By not fighting this newness of life and instead embracing that new life, consciously and wholeheartedly, we will save ourselves and our children unnecessary struggle and angst and heartache. It all begins by communicating with our old selves that it’s time to move on…
A new, breastfeeding mother stands in front of her bathroom mirror and holds a cold cloth against her cracked nipples. In the mirror she sees a different body than she used to see. This body with engorged breasts and a scattering of stretch marks is unfamiliar, but bears the signs of bringing new life into the world. The new mother may sigh over the loss of her pre-pregnancy body, but over time as she accepts these badges of motherhood, her heart grows beyond a narrow view of beauty to embrace the many forms of lovely femininity.
A young father nervously embarks on a trip to a foreign country to meet his son for the first time. The adoption process has been long and expensive, the emotional toll heavy. He moves aside as a man close to his age breezes by the economy seats on the plane on his way to first-class with his big-ticket suit perfectly pressed and the rich aroma of his cologne trailing behind him like a fawning lackey. The new father glances down at his jeans and slightly wrinkled button-up and grimaces, but as he sinks into his narrow coach seat, he pulls out a picture of his long-awaited son and smiles tenderly, his heart unconsciously broadening the meaning of success to include this arduous, rewarding pilgrimage into fatherhood.
Parenting is a journey that tries and tests us to the deepest, untapped parts of our souls. Embarking on parenthood with the understanding that life as we know it is over, that we will never be the same, and that that is exactly why it is so extraordinary and exhausting and powerful and perplexing and thrilling and terrifying and breathtaking and bewildering helps to prepare us for the remarkable journey ahead as we let go of who we were to become who we are meant to be.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~[From Whispers Through Time by L.R.Knost. Two Thousand Kisses a Day and The Gentle Parent: Positive, Practical, Effective Discipline also available.]
L.R.Knost is a best-selling parenting and children’s book author and founder and director of Little Hearts/Gentle Parenting Resources, an online resource for gentle parenting education, articles, and research. Books by L.R.Knost include Two Thousand Kisses a Day: Gentle Parenting Through the Ages and Stages and Whispers Through Time: Communication Through the Ages and Stages of Childhood, the first two books in the Little Hearts Handbook gentle parenting series, as well as her children’s picture books Petey’s Listening Ears and the soon-to-be-released Grumpykins series available from Amazon and other major retailers.