I have wanted to write about motherhood since Mother’s Day. I am just getting to it, which is basically how it goes being a busy mother. One of my passions in my work is working with mothers and teaching about conscious parenting. What this means to me is doing my own inner work, awakening to myself, creating and maintaining clear boundaries with my children and becoming aware of when my ego is present, rather than being in alignment with myself. When we become conscious, we allow our children to walk their own path without our agenda and our ego getting in the way, allowing our children to be in their “as is” state. We begin to walk a spiritual path with them, as opposed to needing to control or have power over them.
I had been preparing for motherhood before I was even consciously aware I wanted children. I always knew I would have them, but hadn’t yet felt my biological clock ticking. I actually never felt the tick; I just intuitively knew I was going to have children at some point.
I went to healing school “as a hobby,” while I was running my television production company. My plan was to stay for 2 years – I stayed for 6. We delved deeply into our own personal process, in addition to learning the hands on healing skills. The theory behind this is you can’t take anyone somewhere you haven’t been yourself. So I learned more about my wounds, defenses, places I reject myself, and how to begin the healing process. I then went on to become a Certified Health Coach. I wasn’t sure I wanted to coach anyone, but intuitively knew to go. I learned about what’s truly happening in our food industry; I learned about the healthiest foods to support our bodies and I learned about our emotional relationship to food. I went and still continue to go to the mountains with the Hero’s Journey Foundation twice a year. I learn, amongst many things, how to be a member of a community, how to live life as an adventure and how to become the hero of my own life. I have worked throughout the years with my mentors and therapists to deepen into myself, to become more authentic and to become more alive.
Yes, all of these trainings and ways of being have become my passion and my purpose. They have become how I want to be of service to the world through my work, BUT everything I started doing in my 20’s was preparing me to be the most conscious present mother I can be. Intuitively, I knew this, but I couldn’t have known the true impact it would have on both my children and myself.
Now, I am by far a perfect mother, as if there could be such a thing. I lose my temper especially during the hours of 5-7pm, my “witching hours.” I am not always able to stay engaged in certain types of play and I make “mistakes” and say the wrong thing often.
What I am committed to is continuing to do my own inner work, so when something does come up with my children, I have the ability, often times in the moment, to take a step back and reflect on what my reaction is informing me about my current state. I try to then always go back and do repair with my children. Perhaps, most healing is when I apologize and show vulnerability. Making a mistake isn’t a tragedy; not embracing the opportunity to repair it is the loss. I say, “I’m sorry. Mama is tired, or Mama reacted too strongly, or Mama didn’t take time to breathe.” Kids are so forgiving. They relax, they breathe, and my son often says, “It’s okay Mama. I know it’s your witching hour.” We slow down, we communicate with each other and we make loving physical contact. I choose connection and they are typically relieved and happy to meet me.
Often when I reflect on why I “lost it,” it is because I was lacking self-care and connection to myself throughout the day. At some point, our attempts to be authentic will fail us when we are tired and overwhelmed. However, if we check in with ourselves throughout the day to make sure we are giving ourselves what we need, we are more likely to be able to stay present and authentically connected to our children.
Letting go of the ego and choosing consciousness and connection is a day-to-day choice, a moment-to-moment choice. It certainly isn’t easy, but it is so necessary and worth it. My children have the freedom to be who they are and follow their own spiritual path, without me imparting my past on them and I get to have a renewed sense of who I am. My children are my greatest teachers and they are my greatest awakeners to my own beautiful essence.
Dr. Shefali, whose teaching and approach I fully support and admire says,
“When you parent, it’s crucial you realize you aren’t raising a “mini me” but a spirit throbbing with its own signature.”
You do this by getting clear and conscious with yourself, which is ultimately the greatest gift for all of you.
Beautiful article, Jennifer. My sons have grown long past my parenting, but being conscious in our relationship still applies. Trying to be aware and clean in our current relationship has kept us connected during years when many men push away from their Moms.
Thank you for sharing, Dianne. It is so great to hear from an experienced mother what is possible for the future with my children if we continue to follow this path. I would love to connect more at some point.
Thank you Jennifer for your beautiful words. I relate to this so much…I too have come to realize I have learned so much from my children and they are in fact helping to make me a better person, so that I can in turn consciously give back to them and help them fulfill their highest potential. The other day I got into a conversation with a friend after we overheard our husbands speaking about their “contribution” to society being the product they make at work…I feel the overall picture is really about the impact we can have in the relationships we nurture, starting with ourselves and expanding out from there. Your children are blessed to have you in their lives!
Justine, I couldn’t agree with you more and I appreciate you saying so about my children. I am the one who feels so blessed that they chose me. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment.
Yes – children are certainly our greatest teachers – if we are prepared to listen and learn! And it is a challenge to allow them to walk their own path – it’s so full of unknowns and the protective feelings come out wanting to keep them from harm, and I have found that the best thing you can offer them is love 🙂