My daughter is 2 and we are definitely working through some tantrums and tears at this age. She is very strong willed and so I see it at my job not to keep barking orders at her, yet guide her with creating a safe space for her, nourishing her with lots of contact and connection, giving boundaries for her to know her limitations and keep her safe, yet not knock her spirit and determination. Honestly it takes a lot of energy to stay with her throughout the meltdowns, listening, waiting and maintaining connection. This is where I have to maintain my self-care and call on techniques I use to keep my anxiety and stress levels from rising. Such as my early morning practice of yoga and meditation, it’s become a fundamental and crucial part of my way to ground myself for the day ahead. I have found the most powerful tool in working through her anger and distress has been to stay with her and listen, she needs to vent and I give her the space to do that. I guess at times it’s easy to forget they are learning these skills and working through new and real emotions all the time. This is the time in their lives where they are learning how to manage these feelings, these tools will carry them through life. So our reactions are really powerful and formative. Not to say we don’t have bad days or weeks, life gets demanding, we are human and constantly learning and growing. Sometimes we are flat out overtired and just blurt something out and think “oh I can’t believe I just said that!!’ I certainly do not have all the answers but I have made it apart of my daily consciousness to we aware of and practice being present and as calm as I can be. They are usually acting out and behaving in ways they know will get your attention even if it’s destructive. The question is not why are they behaving like that? but what is the deeper reason behind that behaviour, because their always is one. Sometimes we are unaware, or distracted but other times we don’t want to see it either. They are processing big emotions all the time and it’s a lot for anyone!
I always had this notion thats seems wildly naive now, that as the kids got older, “things”, life would get easier. When I had both the kids I was pretty strung out with anxiety. I was so anxious that I was completely unaware of how anxious I actually was. I have always struggled with panic attacks throughout portions of my life but I had thought that it was just my DNA, this was my make up and I was just a highly sensitive person when it came to dealing with life. When I had my Son, my first born I didn’t feel completely supported, my husband was amazing and did everything I could have ever wished for. I felt quiet isolated and like i didn’t have a tribe of women around me to help me feel out the newness of it all, I craved it. The stakes felt higher than ever and so the pressure to not F@&K this up felt even bigger. I was surging between adoring love and suffocating fear daily. This journey of motherhood has kinda surfaced a lot of the shit I had been basically carrying around my whole life but I was just able to manage it better before kids and by manage I mean hide it and deny it. It needed it to surface and unravel so then I could really see what I was dealing with. Was this how I wanted to teach my kids to move through their lives. Unable to be truthful, authentic and cope with adversity? Unable to really be joyous, abundant and happy when life blesses you with it. Through birthing these beautiful babies, my teachers in so many ways it shone a light on my vulnerabilities and like most new parents I felt overwhelmed with a sense of protectiveness, I wanted to be the best mother I could be. So the journey of motherhood began and the lioness in me emerged. I realised that I would have to work on my self, improve myself because now it wasn’t just about me but it was for the angelic babies who relied on me for guidance and support of every kind.
So I guess at times it does feel like things are getting “easier” until we reach a new phase, life throws us a curve ball or balance is not in practice. It’s like everything it ebbs and flows. Motherhood is an evolution and a becoming, just as our children are emerging we too are learning to sway, heed and let go with the needs and demands of the family dynamic and the individual spirit. I don’t think there is a point of completion it is always in motion even when the dynamic changes. Sometimes we even see the parts of ourselves coming through our children and it pushes our buttons or we connect with it so deeply. We are all in process it’s certainly not about the destination but the journey.
We as women, motherhood aside need to be supported to in our ventures and personal pursuits. We need to ask for help and create or call upon a support network of others to help us when we need it. I am not sure raising kids was ever meant to be easier, it takes every fibre of your beings some days to just connect in and meet them where they are at with love, kindness and patience. I don’t mean that to sound horrible because some days are so joyous and beautiful and unfold in a way that makes you put your head on the pillow at night so filled with warmth you can’t even describe it. So it’s ok to need time to yourself, to have dreams for yourself, to want to connect with that woman within that sometimes gets lost in the day to day madness of family chaos.
These days I don’t seem to strive for easy, I preference presence and connection even if they seem more of a struggle in moments, I know in the long run it’s really what this journey is about. I can sit with that uneasiness for a few moments while my attention may be called else where until I settle absolute in that moment and get completely lost within my child’s being. I am in constant learning of how to deal with my anxiety and to let it impact as little as I can on my family. It’s really become a daily practice, something I am not sure I will ever perfect but I am conscious and that is all I can ask of myself. I am also vulnerable in front of them and show them we all have struggles, no one is perfect and we must work at overcoming what does not serve us. I apologise. I have chosen a life that is intertwine daily with my children but I still actively pursue other passions outside of that space because it fuels me as a mother, an artist, a woman, a being. I have so much more to give when I am giving deeply and lovingly to myself. I am learning moment to moment that all the imperfections within and outwardly that I have struggled with lead me to great revelations of truth of my spirit and empower me to move forward using those lessons to grow and be better, educate my children from that space that we never know enough and our heart is our compass so let it be your guide. Mostly there are never mistakes just sign posts, sometimes they need to be real big to keep directing us on the path we need to be on. With every hurdle we evolve more, and if we don’t another sign post is put in our way sometimes bigger and bolder than the last. Raising kids isn’t mean to be easy, we are accountable for the protection and guidance of another small human life, a precious universal spirit and that is the biggest responsibility one can take on. Raising our young is a journey, one that asks us to delve deep within search our souls and give unconditionally.
It ain’t easy but it sure is worth it.
Blessings A xx