They are two words that don't always seem to fit together, and yet it's what I keep coming back to as we transition into School.
To trust their ways of being in their bodies, their hearts, and minds, and tread mindfully. To meet them where they are, even when it's baby play for the fifth day in a row, and being a baby bulldog is getting pretty tiresome.
Because to trust that they are playing out what they need to, is to believe that they are whole right now; there's nothing to fix, no one to change for, and no part of them that is 'too much'.
And yet to hold this space as mothers is perhaps one of the greatest spiritual practices, because we are called to also do the same for ourselves.
To make safe speaking up, when we've been conditioned to stay quiet and agreeable.
To stay our authentic selves in a new environment instead of moulding ourselves to fit and be accepted.
To move our bodies in ways that make us feel alive, not giving a thought to what anyone else thinks.
Through our children, we are compelled to turn the mirror to ourselves, and expand more of who we are. It's the natural order of things, as we are called to evolve as we face ourselves through their major life milestones. What a great gift they give us, to meet ourselves once again! To hold our inner child in our hearts, and give HER the permission she didn't receive, to be more of who she is, and unapologetically so.
"I'm sad because I miss you", said a quiet voice from the backseat as we drove to school to meet the teacher and explore the Montessori classroom for the first time before school starts.
I could have quashed my emotions and put on a brave, excited tone for all that's going to be great about school...but I met him there, and allowed the tears to flow for both of us. We talked of the way our hearts feel when they want to tell us something important, something about love, and how beautiful that is, even when it hurts.
Because “You won’t be able to do that anymore, now you’re going to be a school boy!” meant as encouragement, but really concealing a parent’s fear about their child not ‘fitting in’, isn’t the language that tends to give our kids their wings in the big wide world.
Instead it can cause children to suppress the overwhelming emotions that come with the big transitions in life, to put on a ‘brave face’ in order to please the people most important to them.
To transition into school, or any other ‘big unknown’ for children means letting go of safety, of comfort, of habit, to leap into a new identity; to let go being a baby, to ‘grow up’.
Making safe this next stage, means making the unknowns, more known.
Like trying on the uniform, wearing in the shoes, role-playing what the day might be like, looking at family photos of ‘first days’, driving past School, watching videos about the school day, planning lunch and snacks together.
And amongst all the planning and preparing can be the resistance, the meltdowns, and the regression play.
Our children deeply know what they need to heal and transition. For us as mothers to allow this, we also need to hold the space within ourselves for whatever comes up; the anger, indifference, fear, annoyance, and sadness, as we are simultaneously met with our own inner child through the eyes of the child we are here to mother and guide in this world.
“Parenting is not about having children lean on you but making leaning unnecessary. They have a compass, let them follow their own compass; freeing you up to be your own person on your own time and allowing them to become who they are to become.” ~ Wayne Dyer
Our Transitions Toolkit booklet is now available for pre-order, and you can get 50% off for a limited time, with the code ‘TRANSITIONSPREORDER’
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.