We're at this unique time in our world where it's now that we recognise the importance of our emotional and mental wellbeing.
With lockdowns and disruption to the attachment of our "normal" daily life - the gift that lives within that is that every single soul, that's alive right now, is going through their own "birthing" and "rebirthing" journey.
That first year of parenthood is an opportunity to learn - because it's easier to learn than it is to unlearn.
I often wish that hospitals or midwives would give every new parent the following "manual" to help them, anchor in and create a foundation where they can thrive in parenting.
Here is a highlight of some of the points in the manual that I would write:
1. You just became a parent. You got this - and even when you don't feel like you have, that's part of the learning journey.
You are NOT meant to have all the answers. You are learning something new. You've never done this before - it's brand new.
You are learning. You wouldn't expect a newborn baby to know how to walk, so let go of the expectation that you "should" have all the answers.
I invite you to master the art of giving yourself grace.
We learn and grow into being parents - one day at a time.
2. The biggest gift, the ultimate gift you can give your child that will set them up for life, is learning to love you.
Don't hold back on loving on you.
When you learn to love you, learn to love the parts of yourself that you deem unworthy, learn to let go of your self-judgement - you're creating a space for your child to do the same for them.
In learning to love yourself, you allow yourself to ask for what you need; you let go of things that don't serve you, and you are invested in thriving.
Yes, there will be days where you may feel like it's in survival - and in learning to love yourself, you know what it is that's needed to recalibrate.
Self-care is an act of self-love.
Love yourself, fiercely. Love yourself in the moments that you're judging and criticising yourself - let it go. Love yourself when you are expecting more or doubting yourself - let it go.
Love yourself with compassion and kindness.
Love yourself and give yourself generosity.
Why?.... because at your highest level of wellbeing, you can then be able to hold space for what it means to be a growing human soul navigating this whole new world.
3. Parenting is a two-way relationship.
You are learning about your baby - and your baby is learning about you...
...AND you are learning how to be a parent.
Relationships are built on learning about one another, understanding, forgiveness - it's an ebb and flow.
This isn't a one-sided relationship and the earlier you can "let go" of a social condition to see parenting as a job, as a one-way flow - you open the doorway to a brand new paradigm of parenting. You are learning about what you need in this relationship - and your needs matter; as does theirs.
It is possible to have everyone's needs met - and it is learning.
So much of this relationship is inviting you to shed unconscious beliefs and attachments to "scarcity", "self-sacrifice", and "survival".
A healthy relationship is based on connection, understanding, and presence - not of continuous compromise and losing your identity.
There is always something to learn from each other.
4. It's all a choice. Survival is a choice. Thriving is a choice.
In "choosing" there are no victims. I invite you to choose to thrive.
The old paradigm of parenting that's sourced in self-sacrifice and survival isn't the only way to do parenting. I invite you to open yourself up to a different paradigm of parenting. One that you thrive.
This is YOUR journey - and in choosing to thrive, you don't need permission from anyone. You don't need permission to say "no" to things that don't serve you, you don't need permission to look after yourself, you don't need permission to create boundaries.
You are WORTHY of thriving.
There is nothing that your child wants more than for you to thrive.
Be discerning for everything and everyone that enters into your world; ask "What would make our family thrive? What would make me thrive?"
This isn't the time to be a hero, a martyr, or a victim - unless you want to choose survival.
5. Every day, do something for yourself.
If you want your child to thrive, and for you to thrive - this is a non-negotiable.
Start small. Make yourself a cup of tea. Read some pages of a book. Do something for yourself that nurtures your mind/ body/ spirit. Nourishing yourself is the fuel that's needed to "learn" something new.
What you appreciate, appreciates. This is the momentum of gratitude.
When you "appreciate" who you are, the journey you are on and have gratitude for this opportunity of being a parent that you called into your world, you honour that by doing something to honour your mind/ body/ spirit every day.
Just like you wouldn't let your child go hungry, don't starve your soul.
Fuel your soul to fuel your learning journey.
You are in a brand new relationship with yourself as a parent. Let go of comparing who you were to who you are now. You may not be able to do all the things you use to do before being a parent - AND it's about learning what would serve you and allow you to thrive, in this moment.
6. This too shall pass.
In the testing moments, remind yourself; "This to shall pass". Embracing impermanence will help you navigate the dark nights of the soul.
Tune into your Higher-Self - see the testing moments through the lens of Love.
Ask, "What would Love do? What would Love say? How can I see this through the lens of Love?".
Every experience is an invitation to choose Love.
When you encounter Fear, when you encounter the dark night of the soul - meet it with Love. Love LIBERATES.
There may be moments where you feel check-mate. You're stuck. You're in absolute despair.
I invite you to see these moments as cracking your heart open and learning how to let the light in.
... the way to let the light in is to give yourself grace - and know "this too shall pass".
7. Know the "breaking points"
You may encounter the depths of pain as judgement, doubt, guilt, loneliness, and a sense of loss of identity comes into your experience.
These "breaking point" moments don't define you.
And... these "breaking point" moments are the moments that are asking us to be connected to Love.
Here we are practising surrender, faith, trusting the process... and letting go of "doing everything on our own".
It is here we rise, we transcend, and we start breaking free from our limitations, our old belief systems of who we think we are - and turn to Love.
8. Know your triggers. This is an awareness game.
Our children are our teachers - and the triggers that come up are reflections of what needs healing.
So much of parenting has little to do with our children and a lot to do with honouring our energy, state of mind, and choosing to liberate ourselves from past hurts through being guided by Love.
Parenting requires us to dig deep - to rewrite the story of our inner-child and reparent ourselves.
This gift is healing and transformative. We have an opportunity to return to our wholeness.
9. You are enough. Wherever you are is perfect. You are the perfect parent for your child. They chose you.
Parenting doesn't come naturally. Let go of an unconscious belief that parenting comes naturally. It is a learning journey, where new relationships are developed, and your child chose you.
They aren't looking for a parent that doesn't make mistakes. They aren't looking for a parent with all the answers. They aren't looking for a parent to fix them.
All your child is seeking is a parent, who can embrace their humanity, and have the compassion to see parenting as a learning journey, to love themself enough to go through the rollercoaster of learning, and to meet themselves with Love.
You are enough - and this is what your child wants you to know. They love you unconditionally - they are asking you, to love yourself unconditionally.
Forgive yourself. Give yourself grace. Cultivate compassion. Be kind to yourself.
LEARN TO LOVE THAT PERSON IN THE MIRROR.
Wherever you are on your journey of parenting, all the above points apply. This isn't about adding more on your list to do and trying to achieve a level of unattainable perfection.
This is about learning or relearning your relationship with yourself.
If you resonate with this message, and with these points of the manual - and you know someone who would welcome this message, please share this.
It is time a new paradigm of parenting, one that is sourced in compassion and grace be the model in which we parent.
Heal thyself, and you heal the family. Heal the family, and you heal the world.