Sunday, March 13, 2016

When the rhythm of mothering is broken...

Waiting for our new little bird has thrown our wee home and weekly rhythm into chaos. Bedtimes have become a nightmare with defiance and yelling the birdsong of our home and it's absolutely gut wrenching. I'm at a complete loss about how to turn it around.
Last night as I yelled at my eldest to go to sleep in anger after what seemed like endless cycles of tantrums, anger and emotional upset I realised I'd failed. Deeply aware of my failings, I felt lost at sea without an anchor. So how must my child have felt in those moments as well? 
I'd failed to understand her need, to breathe in peace and handle it without conflict. Honestly, it won't be the last time either. I often wonder what the role of mother guilt has in our lives. It has to have a use. It calls me to take time to stop and reflect but it is also a catalyst or benchmark for the holding of shame and self doubt. In feeling exhausted, frustrated and helpless I in turn made my daughter feel that too. Into the shadowlands I ventured vulnerable, flawed, lost and blinded on my mothering path. This morning I admit I'm still there. 

I realise that this journey in mothering Poppy must also include her. That deep seeded hurts should be healed and that there needs to be some enlightened path for which we can walk together that is more enriched in love, gratitude and acceptance rather than wrestling with conflict. And amongst everything else going on, my changing body, preparing for birth, this is something I need to change with again as well. Transforming my mothering and actions to be less emotionally reactive and more life affirming. How do I do this? How do I lay the groundwork for a happy and settled little one?

As the birds started their morning song and I heard the first stirrings of my children talking to each other. I went to my daughter. It began with an apology and a story of a mum that lost the thread of connection with her first born. It always seems to surprise Poppy when I cry, that somehow I should be immune to hurt or confusion. But it proves the importance of being vulnerable and real with her. 
Interesting that we both struggled with our feelings of shame and hurt in the early hours of the morning and longed for forgiveness. 
I don't know how to navigate this time with her but at least together this morning we talked, listened, forgave and are renewed in our commitment to walk this mother-daughter road together. 
How do you handle the conflict? 

Friday, March 11, 2016

The final days

What a long week it's been.......
On Thursday I felt this shift in my body as my back started to ache, my movements changed and my baby moved down yet again. My body is preparing for birth with contractions steady in their rythmn but don't speed up, my muscles are sore and tired. I am now in this 'in between' of my pregnancy on the edge of labouring but not quite. I try to rest, attempt to uphold our weekly rhythms at school and home but my energy and patience is gone. I'm frustrated, reactive and struggling to regain some footing. Oh those pregnancy hormones. 
I cry often as my children desire stability and I don't seem to have answers of when their sister will be birthed and how it will all unfold. The lack of control is like a refiners fire where I'm being moulded against my will. Just liked children desire a weekly rhythm I want one for birthing this little one.
I awoke yesterday morning with the realisation that I can choose to stay in this anxiety and frustration or surrender all of my expectations once again and renew my trust that it will be as it needs to be in the end. I need to surrender to this journey of birthing our third with the knowledge that she will come when ready and perhaps my expectation of labouring will reveal itself in time to be something very different.
The first of several acupuncture sessions began two nights ago to lessen the discomfort, the contractions and help me find some balance in these final days before her due date. I asked for help from a dear friend who worked those acupuncture needles till I was at rest.
I surrendered it all, accepted the need for help and admitted to myself that I need to trust that the birth will happen as it needs to. 
I do not have control of my body, this pregnancy or how I will labour. I need to trust that ancestral feminine knowledge will lead the way. That God will give me the strength and wisdom needed. This child, my last, has been waiting for me as long as I have been waiting for her. I need to regain stillness in my spirit to hold her in this 'in between' time as soon she will be in my arms and a new time for us will begin. The sojourn to the redwood forest today helped regain some stillness and much needed calm. To stand in nature with my tribe at 38 weeks pregnant taking it all in. 

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Reflecting on pregnancy

This pregnancy holding our third has gone quickly. Unexpected in the timing with all that was going on last year but the joy and beauty of knowing I am holding another within is something we have cherished and I have immense gratitude for. It's daunting too. That soon we will be outnumbered by little ones. I wonder how it will all unfold. 
The first trimester came and went with moving, packing and domestic routine. As the weeks went by I was met with wintery days and life continued its steady strum.  I tried to take some time to think about who I am and what's important amongst all the noise and hold that knowledge in my daily walk. But I found the rush and constancy often invaded the quiet spaces, limiting time for reflection. I also felt the weight of the world on my shoulders and would stop and rest when I had the chance often delaying my own needs and creativity. 

At 24 weeks pregnant time seemed to stop as I flew to bali for my first solo holiday since becoming a mother six years ago. I was still nauseous, throwing up and struggling with fatigue but Bali was a spiritual sojourn of sorts and a time to finally stop. To be still and breathe in new beginnings. To hold the life within and acknowledge that I was chosen to mother another. 

Days began as the sun rose and I took rest after years of nurturing others. I walked cobbled stone paths aged by many feet, replenished my soul with sunshine and long lunches, walked on sandy beaches, and bore witness to beautiful surroundings that made my soul sing. I battled insecurities with grace and acceptance realising there is great beauty in vulnerability and imperfection.  I gave an offering to the ocean to God for holding me when life became congested by responsibility, worry and not enough stillness. I found time to shed tears. I gathered shells to bring home to remind me to give back to myself and immersed myself in holding an inner space for quietness and the breath. 
It's helped a lot. I feel like I have regained a lost piece but I still struggle to carve out me time or allow it. I have much to still learn. 

Now in my third trimester the magic I seek in my days is found mostly in the little things. Nothing is permanent that's what makes things so special, so I try to hold onto the little snippets of joy, and grace-filled moments. Warming cups of chai held in a teacup gathered up in Bali. Stretching tired and sore limbs. The giggles shared as children, the joy in play, the chaotic and the unscheduled moments of learning, discovery and pure togetherness that make the negative seem unimportant and fade from the present. We emerge from the ocean of the everyday to gather those small treasures and hold them close. 
Over the summer holidays l've immersed myself in slow days when possible, spent time in nature, stopped to talk and acknowledge the babies kicks and movements. 

With openness I have sought understanding and support from my tribe when days have been hard and I'm hindered by nausea and discomfort. 
I realise that I have little control over the changes occurring within and outside of myself and yet I embrace what I can. Being pregnant at 38, I'm more open to realising my limitations and admitting vulnerability than I did at 31. With age comes wisdom, transparency and limitless grace. 
The mystery of having three children to nurture, walk with and mold captivates me, frightens me at times and excites me.

I realise that I need to embrace my vulnerability and limitations if I'm going to be authentic in this journey. So starts the journey of allowing fear to rise up and to speak truth to it and walk with an adventurous heart rather than a fearful one. It's going to be an interesting year in the unfurling of the day to day and the retelling of our story and my discoveries here. Little steps....

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

I stopped writing for a while...

I missed the solace of giving voice and witness to our story here but I needed to step back for a time. In silence I found space to breathe over the past 8 months.
I felt stretched and wrung out with the responsibility, witness, and nurture of my tribe and my mother. I felt the weight of grief again of losing my father ten years before. Alongside the transformation that was taking place within and outside of myself,  I found myself stepping into the busyness and responsibility of family life and finding little space left for me. 
Early last year we began moving my mother out of my childhood home, going through a lifetime of memories and belongings and providing care as she moved to a retirement village. Half way through that arduous journey so full of meaning and the past, I discovered I was holding another baby within. 
These new transitions whilst much needed and wanted shook the daily rhythm of our lives for many months. Pages of my ancestral, familial life's story torn and worn with age, threads within the narrative story frayed, stretched and mended, and past demons cast aside while feeling the constant nausea of pregnancy that lingers and impinges on ones soulful reserves.
I wrestled with such mountains of responsibility and obstacles daily with the desire to press in, navigate and move forward to something better. There were moments where I just didn't have the words to tell people what was going on so I just pressed on.
I emerged aged, stronger, creatively inspired and standing in the clear, cleansing ocean waters in spiritual pilgrimage in bali alone at the end of it all. A mere ten weeks ago. 
Those days alone in Bali were treasured, necessary and healing in and of itself. 
It's been such a winding tale of transition for much of last year. With such immense richness to it, where gratitude and exhaustion coexist. 
Threads of acceptance, grace, truth and wisdom have flowed softly within the confines of my heart and spirit when I thought that there was no more room for growth or recovery. Only to be reborn to sit with our story once more. To capture its rich nectar and share it communally. To honour 
the beauty of what has gone before me, the path fresh ahead of me and the simplicity and vibrancy of our daily walk. There are seasons where silence is necessary but I've missed this space. I return with the new year, now 31 weeks pregnant to find sanctuary here.
To make space to find my voice again. To emerge, unfold the tightly held threads and embrace it all with freedom, a voice and without fear. So here once again, our story is told.......

I'll share Stills from the last few months,  the 52 project and Reflections on Intentional learning and living a simple life. Slowly as the words flow and I feel the call to tell our story. 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

30/52: a portrait project

" a portrait of my children, every week, for 2015."

Little Fox| the beginning of a great love for books.   

Miss Five| it's beautiful watching your love affair with reading. Hearing you spell out words and seek out your favourite stories. 

Siblings| You're quirky, funny, creative and all mine. 

I'm joining Jodi over at Practising Simplicity for the 52/2015 project. Slow winter days inside making tents, fire on, rolling out dough, reading books and wearing our winter woollies. 

Follow me over at bloglovin here

Thursday, July 16, 2015

29/52: a portrait project

" a portrait of my children, every week, for 2015."

Little Fox| always exploring  

Miss Five| I look at you with such wonder

Siblings| Winter archaeology.

I'm joining Jodi over at Practising Simplicity for the 52/2015 project. I want my children to grew up with full memories of exploring, adventure and simple days of play. These are the days l cherish.

Follow me over at bloglovin here

Sunday, July 12, 2015

28/52: a portait project

" a portrait of my children, every week, for 2015."

Miss Five| amongst the redwoods you gathered and wove branches into the nest. 
Every time we visit you notice small changes and create such rich story. You are blessed.

Little Fox| Exploring, inquisitive and always searching.

Siblings| Winter weaving and the making of a shelter amongst the redwoods.

I'm joining Jodi over at Practising Simplicity for the 52/2015 project. 
The last week of holidays and the beauty of Winter in nature. The very thing that makes my 
soul sing.

Follow me over at bloglovin here.

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