You started out with such high hopes, big dreams – how you would help the world to embrace your dear sweet children. You whispered your promises to them in the womb. Of how you would be the perfect mother – ever gentle, kind and patient. Of how you would do everything for them, with them. And you truly meant it.
For years you tried to be the perfect mama. But the pain that you weren’t was almost unbearable. You felt a failure. You felt guilty. You felt like giving up, running away. Often you threatened to quit.
Don’t be hard on yourself. You are the only mama they know. The only mama they love. The only mama you know how to be. And that is more than enough.
You wanted to make your past better through your mothering. But you can’t. You can’t erase your own pain, however hard you try to be perfect or love your children more.
You do your best not to recreate your own suffering it in their lives. You are committed to love. You are conscientious. And that has to be enough. The world does not change in a day, and neither will you. Remember you are your ancestors’ hopes and dreams incarnate. But you are also their hurts and failings writ large.
You love your children, though you may shout at them. You feed them and put up with their complaints when they don’t like dinner. You clothe them and weather their tantrums over too-tight clothes. You mother them at six in the morning, at lunchtime, at midnight when they wake with sore teeth. When you are sick, you mother them still. You tend to their hurt knees with a mother’s love. You help them to find the answers their souls are seeking. You tickle and tumble with them. You show them the size of a mother’s love and the reality of a mother’s life. You give them language with which to engage with the world. You hold their hearts in your hand and ask them about their dreams. You throw your sticks together into the river of life. Now watch them float. You are not meant to be their pilot. Let go with the flow. Let it wash over you all.
You spend so long focusing on the minutiae – the moments that you yell, not the moments that you embrace them, which in the bigger picture far out-number the cross words and impatience which you feel colours your days.
Be sure that what they will hold in their souls are all the things you cannot see – the way your hair falls over your face as you kiss them goodnight, the soft pillow of breast as they snuggle up to you at night, the way you say certain words, the magical contents of your jewellery box, your love of books, the way you loved them when they felt ill and frightened. When you cheered loudly for them in the school play or showed your heartfelt appreciation of their picture. And fleeting moments when you stood hand in hand on the edge of the ocean in the light of the full moon.
Just try, for a moment to see yourself through their eyes. See yourself as the most important woman in their world.
Because that is what you are. You, dearest woman, are a goddess to them, though they will never tell you. You are love incarnate. Your perceived flaws just make you human.
Allow yourself to feel the depth and breadth of your love. Their love. Nothing else matters.
This is my contribution to a very special book which has just been published. Note to Self : The Secret to Becoming your own Best Friend invites you to discover the beauty and power of self-love, acceptance and becoming your own best friend. Exploring topics such as Healing, Menstruation, Motherhood and Body Image, Note to Self shows you how to embrace who you are and write love letters for your soul. It includes a collection of letters from 30 inspiring women around the world including Tabby Biddle, Jane Harwicke Collings … and me!!
Heartfelt and loving, it was the creative child of the lovely Jo MacDonald from The Red Box Company
whom I met on the Goddess Circle
who, like me, works in the field of women’s and girl’s empowerment.
E-books and paperback versions of Note to Self are available to buy from Jo, here…
“A truly inspiring read filled with encouragement on speaking your truth and living authentically!” Kimberly Wilson, Author of Hip Tranquil Chick and Tranquilista
“Every woman, in fact every teenage girl, should read this book…” Jen Saunders, Founder & Editor-in-chief Wild Sister Magazine
10% of all profits go to Plan’s ‘BECAUSE I AM A GIRL’ charity project