Babymoon

Six precious weeks of dreamy days and drift-y nights, of pleasant surreality and an enchantment I don’t want to wear off. Six exhausting weeks where, in this eclipse of “normal life”, hours often float in tender slow motion between the mugs of hot chocolate.

Six chaotic weeks of adjusting to a new pace of life – or rather, a pace I danced before (but rather differently – I didn’t also have another child’s needs to meet then). A pace where Leaving The House is an epic (and sometimes abandoned!) mission. Where, once out, the usual timescales of How Long Our Errands Will Take are totally unpredictable. It’s an enriching challenge to my routine-loving personality that most of my days (and nights) are currently quite unpredictable.

Six precious weeks of being in the constant company of my baby. There’s something magical about a newborn: some kind of holiness surrounding them, a spell they spin over the room they’re in. I think that’s why people so want to visit, to touch them, to hold them. I feel it a sacred honour to be in physical contact with this boy most of the time, under his innocent spell. Even if I do whinge about my back ache, and worry about being enough for him and his brother.

I’ve been held, in these blink-and-you-miss-’em weeks, by the beautiful love I’m surrounded by. Mama friends have gifted cake, soup and help with my eldest son. My own mother amazingly gifted us two weeks where she stayed with us, helping out. Other friends have gifted reassurance on the harder days. All these things have enabled me to focus on my family; on our transition and on the welcoming of our newest member.

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There seem to be various practices centering around the six weeks postpartum period. From Ecuadorian closing the bones ceremonies to  traditional “confinements”. From Ayurvedic massage and dietary practices to contemporary six-week check-ups with the doctor. Of course, nothing suddenly changed on the day that my son completed six weeks in the world. He didn’t suddenly snap into a routine. I didn’t suddenly “get” the new dance required of me.

I certainly didn’t start drinking less hot chocolate.

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full moon: Mother moon

IMG_1214It’s a bit of of a tough spot here in Mama-land. Fewer blogposts written, incompletion of projects, a shortened fuse, an increased number of text messages between my mother and I…these are the symptoms of an Attack of The Night Owl Toddler and the resulting reduced physical and mental energy. Of course said toddler, by day, is still as energetic, super-curious, adventurous, strong-willed and rarely still for more than two seconds. This is who he is  – this is how many toddlers are to my understanding – and I adore him for it. In my heart, I wouldn’t want him any other way.

Yet it is intense, particularly as I am within a few feet of him for all the hours of six and a half days per week. My opinion, backed by that of many, is that we weren’t meant to raise children in such isolated units; we’re designed to have a family community or tribe around us to dilute the intensity of these growing little people who are developing at what can only be an intense rate for them too. I’m grateful that technology enables me to access my mother’s support and wisdom, despite the miles between us. I’m grateful for the online and physical communities of like-minded parents who share their support and wisdom with me, for the books and magazines that also guide my journey and, of course, for the wonderfully supportive and hands-on other half of this parent team: my husband.

Yet, as well as the support that the mama hands and mama brain need, the mama soul needs feeding and replenishing too. Many write about how creative pursuits can provide such nourishment; Lucy Pearce in particular has explained this need well to me. I also turn to the moon, especially the full moon; the mother phase. On most full moon nights since learning that I was pregnant, I’ve stood outside, bathing for a few minutes in the silvery white glow. On these nights I admire her mystical beauty and connect with the mother energy in her and in myself. Often, these nights have found me making a plea for her wisdom and guidance, or feeling the coolness of her light cool my current parenting frustrations. I observe the strength of her wholeness and draw down that strength to help replenish my own.

So many other mothers exist and have existed under this same moon. Millions of us.  In connecting with Mother Moon, I hope to draw down their pooled wisdom as well as offer my own ( for there are odd days when I do find a way, crack a problem or learn a technique). At the very least, I draw down the fact that they survived; as far as I know, no-one has died of simply having a toddler! I hold an image of myself on a rocky, twisty-turny path, Mother Moon lighting my way as I carve it out, Dylan beside me. Like with the text messages from my mum, I let myself feel mothered a little, That warm feeling of being loved and nurtured replenishes my own heart and soul to mother with more love, empathy, patience and compassion. Patience with both him and with myself, for we’re both learning new roles here. In the moon’s light, I give myself permission to forgive those times when I’ve not been the parent I want to be: the parent I believe Dylan needs. Once again, I drink in the bright moonlight through every pore of my skin to fuel that goal.

And to that shining, milky sphere who, to me, resembles the mother, who corresponds to the times in our lives when we are birthing and mothering – be that a child, a business, a project, a garden or whatever – I usually shed a few tears, and always give thanks, ♥

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painting on altar by Wendy Andrews
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