I took her to school today in just her pants, because she refused to get dressed.
She also refused to leave the house. We told her we would leave without her and pretended to leave. When I opened the door again seconds expecting her to be horrified at the thought of being left alone, and ready to go to school, she was sat on the bed with her arms folded defiantly still telling me she did not want to go to school.
She is four years old.
Wilful and strong since the day she arrived on this earth when she screamed non-stop for six weeks until a beautiful friend sound-healed and soothed her soul.
(Sound healing is an incredible thing. She was born into the wrong vibrations, born of the wrong vibrations, probably even made from the wrong vibrations. Fear, anger, fury even as well as hopelessness all swirling in her wombwater and making her who she is. Imprinting her character. And then the sound healer came one afternoon and afterwards she slept and slept and then we played her binaural beats delta wave youtube videos to carry on uplifting her frequencies and soothe her soul. No, nursery rhymes didn’t work. Nothing did. Until this. Sound healing literally helped to heal her soul and change her frequency and energetic connections. )
And it’s so hard because everyone has an opinion on how your ‘spirited’ child should be parented. My own opinion has changed on a very frequent basis depending on the level of my frustration.
I have parented in anger, because it’s sometimes hard not to be when you see an obviously smart child who very definitely understands not to climb on the kitchen worktops, jump in the pool by herself, walk around the side of the house where we can’t see her, and that she must go to school and that kicking, scratching and biting is unkind.
And I have shouted and raged she has cried and then I cry too because I feel I have let her down. And then she says sorry and throws her arms around me and covers me in kisses and I cry even more then because sometimes I feel she is parenting me and teaching me what I need to know, rather than the other way around.
And it’s exhausting. But then being a parent is in all its forms.
They say she should be disciplined, that she ‘has to learn’.
That she is just naughty.
They say I’m too soft, that she needs a firmer hand.
That her behaviour is typical of the second child.
All ways, to categorise and define.
Maybe what she needs is not definition or categorisation or labelling at all
but a deeper understanding.
Over the past year or so I’ve come to a peaceful and positive place in my parenting
I am receiving the knowledge that she is a crystal child, born to lead and heal. For that she is going to need deep, deep strength. She is going to need courage in a world too quick to criticise and judge and label. She is going to need to be able to stand defiant in her own intellect, spirit, strength and energy when the world tells her No.
And labelling her in this way
As naughty, or needing stronger parenting, harder discipline
What will that teach her? Only fear, distrust, maybe even deep sadness and a sense of not belonging; perhaps to channel her energies in directions far more destructive than she has now.
And what about us, the parents?
We seem to be also the ones receiving judgement. That there is something wrong with how we parent because children are a reflection of their parents.
There have been so many times when these comments have made me doubt in my own parenting. Did I breastfeed for too long? Was it because we co-slept? Does her sister get more attention? Was attachment parenting wrong?
We wonder where we went wrong somehow.
But here is what my daughter has taught me. Children are born with their own identity and we exist simply to channel and direct that energy and identity in the only way we know how.
What we do as parents could never be wrong as long as we are showing consistent love and consideration. And these children are not ‘wrong’. They have nothing ‘wrong’ with them.
And when she throws her arms around me or spends hours absorbed in play with her sister or wants to help with the baking and like today – after I took her to school and stayed with her for thirty minutes before she felt it was ok for me to leave – when she drew me a picture of us together with big happy smiling faces before I left – they are the most beautifully ‘spirited’ children that we are blessed enough to share our lives with.
They are multifaceted. And I love every part of her. And to not love those bits of her that are ‘difficult’ despite me sat down with tears about to stream down my face as I write this because sometimes it IS so so hard to know what is best for her, and how to support her, is the only way in which I *COULD* ever be letting her down.
They are children. They need us, even when they appear not to. And at times when I have raged and shouted and she has burst into tears and looked at me with total fear in her eyes I have been reminded that these children need us.
They need us to stay calm. To stay present. To continue to positively parent, to maintain their healthy diets and watch out for triggers, they need extra love and attention and attachment NOT detachment, and they need reinforcement of their absolutely incredibly POSITIVE and wonderful and magical traits they possess.
And for the parents out there who are struggling or who ever have struggled with this; I feel you, mama. I feel your despair and I feel your sadness and I feel above all your gigantic heart for your child.
Keep loving, Mama. Keep loving and stay strong even when you think you are broken. Keep hoping even when you see your child playing alone and when you receive the teacher comments and when you receive the judgement from others who have no idea what this is like.
Because those beautiful hugs
Those beautiful smiles
Those beautiful drawings
They tell you that this is actually all worth it.
They tell you that this is love, in all its many forms.
They tell you that they are here to teach us too, and that is ok, because they are strong just like we are.
They tell you that this is childhood and children are never meant to be easy or perfect or even ‘good’
Good is just a label placed upon a child who can live up to societally-defined norms and conventions
We have children who are outside of the box. Who are brave, bold, fierce, clever, strong.
And the world needs more humans like that. In fact… maybe they ARE who they are because, actually, they are fragments indeed of us, like refracting rainbows…
(Rainbow kids) because of course – aren’t WE like this!? Isn’t that why you are here, after all?
You the strong, the independent, the free-spirited, the free-willed? We are servants of course, but servants to the calling of our soul! to God, to the universe in which we exist – passionate defenders, the wild and the untamed…
And so of course really sometimes I’m in despair at how to handle her when really what I’m saying is actually I’m in awe!
And maybe actually… when I look at them simply refusing to blindly accept the hand that they’ve been giving and instead insisting on receive what they desire… maybe what we see is a miniature and much more powerful reflection of ourselves!!!
Haven’t you always been called stubborn? Wilful? Maybe a bit wild or too much to handle!!!!
That’s not ‘something wrong!!!’ that’s an incredible GIFT.
and I for one will stand up and celebrate her, the wild untamed one, no matter how hard it gets, because what the world needs is not more rule followers, obedient 9-5ers-
But more CONNECTED humans who will stand up to injustice, fight against what they believe in, who will defy cruelty and judgement because they are so in tune with the beat of their own soul, SO attuned to who they are and their core purpose.
Perhaps they will grow to be great and courageous leaders. Perhaps they will just be leaders in their own lives. Perhaps they will live beautifully alone, happy in their own company, absorbed in nature or their artistry.
Perhaps we needn’t fear what the future holds for these bright babies, because they already have a future carved out for them and did long before they were born, these warrior spirits
(because we forget in our fears around not having the good, compliant kids but instead having the ones who fight almost to the death that warriors are formed of the same spirit).
And now we need to be warriors for them.
Questing for what they need; deeper support and understanding-
But above all – for deeper support and understanding from those they need it most from.
Stay strong, warrior Mama. Because of course
These rainbows are that beautiful reflection of your own wild spirit.
PS read on to find out about my meltdown when she was a tiny baby…
all images via Isabel Sacher Photography
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You see… some of the things standing in my way to a better relationship with my daughter were my misperceptions of how parenting should look and feel. I also didn’t feel I had enough of the things I needed when she was a baby…
I actually had a meltdown in a cupboard whilst expressing breastmilk at a wedding I was photographing because I didn’t feel I had enough time with her…
or enough money to provide for her…
I had blocked myself from receiving what I desired in so many ways.
Beliefs in how a mother should work and hold it all together
Beliefs in how a woman should be a superwoman who has it all (you absolutely can have it all.. but I believed I had to sacrifice my own well being to get it)
Beliefs in how I should parent
Beliefs in how much money it was possible for me to earn
The thing is
Our children receive what they need from us.
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