Words by psychotherapist Jane Faulkner
I have a healthy respect for anyone choosing to raise kids consciously in today’s world. In my experience to raise children consciously has required a lot of growth and self-examination on my part. My path in parenting has led me to really check myself out and many times it has been very humbling and painful.
As a new parent, there is so much information out there, everyone has an opinion! For me, this was totally overwhelming and I lost my self and my truth in the craziness of it all.
I was an idealist, I wanted to be the best parent I could be and like any parent raise happy, healthy, resilient, well-adjusted kids. However, in having these ideas my life became unrealistic. In trying to tick all of the good parent- great kid boxes, I burnt out. I became so exhausted and overwhelmed that I forgot what nourished me and I forgot how to really be with my son and myself.
When my son was born, I struggled in giving up my old identity and the self-worth that this gave me. I started getting my worth from how I parented, and how well my son behaved. I realised that I wasn’t really seeing him at all- I was looking for his faults and how I needed to improve him and my parenting in some way. A lot of what he does presses my buttons! I used to take it personally, get cranky and want him to change to fit within my ideal of what ‘a good boy’ was. In this process, I created distance and felt like I couldn’t reach him. This realization was a scary one.
I love my children and had fantasies that due to all of the work I had done on myself as a psychotherapist, raising my kids and staying connected to them would be a breeze. My son has been such a wonderful teacher and in order to re-connect with him, I have had to…
Accept him for who he is
Accept me as a parent
Simplify- do less, be more
Take deep breaths
Talk to other mums
I love being a parent; it has grown me like nothing else could have. After 9 years I am realizing, parenting, like life, is a constant work in progress. My son and I are constantly growing and changing how we relate to one another. We have days where we are close and days in which it feels like there is a chasm between us. I am slowly realizing that this is the nature of the healthy relationship, and that as long as I am present and there for him as a Mum, he’ll be okay.
Jane is a mum, partner, psychotherapist in private practice, yoga teacher, group facilitator at Gwinganna Health Retreat and nurse. To connect with Jane, visit her fabulous website.
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