a plan for where you’re going, neither is a family. Growth is inevitable; but intentional growth, in the direction of our dreams, is something that's up to us. How magnificent a prospect it is then, to realise that we have within us, the potential to transform how we relate to ourselves, and our children, along this motherhood journey.
Our children invite us into this space of transformation every day. How often do you listen? Do you follow their lead into fun, or is 'seriousness' your modus operandi when the going gets tough? Freedom, softness and connection is usually just a perception flip away.
If you’d like to join a tribe of mothers who are taking a new look at their parenting approach and the wisdom inherent in the mother-child dynamic, our very first Aligned Parenting Program begins in late April - register your interest here.
Want to bring more reverence and love to your motherhood journey? Reimagining Motherhood begins in May.
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.