The Mother Inside: treasuring the moments and why.
This was written after Christmas last year. It is a post about treasuring each moment of parenting. Really treasuring it.
I am preparing today. Doing my best to breathe. I am thinking in this moment about the mothers and fathers who have sick children. Mothers and fathers who live on the brink of loss. I send love to you all and acknowledge you as the heroes that you are. You are so brave that any courage I have ever had pales into insignificance.
However today my preparing is for loss of another kind (thankfully). It is kind of hard to explain but I know others feel it too so I am going to give it a go.
Today I experience a feeling that is deep in my heart. I know at its foundation it is love and yet it feels and sits in my chest as deep pain. Do you remember or are you currently holding a newborn? Do you remember or can you experience now that smell they have? It is a smell like no other, nor sweet nor sour….. it is the smell of something else. On a primal level it is the smell that bonds us together. On a soul level it is the smell that stirs our hearts to love unconditionally and totally without consideration of ourselves. We give ALL to that little treasure of a babe that is ours.
The smell fades and yet the feeling stays. It is like an unending current in our hearts. The geographical location of your child is irrelevant to this current that flows. It is kind of like electricity but more like a silent hum or pulse.
I think it is , at its most organic, actually love and yet the shapes and space it takes up can vary enormously.
Today this love has settled in my heart alongside fear of loss. My own mum died the day before I turned 22. My son is 22 right now. Maybe that is significant that I feel this coming up right now. I thought I had handled mum’s death pretty well actually. Then when I had children I mourned all over again. I mourned for her never seeing my children, for her never having a part on their lives.
Today… I find my heart hurting a little. My oldest two will leave home after the beautiful bubble of Christmas and New Year says ok enough holiday back to your life now. I am SO grateful that they grew up in our care with enough skills to live independently. They are so amazing. We are so proud of who they are. Have they done everything in a straight line? University? High Distinctions? So many parents tell stories of children who do this. No, and you know what? I am GLAD because our children have lived their lives. They have struggled, lived with very little money and survived. They can cook for themselves and they can clean. They are awesome at resolving conflict and they are caring, empathic, beautiful people.
My heart bursts with pride and suddenly the whole purpose of writing this this morning which was to acknowledge the pain of children leaving home again. The first time they leave is difficult and yet each time they leave it doesn’t get any easier. It’s the conflict you see of wanting them around to love and be loved by them and loving them SO much that more than that a mother’s and father’s heart want them to be happy, to have a life of adventure and loving and fun.
So I know there is no point really in telling you to forget the dirty floor or the dirty bathroom and just love your children. However I can tell you to breathe in the moments.
When you find yourself rushing to clean the toilet and your little one is gazing into your eyes telling you something important just pause, stop and really look into their eyes…. breathe her in…. just her presence and let her feel your presence… it is these moments that magic happens. You will connect and when they are 22 years old they may not remember consciously and yet within their heart they will remember and feel the connection with you.
- Breathe them in no matter what age. Giving presence brings presence to you. A gift like NO other.
- When the pain comes and it will there is no other way than to feel it. If we block it we become repressed. Just allowing it is the key. Accept it without criticism of self. Love yourself for loving your children that much that you feel pain in your heart when they leave again. You will feel this sometimes too even when you drop them off at school.
- Separation is a weird thing. The umbilical cord plays tricks. It is cut at birth and yet the etheric quality of it remains. We are forever connected.
- FORGIVE yourself for the days when you become the cave woman unleashed. Forgive and move on. Recreate how you deal with chaotic times and stressful moments.
- Remember to love yourself like you love your friends… with acceptance, understanding and love that has no judgement.