by Anne Malatt, Australia
I never thought I would be a “good” mother.
My role model for a mother was a “superwoman” – a woman who worked hard in a demanding job all day, who came home and cooked gourmet meals at night, who provided for us in every way, who did all the household chores and maintained a large and lovely garden, but who was exhausted and loveless for herself, and drank as a substitute for nurturing and celebrating herself. I did not think I could live up to this, and did not really want to!
Her relationship with my father was also not something I wanted for myself. My father also worked hard at work, but he came home at 5pm, as she did, and sat and “relaxed” (with a drink), while she worked at home. I did not think this was fair, but at the same time blamed her for their difficult relationship, as she was the one who started all the fighting.
I was not “good” at relationships, I was not a “good” partner, and I did not think I would be a “good” parent.
I had an unattainable ideal of what a man should be, which no human could ever live up to, and if by chance someone came close, I did not feel I deserved to be with him!
How could I develop a loving relationship in which to raise and nurture children? I had not yet developed a loving relationship with myself.
Despite all this, I have borne two lovely children. My relationship with their father disintegrated early on and I left him and raised them on my own when they were little. I worked hard at work and did all the household chores. I also drank as a substitute for nurturing and celebrating myself. It was the only way I knew how to stop, to take a moment to rest. The trouble with drinking as a way of resting is that it does not work. It is a sugar hit, which makes you feel racy and keeps you up past your natural bedtime. It numbs you, so you cannot feel what is there to be felt and dealt with. It takes you away from yourself, so you are not present with you or with those around you. It leaves you feeling empty, and in the morning, all the problems you were trying to escape from are still there, and magnified by the dull pain in your head!
All my intelligence, all my education, all my exploration of spirituality, of consciousness, of religion, did not prepare me for motherhood. I felt completely inadequate as a mother, and did not have a clue what to do. I had never nurtured and cared for myself, and had no idea how to truly care for another. I did my best for the kids and cared for their physical needs, but honestly, was not a good mother. When people complimented me on how lovely they were, I joked that it was because they were raised by other people (in day care)… but I was not joking.
When the children were small, I met Serge Benhayon. I shared with a friend of mine that I was really struggling, and she said she had heard there was a great healer in the area. In my first session with him, I felt how lovely it was to be treated gently, tenderly, with care and respect, by a man. I felt who I truly was, as a woman. The grandness of this was amazing, but also something that felt familiar, and completely natural. I felt a deep sense of stillness, of love, of coming home.
One would think that I would have done everything I could to hold that feeling, and to live in that energy. But I did not. I ran back to old habits of doing, of thinking, of drinking, run by old patterns that still held me. But I kept coming back to see Serge and bless him – he kept seeing me with never an ounce of judgement, only love. Each time I saw him I would return to myself and be given an opportunity to feel love, to be love.
This much love cannot be resisted forever! Eventually I learnt to make more loving choices, for myself and for my children. I learnt to go to bed earlier, to rest when I was tired, to listen to my body and to learn how to nurture it, with food, with drink, with rest and play. I learnt how to balance work and my home life. I learnt how to balance caring for myself and caring for my family.
I learnt that I am a woman first, and that motherhood is something that I do, but it is not who I am.
I may not have been a “good” mother, but I am becoming an amazing woman and from that loveliness, everything I do is great, including being a mother.