I will be the first to tell you, I’m not perfect. I make mistakes, but I do my best to do right by my kids. I have strengths, and I have weaknesses. My brain is not going to work in exactly the same way as ANY other mother’s and/or caretaker’s brain. Some people will agree with some of my parenting tactics, methods, decisions, and techniques—but no one will agree with them all. Sometimes MAMA BEAR comes out.
Parenting is not an easy task. It is not for the weak-hearted. It will test every thought, belief, and perspective that a person has. There are so many decisions to make from the second a baby is born…and EVERYONE has an opinion on the RIGHT way to do things. Mama Bear 101: There is no ONE RIGHT WAY! There are so many perspectives, but that is what they ALL are—perspectives of what is true for the person speaking. We don’t have to buy into ANYTHING that doesn’t feel right. Bring on Mama Bear!
I’m an understanding person. I get that people are going to parent different than I do. I have my own unique perspective and it is what works for MY family. When I want help, I’m not afraid to ask for it. I reach out to doctors, schools, therapists, healers, pastors, professionals, and people I trust. That being said, I trust other people are doing the same. They might not have the same support system I do. They might not have the same perspectives on what it means to be a good parent. I’m definitely not going to attack other parents who I know are trying their best to do the right thing even if it’s not how I would do it. My job is to protect and serve my kids the best I can. This is me in the MAMA BEAR calm.
So, when my parenting is attacked—I might have a reaction. If I’m centered and present (Mama Bear calm), I won’t take the event personally. I know it is just another person with another perspective different than mine. I might learn from their opinion, or I may just see it as a way that I don’t want to be. Either way, I won’t have an emotional reaction. Mama Bear is calm, strong, and can walk away tall knowing people can have different opinions.
Now, if I’m not centered or have been going back and forth about the right thing to do and finally made a choice that I felt was right and someone attacks—Well, the claws can get exposed and my defenses go up ready to fight back. In those moments, I act first and think later. Oh, and boy do I think later! I’m reacting to fear with fear. When Mama Bear emerges with her claws exposed: my stomach is tight, limbs tingling, and nerves standing on edge. This doesn’t feel good. It doesn’t feel safe, and I don’t trust the situation at all.
Has any other mom felt this way?
As centered and peaceful as I can be in the rest of my life, parenting is my greatest teacher in love and fear. Watching my reactions to other parents and opinions and judging myself and others based on parenting style and techniques shows me so much about who I am. My Mama Bear claws show me where I still have fear and distrust. My Mama Bear calm show me when I trust and respect my choices, my perspectives and myself as a parent.
I’m grateful for the lessons I’ve learned and my growth as person by becoming an active parent in my kids lives. I’m grateful for people’s different perspectives because they show me where I am in mine. I’m grateful to have my eyes and heart open to look into areas I question and be open to change perspectives that no longer work for me. I’m so grateful to my inner MAMA BEAR, because I learn so much from her claws and her calm.
With Love and Gratitude,
Rachael Wolff ©2018