Today one of my beautiful friends arrived with a bag of the cutest baby clothes…
Friend: “I know you’ll get hand-me-downs…but this baby has to have something new too”
I burst into tears.
Friend: “Are you ok?! Like, actually ok? Or just normal pregnant-crazy?”
‘Normal pregnant crazy’ was exactly what I was. Hit with the impact of actually having a new little human being in my home, with the love of her gesture and with the gratitude for the community I’m part of, was too much for my hormonal skin to hold together and I wept.
Then we hugged, heart to heart, and walked into school pick up together.
“You know” my friend started, “I was looking at your Insta post today about having your nails done with your mum and I just couldn’t believe what this baby has brought you already; a healed relationship with your mum! YOUR fourth baby, has healed your relationship with your mum, who IS a fourth baby!...I just can’t get over the synchronicity of this Universe! It’s incredible”
She’s totally right. I’ve hinted at this change, but as yet, I haven’t let myself feel the full gravity of this baby’s blessings, before she’s even arrived.
How different my relationship has been with my mum since this pregnancy, its easy to forget how ‘it always was’ previously. I’ve grown up largely accepting that I didn’t ‘really’ have a mother, in the cultural or archetypal sense of the word. I’ve carried decades of pain and was quick to bring up everything that was ‘wrong’ with her and our relationship. I could list all the ‘unfairness’, all the ways she didn’t measure up and all the reasons I was going to parent in the exact opposite way.
But years of parenting has softened me. It’s taken me to edges I never thought I would get to and created enormous empathy and understanding. This fourth pregnancy has forced me to grow in ways I never imagined I could, or would actively step into. Part of this was delving even deeper into my ‘mum story’ and healing generational pain beyond my own story, which you can listen to in our podcast “accepting the unexpected”.
So here is where I now find myself:
I teared up at craft circle the other day when my mum rung me to check where I’d put my mop; she’s come every week to clean my house since I opened up to her at 8 weeks pregnant
I placed my hands in prayer-like gratitude over my heart last week at basketball when I remarked to the other mums that MY mum was dropping a meal off; which she’s done every week since I let her in.
She checks in on me, just to see how I’m doing.
She’s excited to spend time with me.
She’s said yes to every time I’ve asked for additional help with kids.
She’s top of my list for my Blessingway, but she’s never been at one of mine before.
For possibly the first time in my life, I can say with gratitude that ‘I have a mum’ and feel the full meaning of that.
She’s my mum and she’s perfect for me. She’s been everything I needed at every road in my life; it just didn’t always look like mushy loving support.
She’s gifted me everything I have within me now, and carry within me into my every day, and into my service in this world.
She withheld what I needed to learn on my own and she’s shown up in a softer way once I’ve learnt it.
How can we ever judge how those around us are?
How they do or do not show up for us?
We have such a limited view of this world and how it actually is.
We don’t yet know what experiences are shaping us for a future we all need.
Nothing is ever missing; for every way she didn’t show up for me, someone else did, and often that other person was me. What a lesson; to learn deeply to have your own back.
I used to think my dad was the one with the answers and I always wanted to see the world the way he did. I always made my mum flawed and selfish, and yet now I see how I have loved my own flawed and selfish over a couple of decades of painful lessons…and now she shows up with perfection and love.
Isn’t that interesting?
And you know, what’s brought it full circle is this baby. My number four. Perhaps this soul was always waiting for me to ‘catch up’ before the time was right for her to enter this world physically…I don’t know, but I wonder about the perfection beyond what I am capable of understanding.
My baby is currently transverse. With my doula hat on I know this is representative of ‘indecision’ – a lack of readiness, a foot in the camp of ‘welcome’ and a foot in the camp of ‘not ready’. So neither is she.
I started digging deeper into this with my Doula on Monday night. Since then, synchronicity like today with my beautiful friend has come into my awareness. The links, the dots to join, my outer world reflecting my inner, my higher self communicating through the interconnected energy of this world.
So. She’s still transverse, I hope to peel back enough layers mentally to create the change physically and have both her and I ready for birth. I’ll let you know how I go.
In the meantime, I’m welcoming of my softening and opening as I slip into a ‘sort of birth space’, which up until now I’ve been resisting. Both my eldest and youngest have been sick this week, so we’ve spent a week at home and I’ve rested, I’ve nested and I’ve allowed all of the primal feelings of nurture and nourishment to expand, not fight them with ‘girl boss’ attitude and stoic pushing on.
I’m ready to open up to the magnificence that surrounds me and weep when it overtakes my soul.
This is part of allowing my feminine to soften me, to open up to profound wonderment and humility. To really FEEL. This is birth. This is what all our stories call us in to. It is through our very human experience of feeling that we have access to enormous wisdom and healing.
So, thank you baby, even though I’m not quite showing up in the way you currently need, much like my mum, I’m working on it and towards it; just like the dance of my mum and me, probably her mum and her and who knows in the generations beyond that.
I’m grateful you’re here, I’m grateful you’ve opened me up to even more magnificence, more pain, more feeling, more expansion, more healing and I’m open and ready to listen and dig deeper still.
If you’re ready to take ownership of your reality to the next level, to have a toolkit to shift what is creating more pain than pleasure for you and to find new meaning to empowerment and self-growth through motherhood and womanhood, then join us in June for Loathing to Loving, our online 5 week program where we workshop you through where you’ve come from, where you’re at and coach you through a toolkit to awaken more of what’s possible in your life.
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.