The Mirror of Motherhood & Why You Should Let Your Children Teach YOU a Lesson or Two!

My aunt once told me that she was the greatest mother ever…. until she had kids.

I laughed. And then I cried. Yes, this struck a chord.

I thought I had it all figured out. My independent, goal-oriented personality; my education, achievement and love of learning had prepared me for anything. Right? I waited until I was nearly 30 to get married, just like I planned. I found a loving husband who grew up with a big family and adored kids. Surely I knew what I was doing.


But how could I?

No one can prepare you for the challenges of motherhood. And why didn’t anyone tell me about the huge mirror that would show up, forcing me to really look at myself: At where I came from, who I was, what I was made of, what I had to learn and what I still needed to let go of. Yep. It all showed up.

 

When I was just 15 months old, my brother was born and shortly after, we lost our mother to severe mental illness.  She left our father ….although he eventually got custody and we were given very good lives and opportunities with the “normal” ups and downs.

 

But there was another piece here. A part I could never understand until the “mirror” of motherhood forced me to reflect.

 

The bigger problem:
We still lived with with our unstable mother until I was almost 8 years old, and my little brother 6. It was the 70s and it took that long for our father to get custody. How could I grieve and process the meaning of this until I had children of my own 30+ years later. Until I was able to hold their little hands, look into their eyes and see how much they need me and love me?

 

Our son is about to turn 8 and our daughter will be 6 in January and it hasn’t been easy. I look at them and grieve for me and for my brother. Those were some critical developmental years, and how sad that I remember almost nothing. But I’m letting go now. It took the mirror to bring awareness to the pain that still remained in order for me to release it. I realize now that motherhood is not just a mirror but also a very wise teacher. And because I thrive on learning and growth, this has been an amazing mindset shift for me.

 

By allowing my children to teach me….well, let’s just say that I’m healing and growing up too. And like any good student, I’m noting the important lessons.

 

I’ve found routines, rituals, habits and systems to help me and my clients adjust to the work-life-motherhood balance and to grow and thrive as women, mothers and entrepreneurs …but I’ll leave you with a few of the most valuable lessons from my daily gratitude journal.
Thank you my dear children for teaching me:

 

  • How to let people love me
  • How to show up even when I’m tired
  • How to not work ALL the time
  • How to be present
  • How being imperfect is PERFECT
  • How grown-ups still have growing pains.
  • How we all need help calming down sometimes
  • How to laugh
  • How to cry
  • How to prioritize
  • How to be creative
  • How to be a good example
  • How to love
Those of you who know me well, know that I very much wear my heart on my sleeve… so thanks for letting me share. Sending love and hugs your way. But before I go: I’d love  to hear from you! What issues did your motherhood mirror bring up and how does/would thinking of your children as YOUR teachers help you?

12 Responses to The Mirror of Motherhood & Why You Should Let Your Children Teach YOU a Lesson or Two!

  1. A beautiful, heartfelt post. Thank you. The mirror you speak of is one I look in often. It takes great courage to face the demons that keep us from living our lives fully and I am so honored to read and embrace your story. I love that you have both children and “teachers” in the same wonderful package. I love that you are leaving a luscious legacy despite your childhood wounds.

    • Thank you so much Sue. I’ve found so much love and support from many other “mothers” in my life and had to realize quickly that family comes in many forms. I can only hope to give back as much as I’ve received and to teach compassion, self-care and resilience.

  2. I loved this post! This really resonated with me and it wasn’t until I had my son (he just turned 3) that I was able to finally really heal the hurt from my mother as a child. What a blessing he has been in the healing. Thank you for sharing this and forcing me to re-visit this. 🙂

  3. I love this post! Motherhood is the most precious, hardest, frustrating and scary vocation and I can’t imagine my life without my 22 and 19 year old babies! You are amazing ecause you are being a fantastic mother while healing your wounds and that is the greatest gift you can give them.

  4. Thank you for sharing with such honesty. This is deeply touching and inspiring, and I feel your incredible strength as I read it.

    I am grateful to my own children for showing me how important it is to move past anger and into being present with what is.

    I love your image of the mirror. This awareness is so key to our journey as parents. As you know, this is the work I guide parents through, so I truly appreciate your illumination!

  5. This was beautiful and completely selfless to share! I have had similar feelings from my upbringing and this really helps (through step by step instructions) sort out the feelings. Thank you for sharing!

    • You’re welcome Chelsea and thanks so much for commenting. It’s easy to stuff these feelings away but I’ve always believed in sharing and releasing and connecting with each other to process and find empathy and realize that we aren’t alone.

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