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. 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 Faulkner started her career as a Registered Nurse and has worked in hospitals in Australia and overseas. During her career as a nurse, she supported people through the difficult transitions of illness, grief, death, trauma, mental health issues and childbirth.
Jane has a Masters in Gestalt Psychotherapy, a Bachelor of Nursing, a Certificate in Initiatic Art Therapy and is certified in Equine Assisted Psychotherapist. Yoga is an integral part of her life, she is a Certified Iyengar Teacher and continues to study and teach in the Iyengar yoga tradition. She is an accomplished teacher, therapist, and facilitator and has led many women’s groups and Day Retreats, presented seminars and workshops, and worked with many different community groups and individuals.
Jane is the founder of Equine Assisted Therapy Australia, an organisation that provides training, retreats, programs and individual sessions that aim to provide individuals with a new and authentic ways to grow and learn more about themselves. Connect with Jane HERE.