Milestones of Motherhood
How our own childhood influences our mothering
How does the way in which we were parented influence us as mothers to our own children?
What aspects of our own childhood do we seek to pass on to our own children, and what do we hope to do differently?
If in our own childhood we did not receive great love, nurturing, kindness and understanding how has this impacted upon our lives, and how do we ourselves become mothers to our own children?
These are the types of questions I have been exploring through interviews with mothers who have been reflecting upon their own childhoods and themselves as mothers today.
If as children we were not mothered as optimally as we could have been, we may come to motherhood ourselves unsure and anxious about our own capacity and capabilities to mother our own children. We may fear we cannot love our children, or be good enough, and we may fear we will replicate the pain of our past in our own families.
Through interviews, women reflected upon their own experiences and talked with honesty and tenderness of the journeys they have been on as mothers, coming to terms with their pasts, and creating their own families, day by day.
You see there is something so deeply transformational about becoming a mother; we come face to face with our greatest strength and power, and also our greatest fears and vulnerabilities. Yet as I have found through listening to mothers speak, and indeed my own experiences, motherhood itself has the potential to be profoundly transformational.
We can choose to be different to our own parents, we can create our own families according to our own deeply held beliefs. We can face our own fears and imperfections and grow to become the mothers we know our children deserve.
These are some of the aspects we consciously bring to our growth and evolution. Yet being a mother runs deeper than this and has the potential to transform us from the inside out. Feeling unconditional love for our own children can be life changing, life affirming and also terrifying in equal measures, especially if this has not been the nature of our own childhood. And this unconditional love itself works, like alchemy, on all aspects of our being, bringing many aspects of ourselves up for healing, inviting us to allow love into all aspects of our selves.
Writing this chapter has been deeply moving, inspiring and at times challenging as I have reflected upon the ways in which to hold these deep truths of the human heart, and present them in all their tenderness, power and authenticity. Yet one thing is for sure, whatever our past, and whatever our fears, the love we feel for our children offers us a way forward onto a path which has the potential to bring us to know, so deeply, our own truth, our own power and the depths of our own hearts. I hope that this is one of the messages which readers of ‘Milestones of Motherhood’ feel as they read this chapter.
These are not issues that we often talk about day to day, but if this resonates with you, and you feel you would like to reflect and share your journey with others through my book, you are very welcome to get in touch. You could write about your experiences, or we could arrange to talk over the phone. You can contact me, Clare, on email@example.com
I will do my best to honour the truth and tenderness of your journey.