There's this friend I have, let's call her Kate.
She is both simultaneously enraptured by motherhood, and broken by it. Her children calling her forth to shed layer after layer of who she thought she was. Her twenties spent building a home that would one day house the souls she now gets to grow with, guide, and love, amidst the four walls that remind her of all there is that is left to do.
The glass ceilings to break.
The womanly curves to love more of.
The empires to build.
The lunches to make.
The husband to love more deeply.
The endless questions and demands to be in service of.
Kate is all of us, in some form.
A heart divided. On a quest to create pairs of what seem like opposites, to cultivate more appreciation, more alignment, more depth in this motherhood gig, in a world that tries it's hardest to shape us into anything but ourselves.
The paradox of motherhood is both how selfless, and selfish, a role it is. How unconditional is your love for your children? Really? It is one of the purest of loves, and yet in the face of shedding the conditions we place on it, we must also face ourselves, our expectations, our projections, our fantasies and our failings. Our children bring it all to us.
What are the beliefs you have about raising children? Do they come to you, or through you? Is motherhood a burden or your freedom to be who you are? Does it enrich your life or allow you to 'play it safe' while you figure out what you really want to be when you grow up?
Whether we're conscious of it or not, it's the mother wound within all of us that drives us to show up the way that we do for our own children. Her 'self-sacrifice' will either have you feeling like you'll 'never measure up', trying day after day to 'get it right', or it will have you running in the opposite direction so you don't 'lose yourself' like she did.
If there was abuse or disconnection, you'll be in the grips of the same pattern, or doing everything you can to get out of it, determined not to perpetuate the cycle by 'upskilling' at every turn, making the problem outside of yourself, or overprotecting your children.
Motherhood gives us a second chance to sooth and reconnect with the inner child in all of us, revealing to us where we ourselves are stuck, so that we can heal and create more freedom for our children to stay more connected to the essence of who they are, perhaps in ways we didn't ourselves experience.
It can be a place to hide. Or a place to expand. We get to choose. Every day, asking more of ourselves than the day before, and making more safe and acceptable the full spectrum of feelings in ourselves as we navigate this journey, knowing that the more we hold space for ourselves, the more capacity we have to offer the same to our children. Every edge we face and grow through, providing the blueprint for our children to do the same.
Our Aligned Parenting Program offers you the opportunity to connect with the grace, wisdom and spaciousness of the parent-child dynamic. Learn more and sign up for our LIVE round in April.
Bridget Wood is a mother of two, Founder of Suburban Sandcastles and Co-Founder of Nourishing The Mother. A lover of life and cultivating wellness, Bridget is passionate about connecting people to themselves through wisdom, introspection and quality questions.