In the current lockdown situation we might experience motherhood as a heavy load to carry, seeing all the things that we lack. I see you mama.
Shift your attention
I want to invite you to shift your attention and ask yourself: "What lessons has motherhood taught me or brought me?"
In my four and a half years of being a single mother to my daughter, my life has changed completely.
Motherhood has been one of the most profound experiences of my life so far and it keeps surprising me every day.
I'm inviting you straight away to share with us in the comments what the biggest lesson is that motherhood has brought to you, so let's get the conversation started!
I think the first and foremost biggest lesson for me was the infinite unconditional love that you can feel for a child, and how much it incites you to work on your own shortcomings. This is a relationship you cannot run away from. You are being mirrored and you're being forced to look at your own share in this relationship. You cannot simply think: "Oh, this person is having a hard time expressing himself or relating to others", and just let the relationship bleed to death. No, you really have to pick yourself together and do your part.
There's a lot of shadow work involved in parenting and there's no way to avoid it.
In that way my daughter is my biggest opportunity for growth, because she makes me want to grow as a better person, a better mother, a better human being every single day.
Doing it different than your parents did
Another really obvious thing for me is, it's like a trap! Before you have kids you think: "I'm going to raise my children totally different than my parents did, and I'm going to do it the right way." By doing that, you're actually also forcing your children to follow a certain path and you don't let them discover their own way of being. Now, of course we need to set boundaries for them. Children cannot carry all the responsibilities that we as adults can, but it's a trap to think that by doing things differently than your parents ,you're doing things better. Because also your children will feel unseen and not acknowledged in some parts of of their being, later when they grow up.
Don't think too much
Don't think too much about how to approach your way of parenting. If you react on automatic pilots, those are the things that are intergenerational. We could even say intergenerational trauma: if it's hysterical, it's historical. A lot of those things are things that we have taken on from our parents. It's the mother wound, taking on the gender role that we are known with, the roles that are the parts that our own parents played. And for us mothers, we mostly identify with the roles that our own mother played. With being emotionally available, with how you handle your finances, how you handle spending time together, what does quality time actually look like, how much time can your children have screen time, all this kind of stuff.
I want you to question everything. Don't take anything as a given as you have the power now to heal the future by raising the future by raising yourself. Because everything you went through as a kid is something you will go through now as a parent, but from another perspective. From an adult perspective, but you will go through that same trauma again so when your child is two, youwill go through the same trauma that you went through when you were two. So now you have the chance to plant a new seed. This is literally your chance to grow a different future so take that chance and explain everything to your children. You don't have to be their teacher, you are their parent, and they're learning from you in an integrative way. So when you learn to do things in a new way, they will as well so you can redo your part from your inner child, and this is so healing. This is the most healing part from parenthood from motherhood for me, personally speaking. It's not without a reason they will ask you three times: but why? But why? Yes, but why? Do we even know? Do we really know? Do we hold all the answers? I don't think so. But being in that vulnerable integrative space that is the most beautiful thing I think we can give to our children as we're both learning what it's like to be human, even after all these years.
Gender roles in single parent families
Being a single mother talking about roles gender roles: my daughter's most significant male role in her life is my father, her grandfather. And if I can say one thing to parents that have left their child, it's that a child is not just like jeans that you can bring back to the store. It's your responsibility to carry, and yes it's a heavy responsibility. But if you choose to bring forth a child into this world, assuming this responsibility is the best gift you can give to both yourself and your child.
I'm learning and growing so much every single day through this motherhood journey so I'm also super grateful to this person for having been able to bring my daughter earthside, on this beautiful earth plane and I wouldn't want to live a day without her in my life. I cannot imagine life without her anymore. I think it's something typical a lot of mothers would say, and there's also of course days when I'm like: "Why did I sign up for this?" It's kind of weird to live in the contrast of her being one of my biggest sources of joy in my life, but also having to live with the fact that there is no father for her and I'm not sure how that's going to work out in a later stage of life for her. But on the other hand, right now she also grows up with the idea that women need to be able to take care of themselves and I think that's also a beautiful gift that I can give to her being a woman too.
Boundaries and self-care breaking intergenerational patterns
My love for her is infinite and I hope that she will bring this into her life as well knowing that she has to prioritize herself always. That she won't settle or lower her boundaries or expectations for anyone, just to please them. That's where I hope to break the chain.
Do you have any intergenerational patterns or traumas that you're trying to break through and how does that work for you? Let me know.
If you're having a hard time in in this in this lockdown situation, I've created for you a happy mama kit which is mine but of course feel free to edit to your own taste, your own happy moments and then use it to your own well-being. Whenever you feel like you want to be cradled, when your inner child is craving your attention. Give that to yourself, or maybe you can hand out a sheet to your partner if you have one or another loved one that is really close to you and that can cheer you up. You yourself are always gonna be your own savior, but don't be afraid to ask for help. Find the Happy Mama Kit here.