I emerged from childhood with a lot of healing to do. On this I know I am not unique. Prior to motherhood, I did strive to be my best self, and some of that did include working through some of those wounds that stuck out most. But only once I emerged from the pregnancy chrysalis as a mother was I able to access my emotional depths.
In hearing my baby cry, I heard my own unanswered cries. And in holding my child close with responsive empathy, I was soothing my own inner child. I could feel her tears drying as I gazed into the peaceful, infatuated eyes of my little one. What once was dark and hollow, felt light and whole.
My parents divorced when I was young. When someone found out that my parents were divorced, they would sometimes say, “I’m sorry,” and I would respond honestly and quizzically, “Why?” Then as a mother, I saw the trust and joy on my child’s face when they cuddled in between the embracing arms of their parents. Sometimes in those moments I would mourn as I realized what I never had. But then as I slow danced with my husband in the kitchen while my kid stood on our feet, that love, trust, and security would permeate into my core and I would feel my inner framework reshaping.
School was traumatic and all encompassing for me. It felt so wrong and yet, I didn’t know there was any other way – any childhood beyond the school gates. Then as a mother I found a whole new path for my children beyond the walls of disconnection and coercion. As I watched them run down the beach together, joyfully following their passions with freedom and support, I had a moment of jealousy. “It’s not fair!” my inner child tantrumed, “They get the whole world!” Then the feeling, once acknowledged, passed. And I breathed in the extraordinary ordinary moment. This is childhood. And I was flooded with gratitude.
“Be who you needed when you were younger.”
There is value and wisdom in those words. And yet . . .
Your child’s needs might not be the same as your unmet needs.
“When you parent, it’s crucial you realize you aren’t raising a “mini me,” but a spirit throbbing with its own signature.”
The connection and respect we wish we had as children is an important piece to setting our parenting compasses, but the other piece is the authentic vibration of this unique human being before us.
How must you attune to be in harmony?
In other words, What are their needs and how can you balance them with yours within the family?
The healing that blooms naturally and intentionally within a humble and pure pursuit of parenting is a beautiful gift. I am healed a thousand times over, every single day through parenting my children. It’s also unfair to actively burden our children with the responsibility of healing our wounds. If you’re not fully in the present with your intentions, the pressure and expectations will break the beauty, simplicity, and responsiveness of the present and the hurt will be passed on.
So what are we to do?
Be the parent your child needs, be the woman you long to be, and live the life of your dreams.