Have you welcomed motherhood only to discover your loss of shame, fear and self-judgment?
I’m not talking about those moments we each spiral into: The ones where we wonder if our kid has eaten ‘enough’ or spent ‘enough’ time outside. Those moments of self-doubt and concerns will never leave…at least from what I’ve heard.
I’m talking about the very spiritual and (often) unconscious development we go through: shedding the fear and learning a new meaning of authenticity through the parenting process.
It’s as if parenting encourages us to reevaluate our morals and values. It’s as if we should no longer care about the surface issues, considering our children watch our every move.
Children pick up on everything. Their environment impacts them greatly, from the choice of words we use to the tone in which they’re implemented and even religious belief systems that they are exposed to.
As they grow, they learn to reason and question. But if the adults in their lives don’t support and encourage their curiosity, then they limit their children’s self-discovery. This encouragement must begin from day one.
Exploration and discovery begins at birth, from searching for food to discovering fingers. As they grow into adolescence, their environment will manipulate the way they view things. So yes, our children are impacted by it all; especially our ability to support and love them as unconditionally as possible. In order to unconditionally love our children, we must truly and fully love and accept ourselves. This is where self-discovery is beneficial over all.
Here we are faced with the responsibility far greater than we could ever imagine. We are the children’s role models. Their safety. Their teachers and their preachers. From the moment that the child is born and welcomed into our lives, they learn how we, the adult, react to our every day experiences.
Whether it’s the joy we feel from another’s embrace or the anger we suppress at an irrational, argumentative stranger, your child will be exposed to how you react. They will learn from each and every reaction.
Some emotional similarities and inherited traumas can of course be genetically transferred; however, many traits within our personalities are direct teachings from the individual(s) who raised them.
That’s a lot to comprehend, isn’t it? But the more we know, the more we can understand how we raise our children. And the more truths we recognize within ourselves, the more we can embrace this awakening that parenthood encourages.
As we’re born curious beings (circling back how every one of us questions our upbringing), motherhood welcomes a new type of intersection: one that is scary. It forces a vulnerability that we may have never experienced before.
You are not alone is this self-discovery. Each and every one of us is faced with the decision: dare we embrace stripping our Ego or continue to identify with the external forces that have influenced our every, virtual move?
This is not to say parenthood is the sole provider of this type of discovery. Many can experience this through inner-workings beforehand. But parenthood may be the initial awakening. If this resonates within you then know that this does not mean that you’re ‘less than’ because you were not the ‘questioning type’ before your child entered the world. This simply means your child is shedding light and power towards your ability to see simpler…to see clearer.
If we continue to convolute our way of life, our way of thinking and parenting, we won’t be able to genuinely grow as individuals and as our child’s primary teacher. Awakening to our truths should be simple and clear, not complicated.
It’s vital we lean into our authenticity in order to provide the best parenting for our children.
Why wouldn’t we want to accept this eye-opening experience in all its rawness?
With all this said, let me be clear: this self-discovery that parenthood often awakens may not be an overnight experience. This will likely be a journey that takes patience, time and a lot of love. But as you welcome these truthful moments, the easier it will become. And the easier it will become, the better it will be.
Photographed for Mother Muse Print No.11 available here
By Petra Kleis, Stylist: Maya Soul Paustian, Makeup / Hair Malene Kirkegaard, Muse. Amalie Reedtz Thott and baby Bobbie.
Words by Julian Jamie