Sourced from personal Notes dated 20140617
A snippet of what I found out personally about how I feel about ‘parenting’ and some of my experiences and discoveries during that process…
My life now in comparison to five years ago is different in a few areas, especially in regards to children. I am happier, less tired, have actually experienced joy. I am able to do things I want to do at times. I enjoy hanging out with the kids. I want to. It doesn’t feel like such a chore. I am desiring more and more to teach them to look after themselves rather than being ‘mummy dependent’. I can hold a conversation with someone, our house is not a total mess all of the time now, the kids wash their own dishes – still needs work. They dress themselves, make their own lunches and breakfasts. We go shopping and it takes half an hour and the kids help – it used to take sometimes two hours and we were the family that everyone wanted to avoid. By owning my emotions, desiring God’s truth about me, becoming truthful with myself and how I feel and what was really going on for me, my life changed in a positive direction!
I feel it is important to find out how I truly feel about things, then I have something real to work with.
I have been ‘out of body’/’not present’/disassociated* (in order to avoid painful feelings) and told myself a lot of ‘stories’ over my life in order to avoid feeling how I really feel. The questions found in ‘Self Reflective Parenting -Part 1′ click here to take you to link,
- Do I want to change? be honest
- Do I want to love as God loves? If not why not?
I have found useful in helping me to see things I have been resistive** to feeling or even intellectually seeing. With some honest self reflection, the deeper the better, I often find out things about myself that previously I did not see.
Example: For a long time I had a whole ‘façade’*** view of parenting which I spouted out about, with comments about how amazing children are and parenting is. How great my mum and dad had been to me. What an awesome childhood I had. How ‘natural’ motherhood was, how amazing being pregnant was. Along with peoples’ perceptions of me: ‘You’ll make such a great mum Eloisa’, ‘you’ll be so fun’, ‘I wish I was your child…’etc. Wow did I want to believe them because inside I felt completely different.
I had a lot of feelings that felt terrible inside of me, that I actually was aware of but didn’t say when people said these things, like: ‘You have no idea what I am like on the inside”, ‘I feel so terrified of harming people and I am afraid of harming a baby’, ‘I feel helpless when a child cries and will do anything to try and make them okay’, ‘I feel totally inadequate and unprepared to be a parent. ’‘How am I going to cope’. ‘what if it doesn’t come naturally?’ ‘how am I going to protect a child?’, ‘What if a child dies?’ What if I do it wrong? ’What if…’, ‘What if…’, ‘What if…?’ I often felt ‘I need my mum’.
I had so many fears and terrors which ruled me when I was honest with myself, but I skipped over them, didn’t mention them, pushed them aside, minimized them and if I did ever say them allowed others dismissed them quickly and I felt that maybe I was just being ‘silly’. No-one else seemed as worried and terrified as I was so what was my problem?
When I got real with myself and admitted how I really felt it felt pretty confronting & yucky:
- I wanted children so that I feel loved, I want them to love me.
- I want to control them and boss them and make them ‘perfect’ so my mum and dad will think how wonderful I am
- I haven’t felt I’ve been very good at anything in my life, like my siblings, so maybe I can be a good mum (though inside I already felt terrible and like this would never be. My mum has feelings SHE is the ‘best mum in all the world’ and that had been drummed into me – so how could I ever be better than the ‘best’ I didn’t have a chance. I thought ‘maybe I could be okay and at least get her approval.’
- I felt totally abandoned and like I was nothing when our babies were born as everyone gave the children attention and demanded love from the baby and I no longer felt I mattered. I had gotten so much attention for just being pregnant and it was lovely for one who felt so terrible about herself – an addiction.
- I didn’t find motherhood ‘natural’, I didn’t feel like I was natural at nurturing and I didn’t trust my own feelings, I wanted my mother’s/women’s approval something chronic. I did what I thought mum/women would approve of. This was terrible for both the babies and myself because I went against my own feelings and I harmed our children emotionally in the process doing things I didn’t feel were right but which got me approval from mum, mother in law, step – mum and dad to a certain degree.
What I feel and wish I had done, wish I had known about in caring for a tiny child, is to let them cry but don’t punish them, they are expressing the sadness and grief and unhealed emotions, anger, shame all sorts that their parents are suppressing & denying and the general environment around them is suppressing. I encourage you to Love children as God loves**** and feel your own pain for yourself, by yourself & with God in a self responsible manner*****. Your pain is your pain & your responsibility, not your child’s responsibility. I wanted someone else to feel my pain for me. So it fell on our children to do so through my demand and lack of ethics & lack of personal responsibility.
If I had not been so self absorbed and I had wanted to Love for real, I could have felt my own stuff rather than avoiding it and forcing it onto the children and my environment. I was in denial, projecting – gushing – my emotions outwards at the world and everyone in it. I didn’t want to know myself and I wanted others to take away my pain or feel it for me. I can see now, this is very damaging to children, partner, and those around me.
I suggest to feel about how you feel when your child/ren is distressed, angry, scared, just feeling or being emotional. Instead of trying to ‘calm them down’, pacify them with food or entertainment (which will create addictions in the end), Allow them to feel how they feel. Allow yourself to feel how you feel, allow yourself to really feel the feelings you have about what is going on and have the courage to feel what the emotional causes are without blaming the children or others.
When you are owning and feeling your emotions and they are the real thing you truly feel in that moment, that is the time that you are doing the least amount of damage to children and other souls. I noticed when I hit on the true emotion our children would stop acting up/out, stop demanding etc and completely change from ‘out of control’ while I was in denial or ‘out of body’, to quietly and contentedly playing when I was owning my emotions. It was incredible to experience.
Children are such a gift******. When we understand what is really going on, you understand just what an amazing gift they really are, because you can see ‘oh, here I am refusing to feel how I feel again’, Or ‘something is going on for me or my partner or both of us because our children are reflecting back to us disharmony of some kind. Lets find out what that is’. You have an immediate feedback system that is obvious and undeniable.
After a time when I had realized some of my own individual issues and the children were less influenced when I was on my own, I noticed that whenever Pete and I would be together things ‘ramped up’ or got more intense. We realized over some time that when Pete and I were together there was a lot of feelings we were in denial about between each other and because we were not willing to feel them the children reflected them to us, where as when we were on our own the dynamic was different.
I encourage you to stop blame children, see that anything that is happening in your life is an opportunity for YOU to learn about love. Anything that is going on for the children in your life is as an opportunity for YOU to learn something about yourself and refine yourself in Love from God’s perspective.
Contrary to popular belief ‘being strong’ is actually a place where you are self responsibly 100% emotional.
If I had my time again I would hope I would let the children express their emotions freely, particularly if they are fed, changed and have had their physical needs taken care of. I would take the time to just sit nearby, so they know I am near and work out what was going on for me, allow myself to feel my distress, my helplessness, the overwhelming feelings that are exposed and grow the passionate desire to feel all the things I felt as I felt them. Having children is an opportunity to learn so many things, including humility and how to truly love as God loves us. This takes us growing a passionate desire to love, and to know what is really going on from God’s perspective rather than our own, consistency, personal honesty, humility, taking action in a positive direction and faith in the process God has perfectly designed. All these qualities you can develop if you so desire.
Self reflection questions to let yourself feel about: Parenting and children
Be honest with yourself about how you really feel and why you had children.
Everything you are suppressing will be reflected to you by children & the environment, children are perfect reflectors
- How do I truly feel about being a parent? (all aspects)
- How do I truly feel about children? (all aspects)
- In regards to the Law of attraction, children’s behaviour etc, ask:
- What is my part in this?
- Am I being impacted by this behaviour? If I am then there is something for me to look at and to heal from Love’s perspective
- How did God intend parenting/child rearing and childhood and children to be? (check out the FAQ’s of Jesus and Mary) I don’t know this myself for certain yet, so can’t speak from experience, but you can find out from the following sources
- Divine Truth Website: divinetruth.com
- Divine Truth FAQ’s:
- Divine Truth YouTube Channel
- Often we allow kids to get away with a lot more than we would let ourselves or other adults get away with behaving in the same way ( look at why & your beliefs around this) . OR We often treat children much more harshly than we do ourselves or other adults or a combination of both or different subjects.
- Example: We think it’s totally okay to assault children when we’d never do that to an adult. Smacking a child, hitting them, aggressively and angrily yelling at them etc and we justify it as ‘discipline’. This is far out of harmony with God’s love and how God treats us. Violence towards anyone is violence and it is unkind, hurtful and comes from a desire in yourself to harm others rather than feel your own pain.
I suggest feeling your own pain as it comes up and as you feel it. When we put things off they just get bigger and worse. God made us to feel and we are perfectly equipped to do so. We may not have the confidence or desire in ourselves and if this is the case we need to grow the aspiration to do so if we are really going to love.
*’Out of Body’: I label it this because this is what it feels like. It feels like your body is walking around doing things and you am not there, not present, not feeling or really aware of what is really happening around you. It feels like I have vacated and ‘gone’, or watching a ‘movie’ of your life rather than living and participating in it. Sometimes I couldn’t remember how I got to places, I had total blanks where I just was not there.. That is what it feels for those around you also. They can’t feel you anymore and they are not sure where you are. For children this is very unsettling and scary because they can’t feel you. I had experiences where the children would cling to other women’s legs when I was out of body because they couldn’t feel me anymore.
** Resistive: this is a feeling of resistance to what is going on. It feels exactly like that, pushing against something. It is a refusal to feel something and can be an angry feeling, a fear based feeling but generally has some anger to it because it is a refusal to feel. Sometimes emotional resistance is so strong it feels solid. It is immovable. It feels like: – imagine arms crossed, feet planted ‘I’m not going to and you can’t make me’ feeling. There is no surrender or softening in that place, no room to find out new things or feel the things that are there in the first place. When someone is resistive there is not much you can really do until they get out of that place.
*** Façade: something we make up for ourselves and or others to present to them because we feel that what we really feel or think or what is truly is underneath is not good enough or we fear sharing our real self, real feelings, real thoughts etc. It is like the façade on a building, it looks pretty but you get in behind it and it is totally different to what is being presented.
****(you’ll need to do some personal research on this)
*****you might need to research how to do this too- I recommend God’s Way as taught by Jesus & Mary, information can be found on their website as the only way that creates real, permanent Loving change
****** Children are always a gift and it does trouble me that we treat them so badly. I still have grief and guilt that I choose to sin rather than deal with my emotional pain personally and responsibly. Though children are perfect reflectors and can help us see so much about ourselves, it is not their responsibility to do this. IF we really loved we would be dealing with issues before others were affected by them, or if we didn’t recognize this we would definitely be doing so as soon as they were reflected to us. What I notice is that there is a tendency to ‘put things off’ and this goes often for parents who justify, minimize, dismiss, ignore or blame the child for the way they are feeling rather than just allowing themselves to be honest and feel what they feel.