How ingrained is it, for women, for mothers, to feel a massive responsibility to the rest of society to make sure their kids aren’t an inconvenience for anyone else?
How much pressure is there every time we go out, every time we want to leave the sanctity of the home space and venture out around other humans?
I know as a first time mother, having a baby that was unsettled and cried loudly, meant that I felt I should stay at home, in isolation, because I felt and it was quite obvious to me, by the reactions of those around me, that my baby and I were not welcome in society, if she was going to be loud or uncontrollable IN ANY WAY…fast forward a few years to a free-spirited, strong-willed and highly energetic toddler and still I felt forced to spend so much time at home because I didn’t always have the energy to keep up with her, or police her every move, so that others weren’t feeling compromised in their own experiences.
Fast forward a few more years and even though my daughter is mature and learning her own ways to be unique whilst still fitting in, there are parents who want to judge her (and me) for hurting their kids feelings once, or twice, with no thought mind you, to how many times their child may have hurt my daughters feelings over the years and so still I am held responsible for my child’s actions.
This whole energetic became quite apparent the other night, as we were running our Mother & Daughter Sound Healing. For most of the girls it was a relatively new experience, so even though we made sure they were super comfy and could lie down for the allotted period of time, there was still a lot of shuffling and movement and other distracting kid noises coming from their side of the room during the sound.
Now, all of the mums had been to a sound healing before, they new the space and the experience they were looking for, hoping to drop into that journey of sound and meditation as they were carried along with the music…
Of course this didn’t happen with all of the distraction going on from the girls and almost every parent, once the sound healing was over, had felt some form of frustration
- That they didn’t get the experience they hoped for, for themselves
- That their children couldn’t stay still/quite for most of the allotted period of time
- And worry whether the noise of their children had impacted on other peoples experience in the space
It was very powerful for me, to witness these parents, including myself, go through frustration at not being able to verbally control their child’s behaviour, therefore having to put up with it and most times, finally surrender to what was happening, whilst still looking for the joyful experience in what was occurring, after finally letting go of what had been wished for…maybe after several attempts!
I don’t know about you, but for me this is the story of much of my parenting…frustration that I am not getting the experience my inner being and outer being are hoping for within my own life, worry that my child’s disobedience, noise, wildness, uniqueness, or general childlike behaviour is inconveniencing or ruining someone else’s experience as well and then feeling fully responsible for mine, my child’s and all of the others peoples feelings, as I try to find the best way to ‘manage’ any given situation for the well-being of all.
Now don’t get me wrong, I have totally been places where parents have let their children be distracting and noisy when it felt completely inappropriate and I have wished they would parent them better, yes there are places where we need to respect the space that is being created for others and if this had of been a general public sound healing than this behaviour would have been inappropriate, probably…
However I remember going to an event where a group of Indigenous Australians were doing the opening ceremony. They had small children as a part of the dance performance and these kids sometimes were not doing what everyone else was doing and yet no-one redirected them, no-one tried to control their behaviour, they were just allowed to be there, in it, experiencing it in their own way, without being forced to be responsible, or fit in…they didn’t get in trouble in any way for not following what everyone else was doing and it was beautiful and liberating to watch!
How often do we do this with our kids? How often do we just let them participate without trying to make them do it right?
I just know that as a parent, especially a single parent who has no-one else to tag team with, that as the mother and the father, I have missed out on so many things because I knew I couldn’t guarantee my child’s behaviour would suit the space and to save embarrassment, frustration and possible overwhelm, I just haven’t attended.
So now let me ask you this, how many of you have been to a sound healing, or meditation and the person next to you has fallen asleep and is snoring loudly? Did anyone have words to them about how inappropriate, distracting or rude it was to the other participants? Or did everyone need to just deal with it and take it as an opportunity to find the quiet and centred space within, even when the conditions weren’t ideal? It is interesting how we can hold children (and therefore mothers) up to a more strict code of conduct than we do other adults in our society…. why do you think we do this, I’d love to know?
So I want to take this opportunity to thank all of the mothers present at our sound healing for not only going through all of the emotions, but also sharing the experience they went through, whether it seemed good, or bad. I honour each of them for going through their own process of constant surrender and let go, as custodian of their children/s behaviour, it’s a big job, a constant job and a fine line to walk between allowing our children to grow up free, unique and in touch with their naturalness, whist making sure that they conform enough that we can actually mix with the rest of society when we desire to do so…
So to all of the mums out there, feeling the constant burden of responsibility, those who are walking the fine line between us/them and everyone else, I applaud your efforts every day, I get it, I feel it, I know it and I see you in the struggle. You are doing beautifully!
I will throw a little challenge out to you today though, and it is, why not, just once, as an experiment, the next time you are about to admonish, or re-direct, or feel the need to control a behaviour that your child is displaying in front of others, because you think it may not be appropriate, just stop yourself and observe what happens. Witness yourself letting go, witness your child in their flow, let it run its course and see where it leads, the chances are it won’t lead to anything near as bad as you fear and maybe, just maybe, you can take the pressure off yourself and stop doing the emotional and behavioural labour for yourself and your kids and perhaps within that new space you create, you can find more peace and ease in your every day life….
Loving you all so much
P.S. I will be running some juicy women’s events this year in the SHE Temple, so that we can all come together and discover new ways of self-nourishing and support as we traverse this crazy world together! Signup here to stay in the loop…