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? 
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