It was my own little ‘Gone With The Wind’ moment.
I stood at the window of the hospital room, looking out over the city as if I was Scarlett O’Hara looking over Tara. As if it was my land. In a way, it was. Everything was brighter, clearer, more defined. My body felt new, although a little bruised, because it was new. I was new. If I could have raised my fist in the air and uttered “As God is my witness…” without looking totally mad, I would have. Instead, I settled with a silent oath that I would never be afraid again.
Only hours earlier, I had given birth to my daughter, my firstborn child. And somehow through the hours of pain and fear, I had given birth to me too. The real me – my true self.
Only fitting we called her Scarlett, wasn’t it?
Before I had children, I was so unsure of who I was. I worried about what everyone thought of me, and I tried to be someone I wasn’t.
I dressed differently, spoke differently, thought I wanted different things. Then along came a tough labour and suddenly the façade I had built of myself came crumbling down, and I was left with just me.
And my strength. My real strength.
Once they placed my daughter on my chest, I changed forever. I no longer cared what people thought of me as I knew for sure that I could do and be anything I wanted to be now – I was a mother. And as I stood at the window of that hospital room the following day, I promised myself that I would never forget my true self again.
If only that feeling had lasted!
Unfortunately, thanks to the endless crying, sleepless nights and extreme uncertainty that comes with first-time motherhood, my new found clarity and self-confidence was tested very quickly.
And has been ever since.
That’s the challenge of parenting – it doesn’t give you much time to stop and contemplate the lessons you are learning. Or how you may be changing for the better. You’re too busy cleaning up, washing up, or catching up.
But if only we could stop and gather our thoughts a little, contemplate the lessons we are learning from our children and the world of parenting, then perhaps we could continue to tap into that power I felt standing at the hospital window again.
That’s what I’ve been trying to do ever since.
I’ve written, researched and reviewed ways to keep my sanity while raising my daughters, as I know thousands of other Mums have too. And what I’ve discovered is that it’s about ensuring you connect with yourself – the true self that is emerging through parenting.
As far as I see it, the time when you have small children is the most fertile time in a women’s life to truly grow, learn and connect. We are never more in tune with how our bodies work. We are never more aware of our connection to our families, our communities, our friends. Our focus and needs come right back to basics – food, shelter, protection. If we allow ourselves (and if we know how) motherhood can be the first time many of us step away from the madness that was our pre-baby worlds and discover that what used to be important does not hold the same allure it used to.
That’s why there are so many ‘Mumpreneurs’ and Mummy bloggers out there now – becoming a parent has given these women the insight into themselves they needed to realise what they truly wanted with their lives.
The biggest challenge of them all though, is hanging onto to that connection.
As mothers, we all have so many fears. Who knew you could worry so much! But one of my greatest fears is that I will miss this chance to connect with my higher self. I’m worried I will miss this daily opportunity to grow into the person I want to be, and slide back into my old life as my children grow.
This blog will help me stay on track. I promise I won’t preach – I hate those blogs! It will, instead, gather information and inspiration to help me stay connected. It will help me harness the “Power of Mum”, and see the challenges of motherhood as an opportunity to figure something else out about myself.
I sincerely hope it does the same for you too.
Here we go!