The traditional structure of parenting has been where where a parent imparts their knowledge, wisdom, advice, instructions, expectations and sometimes even their demands onto the child.
That child then has two options – obey or rebel.
If the child obeys, he/she is a good son/daughter and wins the love and respect of the parent.
If the child rebels – the relationship is challenged. Life becomes difficult for the parent and the child in different ways.
Before I became a mother, I knew that this method of child rearing was not what felt right to me. Now that I am in fully immersed in parenting my little 2 year old, I think a lot about what kind of parent I am to her.
One thing I know for sure is that parenting is a two way street. I have an important and valuable learned wisdom to share with Reya, and she has an important and valuable innate wisdom share with me. I don’t subscribe to the belief that one is superior to the other. They both have it’s place in the parent-child relationship and in life.
Yes, she is new to life but so am I.
The day my daughter was born, a mother was born too.
Ever since Reya turned one in January, I had been meaning to share my thoughts and experiences of one year of motherhood. Since Mother’s day was just a few days ago, I thought I would sit down and recollect the peaks and valleys of this new life of mine.
And it is an absolutely new life for me. The day my baby was born, a mother was born too. It has not always been an easy journey. Motherhood has stretched me and grown me, and I will share with you my honest and uncensored feelings about some of the more challenging aspects of being a new parent too. Nevertheless, as deliriously exhausting as it is, this new phase of my life has been indescribably rewarding.
I have accompanied this blog post with some of my favourite mama-daughter photographs that Reya and I have taken together.
Today we wake up in the morning as we always do, with kisses and cuddles and milk and giggles. But this morning is different, because today is your first birthday. You are ONE.
It is a quiet Monday morning, snow has fallen over night and has settled softly around our home, a pale white light leaks through the windows and spills onto us. Your warm body laying on my chest. I am home to you. And you are home to me now too. I remind you that your father is at work now but that he kissed your forehead and whispered “Happy birthday my 1 year old girl” into your ear while you slept, right before he left in the morning. We listen to your birthday song – forever young by Bob Dylan. You are still sleepy so you lay quietly on me while I pour all my love onto you as you get ready to greet the day. To greet your day. This is your day. Every day is.
I find myself stumbling rather ungracefully into the new year. I stepped back into my routines of daily life here in Toronto with a sudden thud. I feel out of sorts, and I just can’t seem to get a grip on anything. They say there are years that question and years that answer. 2018 was an answer. 2019 is a year of question, I can already feel it. Things feel unsettled and haphazard. I completed a mandalam of 40 days of shambavi maha mudra in the early new year. I had expected that it would bring me to a more centered and grounded space, and yet to be quite honest with you, everything feels blurry and confused. I have to believe that the practice gives me what I need most for my spiritual growth. The last time I had completed this mandalam, I discovered I was pregnant and then went on to lose my baby, which ended up being a significant and poignant, but no less beautiful occurrence in my life. Perhaps what I need most for my growth right now is a more potent dose of life, rather than something slow and grounded and centered.