The ‘con­sciously con­scious’ mother

Shan­thini Naidoo

Sunday Times - - Pulse -

Our chil­dren are a con­nec­tion to an an­cient part of our souls, some­one learned once told me. Which is why I some­times won­der if part of par­ent­ing is a “take two” for our adult selves. An op­por­tu­nity for our suc­cesses to be mag­ni­fied through them, to fix our mis­takes while creat­ing a bet­ter ex­pe­ri­ence for them — and our an­cient souls. Mother­ing two lit­tle girls, and be­ing aware of the fe­male ex­pe­ri­ence as a ma­ture woman (she who I at­tempt to be), con­scious par­ent­ing is my ideal. Now, that isn’t say­ing the ideal is achieved ev­ery day. It is not. Some days are about doors be­ing slammed and tantrums and melt­downs, and that’s just me.

But the best you can do is the best you can do. For my girls, a proper at­tempt at this life means my help­ing them be con­scious of them­selves first.

Let’s start with phys­i­cal and men­tal health. Then, be con­scious about our be­hav­iour and ac­tions to­wards other peo­ple, the earth, an­i­mals and what­ever or who­ever passes through your en­vi­ron­ment.

We will try to do this with­out pleas­ing ev­ery­one all the time, be­cause that pleases no­body.

So to par­ent well is to con­sciously try to have the best time in this life­time, and give you the tools to have the best time.

While you are in my care, we will try to see more, do more and live more. That fed my soul when I worked it out, and I hope it will fill yours. In fact, I know it does, I have seen it when your eyes light up when you see some­thing won­drous and new, be it a la­dy­bug or a view from a hill­top.

Hav­ing a con­scious con­nec­tion to our child­hood souls also means try­ing to bring what I worked out in hind­sight into your fore­sight.

Sim­ple things, like how your body is never go­ing to be as amaz­ing as it is right now, so wear the bikini even if you’re shy.

How to be con­scious that even as young girls we can be bitches to other lit­tle girls, when we are just try­ing to fit in and be part of the group. There are six-, 60-and 80year-olds who do the same, and that is sad, so let’s try to stop that right now. Be con­scious that the group is not al­ways where you need to be.

How to be con­sciously con­fi­dent? While I might not have fully fig­ured that one out yet, I am def­i­nitely con­scious of how to build it up in you, be­cause I now know who tried to break it down in me, and how.

Be con­scious that faulted adults can make mis­takes by pro­ject­ing their in­se­cu­ri­ties onto you. As a mother, I try to be aware of when I am do­ing it.

Adults can say silly things — of­ten about your ap­pear­ance, your lovely long toes and your beau­ti­ful frizzy hair — which can stay with you. But for as long as I can, I will block that shit out of your path.

And let’s try to be woke, se­verely con­scious about what is right and wrong in the world. That I can help you with be­cause, if noth­ing else, I know my virtue and val­ues.

I want you to learn to be es­pe­cially con­scious when a spe­cial some­one is mess­ing you around and when they are rever­ing you, which can some­times click a lit­tle late. If I am con­scious of it, I will help you see it and ap­pre­ci­ate it.

But my goal is that you be­come aware by your­selves. I will try, con­sciously.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.