Friday, July 10, 2015

Reflecting on Mothering and the need for calm

Mothering is such a tremendously life changing journey. I've stepped off the path lately in my mothering, my bare feet muddied in the sandy depths of family life chaos with two under six and the feelings of disillusionment about who l am meant to be. 
I've come to the realisation that I need to come back to the core of my beliefs. To hold and nurture within the noise and thread of everyday life. I thought that supporting and nurturing the transition from toddlerhood to child for my eldest would be a smooth, joyful experience for the both of us. In truth it's been such a beautiful journey but messy too. The often turbulent raw emotions, stilted communication, abundant love and sharing and then reactive misunderstandings has left me feeling hopeful one minute and then bereft the next. So where along the way did I lose the thread of what I was trying to do? In dealing with challenging behaviour when did it all become tangled when it didn't need to be? 
How do I correct the movement of our family relationships into more calmer waters where love, grace and acceptance are lore. How do I learn calmer ways to speak and then listen in order to guide my children to embrace and love one another? 
It's a revelation to accept that too often I have become a shouty mum, lacking in the space and calm to turn things around. I've simply felt in those moments like there's nothing left up my sleeve. That of course needs to change. I realise that self hatred and mother guilt is pointless if we desire to speak lovingly to our children and yet it does not first start with ourselves. I'm am beautifully imperfect, passionately fierce in my care of my tribe but often frustrated when tired that I miss opportunities to build pathways to communicating and resort to shouting in order to get things done. I can honestly say I dislike myself when I act like this. Their are nights I weep at my failings because I feel the limitations in my mothering and relationships and am only slowly gaining wisdom in how to move forward and transcend these problems.
When my language has left no room for love or building emotional resiliency because my communication is reactive and non inclusive I'm sure it's left Poppy feeling hurt and lacking. Or when I become frustrated at Tully's active play that I become hyper vigilant around safety that I restrict his opportunity to explore and grow because of the injuries. 
I need to seek forgiveness for that from both my children. Then I need to carve out a new path of working together to create and weave a stronger story and relationship built on working through obstacles and confusion that is more inclusive, loving and tangible. There will be times that old patterns will resurface but I need to change the course we are travelling. To seek the reasons why conflict has arisen, to build pathways to understanding unspoken feelings and symbolically finding ways to work through them in more congruent ways.

My children are the best teachers.  I often get obsessed with the chaos and crumbs and lose sight of what's important. Being present and enjoying my tribe need to take priority. To breathe deeply and reclaim my footing. I want to gently nurture and embrace my tribe rather than berate. I want joy, unity and grace to be tangible in our everyday life. So I begin again, one step in front of the other.

You can read more of the Wellbeing Series on Intentional living here.
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