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.
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.
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?
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.