Back to the middle….that is the theme at our house these days. In fact, it has been for the past year, ever since I got really sick, trying to be there for our daughter in ways that I never felt like my parents were for me. The inner battle I was fighting at that time almost killed me.
Since I’ve been healing, I have learned that living life in the middle, not at either extreme, is really the goal. I was parenting from a reactive, hurt, “no friggin way am I going to do it like that” way, and that was not helpful for any of us. Our naturopath Dr. Ann Lawrence (www.dragonflynaturopathy.com) was the first one to point it out to me when I had so many food sensitivities and she had the insight to know that it was more than physical with me, that it was actually quite emotional. I had learned so much from so many parenting books that changed my world, altered my perspective on parenting and gave me so many tools, so I remember being hurt when she said that to me, but a year later, I see how right she was. Actually, I knew she was right even then…I had read so much, I was so pleased with the parenting tools I had acquired, I saw how child-honoring they were and how useful they were for me and for our family, but while using those tools, I was in direct conflict with all the pain I had inside from my own childhood. It wasn’t until I started healing, that I could see how all the internal stuff inside was causing the conflict inside, the battle, because my outer parenting didn’t match the hurt inside. So I’ve been letting it go, slowly coming back to the middle. As a result, here are some of the things that we’ve changed:
- Robbin and I have given ourselves permission to be parents. We’re not operating from the same place of hurt and lack of control we were initially, we can see how Zara needs us to put boundaries in place, that she needs us to say no, that it is okay to say no, especially since we are getting closer to the middle, it is less of a loaded no, less of a “well, I’m saying no, but I really hope you don’t hate me because of it,” or “I hope you don’t think I’m rejecting you and pushing you away because I’ve said no.” Those are two things I always thought whenever I put myself first or said no to Zara.
- Now, I can clean the house and get Zara to help me or she can do something else while I clean. I realize that I don’t need to be there for her every second, that that can be detrimental for her, she wasn’t learning how to be alone, how to do something on her own initiative, I was always around her, I was always living just for her, instead of giving myself permission to do for me. It FEELS SOOOOO MUCH BETTER NOW!! There is so much more balance, we can clean up the plates after eating instead of rushing off to be with her, we can share the work around the house, we can stop, breathe and get grounded before doing anything else. We can lead Zara, we can say, “okay we’re going outside now,” instead of always giving her the choice, because then she was always saying no…there were a lot of control dynamics we’ve been moving through and shifting in our house.
- Now, we’re teaching Zara about taking turns and not interrupting each other, and waiting. It feels so much better this way, we’re finding the balance, we’re teaching her that Robbin and I are important too, we’re teaching her about how the world works, instead of letting her have her way all the time, when really it was never about her way, it was about Robbin and I not giving ourselves permission to be ourselves and be parents too. I think I was instrumental in creating this dynamic for our family because after Zara was born, all the repressed pain kept wanting to come up, and I thought I needed to parent from that perspective but since starting to heal, I see that it was just coming up to be released, so we could all be free from living through the pain.
The day after I came back from a healing with Jean at the end of January, where we had discussed how important it was for our family to come back to the middle, how Robbin and I could give ourselves permission to be us and parents and that it was okay to put some boundaries, to say no and to honor ourselves too, Robbin and I breathed deeply. We felt sooo much better. We say how well Zara responded to our shift in parenting, how it was so much more beneficial for her, how it was so much more natural, so much less confusing for her. Then my amazing friend Danya sent me the link below to a parenting article that was exactly about what Robbin and I were starting to do, coming back to a neutral place in parenting that we don’t often see. May this help you find some balance and middle ground in your home too:)