The transition to motherhood is exciting, but it is also confusing and isolating. Whether it’s your first time or third time giving birth, the feelings are the same. Use nature to help return to your balance and sense of knowing yourself.
As soon as I step in the woods I feel calm settle inside of me. I don’t worry when I walk into the woods because I know that the same rhythm I find every time will be here. Noticing the small Evergreen trees buried under the snow I’m reminded that even in the coldest of times, I too can stand tall like a tree, the cold will pass and I will grow again. As the seasons change from Winter to Spring to Summer to Fall, I am fascinated how that mirrors our lives as moms. Moms go through these changes within themselves and then also watch and guide their children through them. Because of my time spent in nature, I don’t always lose my cool when my 10 year old comes home from school crying or pissed off. I listen, I hug, I know that this is a season for her. She won’t always be in this space.
Nature provides me the wisdom of an elder. Earth has been raising animals and plants for centuries and I find solace in that knowledge. I keep my parenting simple, like the Earth. I know that I am just here as a guide for my kids, not as a controller or master manipulator. They are a gift to this planet, just as I am and so I take the pressure off of myself to be a perfect mom and I just let go. Like Nature, I just let go. Who knows better than the Earth on how to grow things into magical beings?
In the woods, I let my kids run ahead on the trail. I tell them; “scream wild and free- you’re outside,” and they do. They whoop, try to whistle and run about. We notice the smell of pine trees, the deer tracks or poop and we hear the birds. We feel connected to the Earth in these moments and know we aren’t alone. That’s a connection all humans need and want; to feel part of, to feel accepted. Nature accepts us all! It wants to connect with you, to show you all it has to offer. I know my children feel that when they are outside, the ability to be exactly who they are in the moment. I’m not telling them to “take your hands off the walls,” “don’t talk with your mouth full,” “please sit up correctly in your chair.” No, when we are outside, we are free.
After my second daughter was born I really struggled with heavy emotions. And I think a bit of undiagnosed postpartum anxiety. I worried that something would happen to her, that she would stop breathing or fall into the pool and drown. I didn’t leave her, really at all. My husband wanted to travel without the kids, but I didn’t. It lasted about 2 years; this constant worry, this tight arm grip onto any shred of control I thought I had to keep her safe. I think I’m just now moving through it, entering a new season of my life.