Gaia turned 4. My baby. As a little ritual I dug out the video of my labour to her birth as I like to try and do each year. To relive it again brought me so much joy. It made me reflect on the Woman I was then and the Woman I am now. Of how I've changed as a Mama. Of the experience I shared with Fiona my sister as my birth partner and with myself as I journeyed with ancient wisdoms.
I reflected on how happy I was and of course with a baby's arrival imminent and months of yoga, meditation and hypno-birthing practise behind me perhaps it isn't a wonder I was blissed out and easy going, funny and radiant. That aside I feel very distant from that woman, less wise, I have more furrows on my brow than she, my tone of voice is different from hers, I like her better. I extended my reminiscing to videos of Zander and I before I was even pregnant again, I watched videos of him and his new sister days old and it felt good to be reminded of the boy who didn't even know how to answer back or stomp up the stairs in a huff. Again, the mother I heard behind the camera was sweet and patient and had a way with words aimed at little ones. Now I just feel like a sergeant major giving out instructions and ultimatums and sounding stressed and stern.
In the morning I showed the videos to the kids, not the birth ones, the ones of them as smaller imps. And it hit home with them too I think. Things were different, things were more harmonious. Zander especially who spent the day saying he wished he could be a baby again. Watching them together seemed to change all our attitudes yesterday, the day was so very calm and happy. I found a sweeter tone of voice and spoke to them more as small children once more, cracked more jokes and focused my attention on them as if they were small and unable to play by themselves. Maybe this isn't necessary all day every day as it was back then but I think I need to get back in touch with that Mama more often. I have to keep perspective and remember how torturous sleepless nights were, that it wasn't always lollipops and rainbows, that things are always drenched in blissful sepia as we look back at all that was good, that we do have some moments joy in the now. Perhaps it is that I am just better at mama'ing very small children but if that is the case I have to work studiously at bringing those qualities I saw into my mama'ing of middle size children and all stages beyond. The relieving thing is that it helped me remember I've not always felt so unconnected, I've not always been locked in a battle of wills and really my children are still very small and their souls are as sensitive as they were back then.
I talk to Cliff about age appropriate toys and how today's society has pushed the boundaries of what is perceived as appropriate but I am thinking today in terms of age appropriate parenting ... has today's society also affected how I treat my children ... am I treating them more as small adults, are my expectations of them becoming that unrealistic causing unnecessary friction? Perhaps. These musings fill me with a desire to get back to toddler mama, for their sakes and mine - it was more fun, more gentle, I was more in touch with my inner child, my playful center. So as I gave myself over to my birthing-body to let Gaia journey Earthside 4 years ago, so too I think I should give my stressed out soul back over to my kind-mama-spirit and let her take over the running of this ship once more.
Unfoldment is a big theme for me of late cropping up in symbols, cards and discussions. A theme that doesn't promise an easy ride, one that acknowledges the challenges all the road along - the sludge of life we have to get through sometimes but always with a vision forward. Soul searching, strong and indestructible resolve like ivy that refuses to die back. Journeying through a labyrinth walking closer in towards my center then following the path outward and touching influences from without, ebbing and flowing. This is me, rocking and rolling on the tides of my life as a woman and as a mama. I am trying.