Motherhood for me is deeply fulfilling and rewarding. My heart smiles in warm fuzzy bliss every night before bed when I reflect on the joyful day I had, playing with and raising my cosmic son. At times motherhood can also be challenging, pushing me to go deeper into my heart and mind, healing unconscious patterns and tapping into an endless spring of patience, love, and understanding. Being someone who has done a lot of inner work (breath work, meditation, raw foods, yoga, traveling, journaling, space clearing, emotional upgrades, dancing, power of now, decrees, conscious language, etc), I can attest to the fact that motherhood is one of the most powerful transformational tools available. Ram Dass states, “If you think you’re enlightened go spend a week with your family.” Our children are our biggest mirrors. They bring to our awareness anything inside of us which is less than light and love. Because their emotions are so raw and uncensored they bring up our own buried primitive emotions in a way nothing else can. If we are conscious about it we can transform our deeply buried pain into joy and wholeness. If we resist or unconsciously react we only strengthen our limited patterns. By being a parent we not only have the opportunity to re-parent ourselves, healing negative generational patterns and altering the course of our DNA for eternity, we also learn what truly matters in life. To love, explore, play, grow, laugh and have fun! Having fun is important. It keeps us inspired, alive, and beautiful.
17 1/2 month old David
For the last week or two I have been feeling challenged with my 18 month old son. I find myself annoyed at him frequently. I am resisting his behavior and focusing too much on what others think than looking within and upgrading my own attitude and viewpoint. At times like this, when I realize I am not having fun, I take a deep breath, connect with my core, and ask myself how I can enjoy this moment fully. Today I desire to share with you the answer to my question. The following three principles are what I use to help make motherhood as easy and fun as possible.
1. Eat, Sleep, and Be Merry! Motherhood is most challenging when our children are grumpy, sick, and fussy. Agreed? A large percentage of this behavior can be attributed to hunger, tiredness, and environmental toxins. By feeding your child a whole foods organic diet, helping him/her create healthy sleep habits, and eliminating as many pollutants from your life as possible, you will be surprised at how happy and healthy s/he can be. First, let’s talk about food. My son, David, has never been sick once in his 18 months of life (only a few runny/stuffy noses from teething) and I attribute a large part of this to his healthy pure diet, and the fact that I still breastfeed him, which gives him extra immunity support. There is a lot of information on nutrition today. It is not for me to suggest what is best for you and your child, however, there are a few basic principles everyone should apply if they desire truly healthy children. Avoiding sugary and processed food is a must. Eating a diet rich in organic or homegrown fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, lentils, soaked and fermented whole grains, herbs, and superfoods is highly beneficial. If you do choose to consume animal products it is vital to hunt for it yourself or purchase from organic farms you can trust. We purchase our veggies from Paul, one of our friends at the Mckinney Farmers Market who does not use any type of spray on his produce. We purchase our eggs from a Mennonite family who we know treats their animals well. Sadly, even organic produce is sprayed with “approved” pesticides and animals who are raised “organically” are not necessarily raised lovingly. It is important to make sure your child is well hydrated and eating regularly (hunger can mess with your child’s hormones and cause unwanted behavior). Offer him/her fresh spring water, fresh squeezed veggie juices, and herbal teas frequently. Sometimes a child’s moodiness or inability to sleep or concentrate is related to allergies. You can either avoid common foods which produce allergens (wheat, soy, dairy, eggs, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, and sulfites) or get your child tested for his/her specific allergies.
14 month old David enjoying raw superfood cookies made out of hemp seeds, coconut, lucuma, mesquite, and honey
The concentration of synthetic hormones, pesticides, heavy metals, and food additives in conventional food is truly outrageous! Children are particularly vulnerable to these toxins because their brains and bodies are still immature. Certain food additives reduce levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain, resulting in hyperactive behavior in sensitive children. Many parents have attributed autism to heavy metals which disrupt bodily function. I recently watched a documentary called Homo Toxicus, which talks about the affect chemicals have on our bodies. In the Arctic, where they consume large amounts of raw fish (contaminated with mercury) there is an epidemic of ear infections in babies and deafness among Inuit youth. So much so that teachers must wear microphones so their class can hear them. Aboriginal families living beside chemical factories in Sarnia, Ontario, are suffering from infertility, miscarriages and a dramatic decline in male offspring. Farmers exposed to atrazine, 2,4-D and dinoseb, which are common pesticides used on crops, show high risk of infertility. Sperm count is low among many and some are unable to produce male children. Male frogs and fish around these agricultural sites don’t fully develop into males. They behave as females and can even be impregnated to produce male offspring. Bisphenol A (BPA), found in plastics, is easily absorbed in our bodies, mimicking our hormones and causing thyroid irregularities (especially in pregnant women), neurological changes affecting memory and mood, and earlier onset of puberty. These plastics can be found in water bottles, liners of tin cans, plastic dental fillings, polycarbonate camera bodies, thermal receipts (such as those printed at the gas pump or ATM), plastic toys (another good reason David doesn’t play with toys unless he is around people who own them), etc. Our entire planet is contaminated with thousands of chemicals and toxins. There is no where we can go which is 100% pure and protected. The best we can do to ease this burden on our children is feed them healthy food and pure water and live in a clean and green way.
15 1/2 month old David picking and eating juniper berries
Consuming a healthy diet and reducing toxic exposure will go a long way in helping children enjoy deep restful sleep. It’s also important to create a peaceful daily rhythm, give them plenty of sun, fresh air, and exercise, and soothe, nurse, or read them to sleep so their dreams are peaceful and serene. Contrary to popular opinion, the “cry it out” method does not create healthy sleep habits. I know several people who have insomnia who were left to cry it out as children. I am not saying this is necessarily related, I am only saying that it obviously doesn’t create long lasting results. It is a heartless technique created by “logical” men and not by woman’s intuition.
Sleeping blissfully next to mama
2. Wide Open Spaces: Children need space and freedom to explore, to get dirty, to connect with mother earth, to touch, taste, hear, smell, see, and think without someone constantly over their shoulder telling them what they can and can’t do. A young child’s brain system structures concepts from his/her direct sensory interaction with material things and the workings of the world. Parents who keep their children in confined spaces and restricted from physically interacting with their environment stunt their growth and go against their natural instincts. This creates inner conflict in the child’s emotional body. On the one hand he/she desires to keep the bond with his/her parents and on the other hand he/she has a strong inner drive to find out what this world is about. I love this powerful quote from Magical Child, by Joseph Pearce, “The parents (of the magical child) do not subject the child to situations in which arbitrary boundaries block his/her biological thrust toward exploration. They do not take the eighteen-month-old into a public restaurant for a few leisurely hours, because they know that s/he cannot interact with such a world for long. They know that s/he has no logical machinery for grasping the subtleties of a blocked situation, that s/he has only intent driving him/her. They know that situations blocking intent produce anxiety, so they do not tempt him/her with situations offering frustration. They are responsible for their child, and they recognize that his/her physical setting is as vital as the quality of his/her food.”
13 1/2 month old David exploring our land
Recently we visited some of our friends for a fun community event. They own a lot of things which are off limits for David to touch. Instead of enjoying my friends I spent the whole time following David around, telling him not to touch this or that. Obviously he did not like this treatment and within an hour or two he was being fussy, restless, and defiant. Realizing David required some fresh air and freedom, we left their home and went to the nearest park. When we got out of our car and placed David on the grass barefoot, he looked around, smiled at us and started clapping! In essence he was thanking us for understanding what he truly needed. When I think of how important it is for children to explore their world in a very physical way, I relax about him eating unripe blueberries off our bushes, picking up dried horse poop on our walks, playing with bugs that could potentially sting or bite him, and pretending to clean our toilet with the toilet brush. Who cares?!! He is learning through experience and that is what matters most
We are very fortunate to live on 17 acres of land with a big fenced-in yard which is completely safe for David to freely roam around. Many days I lay on my hammock and watch him play with bugs, pick up rocks, quietly contemplate nature, and make up games using sticks, flower pots, and water. This is ideal. Second best would be having a small yard which you transform into an interesting forest garden play area. Third best would be to enjoy long daily visits to an awesome park.
15 1/2 month old David playing on our land, wild and free!
3. R.E.S.P.E.C.T: Respecting your child means viewing and treating him/her as a sovereign being, sent to this planet already equipped with a blueprint for how to fulfill his/her divine mission. It means using clear communication with him/her and allowing him/her to make as many of his/her own decisions as possible. Picture this… You have in your arms a beautiful newborn baby boy. He is absolutely perfect! Well, except for the fact that he wants to be held 24/7 and nurse all day and night. He also requests to be rocked to sleep for all his naps and before bed. He even prefers for you to sleep with him at night because he doesn’t sleep as well when you are not close to him. When he starts crawling he gets into everything, touching and putting anything he finds in his mouth. He doesn’t like you to dress him and actually prefers to be stark naked and diaper free. As he grows older he wants to be tossed in the air, twirled, pushed on the swing, and taken on walks one hundred times a day. He tells you no and hates being in the car seat. Instead of eating a good solid meal he snacks throughout the day. He is stubborn and desires to do everything himself, from putting his clothes on to helping you around the house. This makes getting things done take 10 times longer. He talks incessantly and asks a thousand questions a day. As he grows older all he desires to do is play, play, play. He hates going to school and asks you to read him a story for an hour before bed. When he becomes a teenager he becomes obsessed with playing his guitar and “hanging out” with his friends. He rebels against school and authority figures because he just cant understand how the things he is being taught will apply to his future.
How do you feel about your perfect child now? Is he still perfect or in need of serious discipline, shaping, and correcting? In western cultures, especially, the common thing to do with a child like this is to train him, show him who the authority figure is, ignore his desires, and teach him that life is full of disapointments and he can’t always get what he wants. They do this because they feel it is “best for him,” but in fact, every single thing I mentioned above, every behavior and desire this child had is vital to his optimal physical, emotional, and intellectual growth.
Am I still perfect Mommy?
Some advanced societies actually view their children as a type of deity. Jesus said, “Except you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). We as adults have in many ways forgotten our connection to life and the divine. Children can see through our lies and social niceties. They live life in a non-judgmental and joyful way, following their heart and intuition. We would be wise to allow our children to influence us more than we influence them. I have so much more I could write on this subject, but since this post is already super long, I will just say that good things come to us when we take into consideration our children’s feelings. For example, when my son was 11 months old he HATED being in his car seat and going on car rides. He would scream inconsolably most of the way to and from our destinations. I finally stopped resisting his behavior and took a deep look into what my son was experiencing. He had just taken his first steps 2 months earlier and was really perfecting his walking skills. With his new found freedom and range of motion, being strapped in the car seat was the last place he desired to be. Bryan and I decided to go on a 2 week car strike. We didn’t take him anywhere and allowed him free play inside our car every day. This was the very first time I went grocery shopping on my own! After our car strike we slowly started going places again. To our delight and surprise, he was calm and content in the car seat! Those two weeks saved us months of torture!
14 1/2 month old David calmly enjoying hackberries in his car seat
When it comes to raising children, a step back may be a step forward. Studies show holding your newborn all day and sleeping with him/her at night makes him/her more independent in the future. Allowing children to engage in rough and tumble play actually develops higher brain functions and the ability to handle strong emotions when older. And giving them more choices as a teenager enables them to be more confident and make better choices when they are adults. When we honor what our children ask from us, we not only make our life easier because we are not resisting or fighting against their will, we are also giving them what they truly need to become the intelligent, happy, and amazing people they are meant to be.
P.S. To learn more advanced parenting techniques click here for books and information on how to raise a super being.