Mothering ~ A Journey of Nurture and Understanding
When we first think of what it means to be a mother, we immediately think of the care we take of our children. For this is the essence and detail of our work; to love, care and nurture our little ones. And essential to our job is to learn as much as we can about what our children need so we can provide it for them.
This begins early, even in pregnancy, we read about nutrition and exercise and prepare for birth, the external things we can do that we believe are good for our baby, yet whilst our babies are still within our wombs we are also learning about them and their individuality; we learn which positions they are most comfortable, and their patterns of waking, playfulness and sleep.
And so our learning continues once baby is here, and what a steep learning curve this is, and two-fold; we are learning many of the things which are recommended or suggested as being good for babies, and deciding whether or not this seems good for our baby, and we are simultaneously learning about our own baby. We learn through watching, through listening, through feeling with our heart and intuition what ‘feels’ right for our baby, and what doesn’t.
We are growing and learning on so many levels; not just the intellectual level, where we sift through the masses of information, recommendation and advice and try to figure our what is right for us, but we are also growing and developing the muscles of our heart and intuition. We may read both sides of an argument or discussion, but the final decisions, for most of us, are made by what feels right, what feels right for us.
So as much as we are learning about our babies and children, for there is always much to consider and discover, whatever stage they are at, we are also learning a great deal about ourselves. We are discovering how we make decisions, not just intellectually, but from a deeper place, our heart, our gut, our belly. Mothering may be the first time, for many of us, that we become aware of our strong senses of intuition, instinct and inner wisdom. And this may not come to us in grand flashes of awareness, but simply small feelings and nudges to act in one way or another.
We ourselves are learning and growing just as much as our children are, maybe even more so, as we reflect, unlearn and let go of many things we thought we knew, as to make space for what is real and relevant in our lives now. And we are developing the new skills and expanded awareness we need to meet our children where they are now. For me, at the moment this is finding a deeper strength as my youngest is discovering his own inner strength and power and I certainly need to step up if I am to be any match for him! Each child, and each stage and experience is different, so there is always a need for us to reflect and grow.
And just as our children need a safe, protected space to explore and discover themselves, and at the same time to be nurtured and supported, the same is so for ourselves. So as much as mothering is a journey of nurture and understanding of our children, so it is also for ourselves. By recognising our own journey, and understanding our own needs and challenges, we are in a greater position to be able to honour our own journey and provide ourselves with the care, love and nurture we need.
So recognise your own growth gentle mothers, and honour your own journey. Breathe and reflect at your tremendous learning and evolution as you have grown and learned how to be there, with love, for your children.
Honour your own journey through the twists and turns of motherhood as equally cherished and valuable as your children’s childhoods; embrace your learning and your mistakes and hold yourself with forgiveness, acceptance and understanding. Allow the same, fierce unconditional love you shine upon your children to embrace your own journey too.
Be gentle on yourself; you are doing amazing.