As a new mom, I have plenty of joys and fears. There is so much information around, so many contradictory opinions about bringing up your child. Everyone seems to have very strong opinions about what to do or not to do, what’s right or wrong. To vaccinate or not to vaccinate. To feed on demand or to feed on schedule. To attend every cry or to let your baby cry. To breastfeed or bottlefeed. The list is endless! And as a new mom, if you listen to every single opinion, it can be quite overwhelming. I guess all we can do is to listen to our own inner voice, as there is no right or wrong way of doing these things. I guess you just have to pick the method that suits you and mirrors your belief system.
When I was in school, we were told that we start to raise our children from the moment we are born. This didn’t make much sense when I was a little girl, but now it all makes sense. As parents, every experience in our lives – our values, how we treat ourselves and others – comes out of who we are, and it is this that is truly passed on to our children. It’s not so much what we tell them or even how we behave, but who we are that they learn from. What we don’t own in ourselves we project onto our children by telling them how to behave in ways we don’t do ourselves. That’s why I encourage myself to keep looking deep within and see which unhealthy unconscious patterns I hold so that I can become conscious of them and heal them. That way, they don’t need to play out in my parenting.
Before I conceived my little angel, my husband and I made the conscious decision that we wanted to have a child. As soon as we made that decision, I went through a very intense 2-year healing experience in which I had to strip myself of old family patterns, limiting beliefs and irrational fears. Before I started this journey, I hadn’t fully realized how fearful I was of being a mother. I consciously decided I didn’t want to pass on any unresolved emotional issues to my child, so I went through a very intense journey of looking within. It was painful at times, as I had to heal my relationship with my own mother and father. I had a very strong co-dependent relationship with my mom that was preventing me from fully being a woman. That little girl needed to grow up, as a girl cannot be a mother. I also had to heal the emotions that came from having an unsupportive and absent father. Because of my upbringing, I was afraid that I wouldn’t get the necessary financial support from my husband. If we were married and both of us had decided to have this child, our finances needed to come together. I didn’t want to feel like I was getting charity, as I was focusing my energy on raising our child. For me to voice this to him was one of the most empowering conversations we ever had. I was showing him my vulnerability, and in that moment I didn’t feel alone anymore. In that moment, I had changed my family pattern. I really knew that we were doing this together.
Before I got pregnant, I always thought that I would be creating this little one, but while I was pregnant, I realized that this being was creating itself. I was just the nurturing host. My job was to create a safe and harmonious environment for him to thrive in. I also learned that this child didn’t belong to me – he wasn’t my property. I was meant to protect, shelter and nurture him so that he could flourish and express his full potential. It’s not my job to teach him who he is, as he is the only one that can do that. Instead, my job is to teach him the ways of this world to the best of my ability.
The other thing I had to take into consideration was that my husband was also part of this process. I was holding the umbilical cord that brings in nourishment and helps the physical body of the baby to grow and develop, and my husband was holding an emotional and spiritual space for the baby and me. Because of this sacred space that he was creating, I didn’t have any cravings or emotional ups and downs. I felt held and safe. I see the man’s role in the whole process as a lot more important than people give it credit for being. Woman holds space for the development of matter, and Man holds space for and anchors spirit. Together in Sacred Union they create a new life.
After many years of working with clients, I was very aware of the effects of birth trauma (c-section, long labour, complications, etc.). When left unresolved, they can create feelings of guilt, inferiority or even worthlessness and difficulty conceiving.
I wanted to give my child the gift of an empowering birth experience. I realized that this was his birth and I was facilitating it for him. I wanted him to be in his power. We had planned a home birth. We did hypnobirthing to create the right mindset. We watched videos of natural water births. We healed our family wounds. We had a plan, and we were ready!
But things didn’t go as planned. We were two weeks late, and we had to go to hospital and have the birth induced. Even though this wasn’t “our plan”, we surrendered to it and still gave our son an empowering birth.
At this point, for me, it wasn’t about the scenario anymore but about my connection with my baby. It was about my commitment to facilitating his birthing experience in a loving and safe way.
We had a natural birth without pain relief medication, and it was wonderful to feel him entering this world. When he was placed on my chest, it was a magical moment. The three of us were family, linked forever.
Three months later, I experience motherhood as an act of service – giving myself unconditionally to the little one. My heart is open, and my soul is full of joy! I'm so grateful you've chosen me as your mom, and I'm committed to loving you!
Every night before we go to sleep, I whisper in my little one’s ears:
I’m grateful for your presence and the gifts that you bear.
It’s not my intention to break your spirit. I wish to help you embrace it.
I’m grateful to you for choosing me as your mother, your guide, your companion.
I’m grateful for the way your eyes look into mine, straight into my soul, allowing me to see who I am.
I wish to help you be strong in yourself, to be fully who you are so that you never have to apologise for being you.
It’s not my job to teach you to be who you are, but to create a safe environment so that you can shine in your own light.
Maria Jesus Marin Lopez is a Breakthrough Parenting teacher and therapist. She is passionate about helping people create empowered relationships. www.empowered-relationships.com