Mothering Ourselves

By: Nicki Reid, Bilingual BA

Disclaimer: For those of you who have experienced any kind of trauma or abuse at the proverbial, or in some cases, literal hands of your mother that has resulted in a fractured relationship between you, I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge you and your experiences, whatever they may be. However you have chosen to deal with your experience is valid and respected. Please know that you are not alone; you are loved and supported.

Mother’s Day is typically a day where a mother’s loved ones (e.g. their children, partner, relatives, etc.) celebrate mom by showering them with cards and gifts such as flowers, breakfast in bed, and if they are lucky, a day of relaxation with a break from their day-to-day tasks of caring for their family / home. However, this Mother’s Day, I want to present an alternative way of honouring this day.

Due to the complexities that come with being human, some people have complicated relationships with their mothers and as a result, this day can be triggering to them. Some of these relationships can be described by the term: mother wound. Psychology Today shares, “the best way to think of the mother wound is a loss or a lack of mothering. This is typically a deficit in the mother-daughter or mother-son relationships that is passed down through generations, and it is a reflection on how we have experienced parenting and how we parent.

My lived experiences compelled me to parent my children differently, even before I had them. I knew what I wanted to provide them with; an environment where they could be themselves, fully. A safe place for them to show up as they are and be seen, be heard, and feel like they belong. One where they didn’t feel like an annoyance or hindrance, but felt loved and wanted for who they were, NOT for their accomplishments or what they did or did not do. As Black children, this is paramount; especially coming from a Caribbean culture where children are to be seen and not heard. Expressing any grievance was considered rude and/or disrespectful because you were “talking back.”

I had a vision for what I wanted to provide for my children, but how could I possibly give them what I didn’t have? Who did I need to become in order to provide my children with the childhood I wanted them to have? What needed to be done in order for my desired outcome to become manifest? The good news, I could parent my children in the way that I desired by healing my inner child (the childhood stage at which the individual was wronged) through reparenting. The Holistic Psychologist describes reparenting as: the act of giving yourself what you didn’t receive as a child. TalkSpace further explains that “reparenting is going back to the stage in which the adult was wronged as a child, and satisfying or making peace with the inner child hidden inside. This is done by giving the satisfactory response and fulfilling the needs that were required at that time by self-counseling or therapy.”

In one of my meditation sessions, my meditation teacher shared a quote that profoundly impacted me when I heard it, “Hold yourself as a mother holds her beloved child”. — Buddha I thought about the times when I have held my babies; with so much love, adoration, admiration, warmth, and compassion. I stopped for a moment to hold myself — physically hug myself in the same way and basked in how GOOD it felt. I imagined a world where we all engaged in this level of care and wondered what this world would look, be, and feel like?

This Mother’s Day, I invite you to take some time to mother yourself. Give yourself the love, care, and compassion (and whatever else you need) that you deserve. Think about what that would look, feel, and sound like.

For me, sometimes, it looks like:

  • Being mindful of my thoughts and self-talk; not verbally beating myself up when I make a mistake. In those moments when I do err, I exercise self-compassion and forgive myself; because after all, I am only human.
  • Taking care of myself; body, mind, soul, and spirit. Doing the best I can to ensure that I am getting adequate sleep, nourishing my body with nutritious food, taking my supplements and hydrating with water, herbal teas, etc.
  • Enforcing and maintaining boundaries; they are imperative and play an important role in my self care plan. In the past, I have burned out because my default was to overwork, feel stressed out, anxious, and overwhelmed. I have learned that saying “yes” to everything means saying “no” to other things; such as spending precious time with my loved ones or even myself.

As someone who was conflicted and triggered by Mother’s Day, I have learned that I don’t have to be because I have the power to (re)create traditions to best honour me. If you feel like I did, I encourage you to do the same.

Be Well + Take Deep Care Mamas

Nicki Reid, Bilingual BA‍

Certified Transformational Coach | Certified Essential Oil Specialist | Certified ARōMATOUCH Practitioner | 200 YTT , Wholesome Mind Health Coaching