For me personally, becoming a parent as been a tremendously challenging journey. There have been circumstantial difficulties along the way; two years of intense sleep deprivation, financial stresses, ill health, troubled family relations, shifting friendships, deaths of loved ones… yet the hardest things have been more inherent within myself. In part because of my tricky upbringing but also because of whom I am in nature. I don’t find it easy to bumble along, breezy and care-free with life. I’m the kind of person that likes to dig below, to enquire, who’s mind doesn’t stop pondering. My leaning is akin to free-diving. I feel a pull to explore the depths, in stillness, in silence, in immensity. I’ve been doing it for as long as I can remember. Some days I just need a t-shirt saying – ‘Can’t chat now. I’m going down.’
Sometimes being like this can be a pain. Sometimes I fantasise about a more happy-go-lightly self, bobbing about buoyantly on the surface, but trying to change would be like trying to herd salmon the wrong way up stream. It would be impossible. So I’ve learned to accept, over the years, my inquisitive-to-the-core kinda of soul for I wholly love the riches I uncover in my wanderings.
It’s literally taken years of seeds buzzing around my mind, to feel brave enough to put thought to paper about my revelations and discoveries as a parent. The only answer I have unearthed so far is in response to, for me, a hugely fundamental question: How can I encourage us to be as emotionally sustainable as a family as we can be? I have realised, after years of intently focusing on my kids, that by primarily focusing on my needs I am far better equipped to meet theirs. But it has taken over half a decade to arrive at this!
Here are some of my early unravelling and coming into being… I hope some may resonate.