This week we are talking about Parenting in Golden Woman Centre.

What a huge and diverse topic to try and encapsulate in one blog and a quick chat tomorrow.

So I have decided to speak to you about what have been the most important aspects of parenting for me.

I think when I started out at the age of 22 with my first beautiful daughter I really knew very little about parenting and for better or worse I believe she and I grew up together. 

She was a premature baby and so needed a lot of care and help to feel secure, loved and not abandoned as she had spent nearly three weeks in the intensive care nursery after I had been hospitalised for six weeks prior to her birth.

I was lucky in intuitively knowing that giving her loads of love, setting gentle boundaries, and being there for her, was what would make her feel secure and settled and loved.  As a very young mother, it was hard as I had to feed her every three hours, it took an hour to feed her and then before we knew it we were back feeding again.

This is a common story for many women who have premature babies, but I will never forget how traumatic and exhausting it was. We went through an initiation together. It was really her and I that came through that big “Piece of Work”, where I had to surrender all else except her, and she had to learn to trust me, and the World around her. As parents, we are often doing a “Big Piece of Work” with our children and through the process, we really do have the opportunity to transform old ideas, negative beliefs and inherited patterns.  AND to surrender all of this and grow with our children.

My daughter and I did get through this time and at around six months she began to smile and be calm and happy.  She can still look incredibly vulnerable, even in her early forties and my heart will break inside as I see that small helpless baby so unsure and fearful of what was happening to her. And on the other hand, I often see a beautiful strong resilient and courageous woman who can manage the challenges that life throws her.

And so this is my advice.  All four of my children were and are incredibly different. 

  1. There is no one size or recipe that fits all. 
  2. Be present to their individual “needs”, be present to your needs. 
  3. Love them even when you want to disown them. 
  4. Remember that “this too will pass”, whenever you believe you can’t get through the next bit, it really does pass.  
  5. Never be complacent, always check it out, ask the questions, listen for the real story. 
  6. Praise them and support their ability to change and grow. 
  7. Love them fiercely.
  8. Expect the best!!! We don’t always get it, and yet sometimes there are such wonderful successes and brilliant joyous experiences with these beautiful people we bring into the world, and then there is also sorrow. 
  9. Look after your own “inner child” during the process, otherwise we can lead our children from our own four-year-old rather than from our wise and compassionate loving parent.

Being a parent is one of the most rewarding, joyous and difficult “Pieces of Work” that you will ever do.  Recently my youngest turned twenty- five, and for the first time ever he is happy with who he is and what he is doing and where he is going, (for the moment), phew! 

When I realised this I took a big sign of relief and felt happy and enjoyed this moment, just this moment. For then there will the next and then the next and so on.

Parenting is a wonderful way to do our “Work” here on Earth. For me, it has led me through the greatest highs and the greatest lows and sorrows. Nobody gets a free ride when they are a parent, its very transformational, and hugely rewarding when you get to the other side of the challenges.

Good luck and remember whatever we do our children may not agree but you will do the very best that you can with the tools and skills that you have.

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