Reya turned 3 this January. I thought I would reflect on some of the biggest parenting lessons I’ve learned as we stepped into the toddler years.
This parenting experience I am having is truly fascinating. I’ve spend the last almost 3 years building this brand new relationship with a brand new human being, and yet, I’m the one who feels brand new.
My daughter invites me to examine life more closely. To experience simple things with more depth and intention. To see so much of myself mirrored in another person. Everything has become a giant question mark, and life is more exciting this way.
Reya is almost 3. And there is a lot going on at almost 3. I’m just trying to keep up.
My very best parenting lessons come when I pay attention.
One day, I was paying attention, and I noticed that whenever Reya does something that I do not like or approve of, my go-to phrase is “That isn’t very nice, Reya.” or something of that variety.
Happy June full moon, readers! Today I answer some of the thought-provoking questions you submitted over the last month.
Greetings! I’m trans (ftm) and my family have basically disowned me ever since I came out. Struggling with feeling abandoned by my family. How do I move on from this kind of betrayal from the people who are supposed to love me no matter what?
I am so sorry you are going through this pain.
If your family disown you, then you certainly earn the right to choose your family. Your chosen family will be the people who show up for you every day. Not because of biology, obligation or societal expectations, but because they simply want to. In that way – you have the opportunity to create the truest version of “family.”
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.
If you have spent any length of time reading my blog, you will know that my blog posts tend to be rather in depth and verbose. I usually go deep into one topic per post.
I’m interested in trying something a little different for an upcoming blog post. I’d like to talk about a few different topics in one place. And I’d like to talk about the things that matter most to you and your life. Kind of like a rapid fire Q&A.
I thought the best way to do this would be to offer you a chance to ask an anonymous question in the question box above. It can be a question that relates to your personal life or it can be a more of a general/universal topic that you’d like me to touch on. I’ve done this a few times on instagram – here are some examples of questions people have asked:
- How to achieve peace of mind?
- How to be a peaceful parent?
- How to restart meditation when you are out of practice?
- Your thoughts on self love?
- How can I support a friend who has gone through stillbirth?
I can’t promise that I have all the answers (in fact, I can promise you that I don’t!) but I’d love to share my thoughts on whatever is on your mind.
I’ll answer a few of them in an upcoming blog post (that’s if I get any responses at all eek!)
Since becoming a mother, I have really stepped up my organization systems. I had no choice! I’ve said this multiple times on this blog but – being organized allows me to do two things;
- Consistently and steadily meet my family’s needs.
- Consistently and steadily meet my own needs.
I have a collection of lists that I refer to on daily/weekly basis that really helped me stay on top of things. These lists remind me of next steps to take without having to think too much about it, and they also help to capture important information.
I thought I’d share some of the lists I make and how I use them with little glimpses on a few items from each of my lists too! If you get a little kick out of organizing things like I do, you might enjoy this!
Hello hello! This year, I’ve decided to commit to sharing a new blog post with you on the full moon + new moon of every month. So, each month when you look out the window and see the glowing moon in the night sky, and perhaps you even feel a surge of that mystical lunar energy rise up within you – head over to my blog and you will find something from me, written with the intent to nourish your mind & soul.
I’m also really enjoying creating on instagram stories at the moment. I like to share little snippets of my day to day life, but also like to reflect on a topic every week centered around spirituality, intentional living, and conscious motherhood. If you’re on instagram, I’d love to connect with you there.
Now onto the blog post!
A few weeks ago, I was chatting with a girl on Instagram who, like me, is also on the road to residency in the US. She kindly complimented me on my ability to juggle many things at once. Medicine, motherhood, spirituality, writing and now, youtube too.
I was taken aback by what she said – because the areas of my life that she considers to be my success, I so often feel inadequate in. It astonished me, the differences in how I perceive myself in comparison to how someone else perceives me. And maybe the truth of who I am sits somewhere in the middle of both of these extremes. It got me thinking, that while I do tend to be quick to dismiss myself, the reality is that yes, I do juggle a lot. Yes, I do work hard to do the things that are important to me, and though I may not be able to do everything to the level of my satisfaction, and though I may feel like I’m constantly failing at a lot of things, the fact that I try is worth something. And yes, maybe I do have something of value to say on this topic.
Certain things in life, like motherhood and medicine, tend to be all encompassing. Meaning that it’s almost impossible to compartmentalize these things into little blocks of time. It takes over everything. It’s a 24/7 direction of life.
It’s hard to imagine a life beyond these things sometimes, and it’s certainly even harder to make the time and space for other in your day.
But heres the thing – we all have 24 hours in a day, and we decide how to spend it. Our time and our health is truly our greatest wealth, and it’s worthwhile to use what you have intentionally and on the things that matter most to you, otherwise you may get swept up in the flurry of a busy but unfulfilling life.
Since becoming a mother, the amount of “free time” has been cut exponentially, some days it feels like a mythical concept.
Before children, the majority of my time went to either school/work, and all that was remaining was my time. I could do with it, whatever I wished. I could choose to be productive and build the life of my dreams or I could snuggle up in bed and watch Friends. After motherhood, all that remaining time outside of school/work goes automatically to my daughter. Like a direct deposit.
Without intentionally and purposefully carving out a little slice for yourself, you might never get it. Time is precious, and we have so little of it. The very least we can do is use what we do have.
Here are my thoughts on how to juggle it all.
This is not Reya’s first Christmas, but it is the first Christmas that she has some awareness of. She refers to all the Christmas decorations in store fronts as “chrissy-mas mess” and is so delighted by it all. She knows about snow, and snowmen, and christmas trees. She hasn’t quite got to grips with Santa Claus, and this is something I’ve been thinking about for some time now. How do I feel about this? What the purpose in perpetuating this fantasy for my child? Is this lie worth it? What do my children gain from this?
Shortly after I gave birth to my stillborn daughter Mia, my husband and I were given the difficult task of picking a place to scatter her ashes. And though this task was both tragic and morbid, we somehow found ourselves embracing it for what it was. We knew that this would be one of the only things we get to do for our daughter as her parents. All our other parental responsibilities that we so longingly dreamed about, were stolen from us.
In this video I talk a little bit about some of the principles and values that really guide my husband and I in how we raise Reya.
Thank you so much for watching!