A Mother's Healing Journey
Healing For My Kids
I would do anything for my kids. By far the hardest thing I have ever done after having children is facing my own need to heal. Having children flipped my world upside down. I was no longer able to mask or hide the areas of my life that needed healing. I now had to deal with my raw wounds of the past and my emotional immaturity. If I didn't deal with these issues, I was bound to pass them on to my children just as they had been passed on to me.
This was a wake-up moment and it was not gradual, it was immediate. The pressure of making decisions for a defenseless human and facing my own insecurities about following my intuition vs caring what other people think caused me to face my own deficits and flaws daily. I came to learn many hard truths about myself.
Motherhood Was My Biggest Wake-Up Moment
In the last 5 years, I have grown more as a person than at any other time in my life. At first, my voice was shaky when speaking my truth but now I have learned that trust in myself is what I want to model for my children. I no longer outsource my beliefs to what society approves of. I respond to my children's needs and I respond to my own. I have learned that the healing process never ends. I will constantly be peeling back new layers and healing new parts of myself. This is an exhausting truth that I have come to accept because the alternative is to live in unconscious denial and end up inadvertently harming myself as well as those I love.
So much of my pain is the result of unconscious people perpetuating unconscious beliefs and habits. I was raised in an environment that left me sucking my thumb until age 10, falling into drugs at age 13, and leaving home at age 16. I did not feel emotionally safe. I did not feel heard. And I took this pain into adulthood. I did grow and heal as an adult but there was much left unhealed by the time I reached my late 20's. I was rudely awakened once I became a mom. I quickly realized that if I did not radically heal and grow, I would pass down the same pain that was passed down to me.
Raising Myself Alongside My Kids
The hardest part of healing while being a mother has been that I feel like I am raising myself alongside my children. I never learned how to speak about my feelings or set healthy boundaries as a child. As I teach my children these things, I am learning them at the same time. As my children learn to regulate their emotions, I am learning alongside them. I am both heartbroken and relieved to see that my children are starting out life more emotionally mature that I ever was. I am still dealing with all of my baggage but they started out on day 1 with guidance. I grieve the childhood I never had while trying to provide my children with a childhood they don't need to heal from.
And It's Working
My children have defied all of my expectations. Never once have they sucked their thumb like I did for 10 years. Somehow the world is more soothing for them than it was for me. They stand up for themselves like it is their birthright (it is!). They speak their truth without thinking twice about looking to others to confirm or deny their reality. They express their feelings openly, without embarrassment or shame. They take up space. My whole life, I felt I had to squash down who I was in order to be accepted by society. I was scared of judgment and felt fundamentally unsafe in the world. My children feel the exact opposite and I know it is because of the environment in which they are growing up.
I am not a perfect mother. There are days when I snap at my kids, I have no patience, and I try to manipulate my kids to do what I say. I am undoing old patterns that were passed down to me and it takes an incredible amount of effort. Some days, I am just too tired to try. But I never give up. And I always try to prioritize my relationship with my children and the healing work I am doing.
Even with my imperfect parenting, my children are thriving. I will forever be grateful that I woke up and practice conscious parenting every day. Every day, I notice parts of myself healing, shifting, changing... The more healed and healthy I am, the more I can model health for my children in communication, relationships, affection, discipline, patience, confidence, following intuition, etc. It is not easy but it is worth it.