Pocket-Sized Gurus

Pregnancy, birth and motherhood are times of change on a physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual levels. Motherhood teaches us to discover who we really are, beneath the roles that we play.

Often, we approach children with ideas about what we can teach them about this life. It’s true that we have important information to pass on, but  our children teach us just as much as we are here to teach them. They are far less burdened with preconceived notions about the people, situations, and objects they encounter. They live their lives fully in the present moment, seeing everything with the open-mindedness. This enables them to live in a state of curiosity, and pure excitement about the world that we, as adults, have a hard time accessing.

Children are our very own live-in gurus.

Birth

“Giving birth and being born brings us into the essence of creation, where the human spirit is courageous and bold and the body, a miracle of wisdom.” – Harriette Hartigan

Not too long ago, you were breathing and pushing with every ounce of strength to complete the marathon of a lifetime: the birth of your baby.

Time goes by in a blur of sleepless nights and endless changing and feeding. Your baby’s birth fades into the background.

The same courage you summoned during childbirth will serve you well as you meet the staggering challenges of motherhood. Take a moment now to recall how it felt to give birth to your child. Remember your pain, your joy, your triumph.

Affirmation: I will not forget the strength that lies within me.

Giving

“While you can quarrel with a grownup, how can you quarrel with a newborn baby who has stretched out his little arms for you to pick him up?”- Maria von Trapp

When it’s one of those days, where all they do is cry unless they are being held, every 5 minutes the toddler has a meltdown, it’s tough to feel anything but despair. But all you can do is throw up your hands and laugh. Or cry.

These early days are a time of nonstop giving. And giving. And more giving. There are few tangible rewards. At times you feel resentful, and rightfully so.

One morning you’ll awake to sunshine and suddenly realize your baby has grown up and no longer needs you 24/7 to meet their every need.

Affirmation: This too shall pass.

Personal Growth

“Parenthood is quite a long word. I expect it contains the rest of my life.” – Karen Scott Boates

I am about to let you in on a secret…….. ready?

You have your whole lifetime…..to become a better, more effective parent.

You learn from your mistakes, from reading and connecting to other parents, and mostly from spending time getting to know your children.  As you come to know your children, you get better and better at giving them what they need.

And as your skills grow, so does your love. With each passing year your love for your children will grow, and you become more confident in your ability to nurture and guide.

You’re already a better parent than you were two weeks ago. And you’ll be a better parent two months from now and two years from now. But that’s only if you’re willing to train on the job. Our littles are the best teachers.

Affirmation: I have the rest of my life to become the parent I want to be.

Dream

“My mother wanted me to be her wings, to fly as she never quite had the courage to do.”-Erica Jong

You must live your own life fully, rather than living through your children.

When you fail to fulfill your own goals, there can be a slippery slope where you expect your chilren to realize your lost dreams. The trip you never took, the book you never wrote, the passion you never chased……these disappointments carry over to the next generation, and you hope your child will do everything you wanted to do.

Even as you begin mothering, you must recommit to follow your own dreams so your children can follow their own.

Affirmation: I will pursue my own dreams.

Supermom

“There’s no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one.” – Jill Churchill

If there is one thing you take from this post, please listen carefully…..there is no such thing as the perfect mother!

The Supermom myth creates pressure, guilt, and a feeling of inadequacy. Social media often paints the perfect picture of our friends and families lives, but don’t be fooled just because you don’t see the hormonal meltdowns,breast milk soaked shirts, and burnt dinners plastered on your news feed.

Most women are just like you: exhausted, overwhelmed, and determined to make motherhood work.

Be easy on yourself and don’t try to live up to impossible ideals.

Affirmation: I won’t believe the Supermom myths.

Acceptance

“Your responsibility as a parent is not as great as you might imagine. You need not supply the world with the next conqueror of disease or major motion picture star.” – Fran Lebowitz

We all insist we simply want our children to be healthy and happy (of course we do!), but the truth is, we often wish for much more.

Sometimes you hope for amazing greatness. What mother hasn’t fantasized her child winning an Olympic gold medal? Becoming the next great leader? Or even getting their PhD?

It’s great to want your children to excel, as long as you love your children exactly as they are. No matter how your child turns out tomorrow and the next day and the next, you need to accept them each day.

Affirmation: I deeply and completely accept my child.

Perfection

“We want our children to have picture-perfect lives.” – Harriet Hodgson

All parents start out with the dream that their children will have perfect lives. Gradually, parents come to their senses. They accept the fact that perfection is a fantasy and not necessarily the goal.

Healthy families are those in which children are exposed to reality and given tools for coping with hard times.

It’s better for your children to have a rich, full life — including the inevitable ups and downs — and to develop the strength to learn from whatever comes their way.

Affirmation: I release my illusions of perfection

Mistakes

“Telling lies and showing off to get attention are the mistakes I made that I don’t want my kids to make.” – Jane Fonda

It takes courage to admit your wrongs. But it’s impossible to guarantee that your children won’t follow in your footsteps and make the same mistakes.

You can commit today to be a positive role model, but it won’t ensure that your children will avoid repeating your mistakes. Your children has their own path to follow; the mistakes they make will be powerful, necessary life lessons, even if they’re the exact same lessons you’ve already learned.

You can share what you’ve learned from your mistakes, point out of the pitfalls. But you don’t have the power to prevent your children from making mistakes. Be willing to step back.

Affirmation: I can’t keep my child from making mistakes, even the same mistakes I once made.

Struggling

“We give our children the privilege of struggling.” – Mary Susan Miller

You grit your teeth, watching your children learn to walk. There will be times they fall down and get hurt.

Yet it’s the only way they can learn.

Think of your own struggles. The hardest times often yield the greatest lessons. The same is true for your children. Even though it’s difficult, sometimes growth occurs the hard way.

What you can do is be there for your children with open, empathetic arms and a reassurance.

Affirmation: Struggle teaches my child inner strength.

Praise

“I praise loudly; I blame softly.” – Catherine II

Excellent advice, but too often you do exactly the opposite. We forget to praise our children, taking the good behavior for granted. Instead, you reprimanding our children when they fall short.

Shouting “Great Job!” loud enough for all to hear tells your children that you’re proud of their efforts. Taking your child aside and whispering, “This isn’t the way to behave” tells them what you expect without robbing their of his dignity.

Affirmation: I’ll praise loudly, reprimand softly.

 

“In giving birth to our babies, we may find that we give birth to new possibilities within ourselves.” – Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn

 

What lessons have you learned from your tiny gurus? I would love to hear from you!

 

With a Grateful Heart,

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