I have chosen a list of five out of a potential super-heap and hope they resonate with you. My daughter, the bumble bee, and my hunky husband (handsome daddy to us) are my daily inspiration...
The Bumble Bee and Handsome Daddy
No. 1 Uber Love
The first thing that motherhood taught me was that the human spirit has the capacity for the most awe inspiring amount of LOVE.
My family has always been filled with an extraordinary amount of love... but becoming a mummy helped me to see that LOVE is number one when it comes to impacting a life.
Love is simply awesome. It is a safety net for the human soul.
Being a mummy has made me see that there can never be too much love. Watching the bumble bee grow spiritually strong and secure, as she KNOWS how much she is loved, has been phenomenal.
Feeling and sharing love is totally life enriching and it brings peace into your heart and soul as nothing else can.
LOVE: Feel it, Think it, Express it, Be it
No. 2 When You Think You Can't Go On...
...you find that, actually, you probably can.
Humans are properly amazing. When everything is hanging out all ugly, the shit has hit the fan and all the threads are coming loose... People find strength to push through and it is awesome to behold.
Although it is tough and can be 'down to the bone' raw, being a mother means being THERE... ALWAYS and FOREVER for this life that has sprung from you.
Motherhood especially teaches us that carrying on when you don't feel like you can is not only possible but necessary. Motherhood brings out the natural and awesome warrior-goddess that lays inside all women. Having a reason, to channel super-powers makes all the difference, and The Bumble Bee is MY difference.
Mothers SURVIVE the biggest tests, and there is good stuff to be found in the cracks in-between everyday life. Incredible life lessons literally spring out of these fractures.
MY Amazing Humans
No. 3 When you REALLY can't go on...
...and you come apart at the seams.
Being a mother brings a gazillion new tests into your life. No matter what, your life cannot stay as it was pre-child. YOU cannot stay the same.
Some things naturally drop away: Drinking tea on the beach in the moonlight (yeah, my husband and I regularly did that!); three hour nature hikes around the countryside (yeah, we did that too...).
Other, more complicated things may take years for your conscious mind to come to terms with..... layered with stress, fear, battles and drowned by a waterfall of tears...
But... one day your soul will break through the clutter, KNOWING something HAS TO CHANGE. Once you hear your soul telling you to change, you HAVE to react. The alternative is insanity.
AND THIS IS OK. It is OK to face the fact that some previously precious part of your life, or even an important part of who you thought you were, simply HAS TO GO. It is best to accept that it is MEANT TO BE.
The process of this will bring up a dark mess from deep inside you. I KNOW! However, if your authentic self stays strong and you give her space to 'do her thing', the mess will start to untangle, and bright chinks of light will soon shine through.
The BIG thing : YOU NOW GET TO CHOOSE what you plant in the garden of your life. Motherhood, and watching The Bumble Bee, has made me realise that life can, and should, be GOOD.
LIFE IS WHAT YOU MAKE IT. Create a life that suits WHO YOU ARE NOW.
Let go of The Past. Become Who You Want to Be.
No. 4 Hairy Legs (or Priorities)
Motherhood is all about priorities.
Example: My previous approach to personal grooming.
Pre-Bumble Bee, my body would always have been scrubbed, buffed, waxed, shaved, plucked, moisturised, smoothed, polished neatness... sporting a precisely selected and carefully accessorised outfit.
Now, remembering that body hair exists at all indicates a good day.... and mornings see me (all at the same time) cleaning my teeth, fixing my hair (clip hastily retrieved from child's doll), pulling on my last pair of clean undies... the ones that don't fit any more (and give me a third butt cheek) and wafting a make-up brush past my face. The 'stuff' I slap on my body these days is just as likely to be dog shampoo as the carefully selected lotions of before. And the outfits? Well, let's just say that some days my mum has a really good giggle...
Honestly though, I don't care. I would rather spend an extra 45 seconds doing ANYTHING with my family than wasting time attempting to look like Elle Macpherson, as lovely as she is.
I feel LIBERATED... on so many levels. Liberating any part of you on ANY level has GOT TO BE GOOD.
I like that motherhood has set so many of my priorities straight.
Further evidence: Losing sleep (A LOT), but gaining incredible sunrises together; NEVER having peaceful lie-ins with your partner, but instead sharing laughter with a crazy kid whose giggles and sunny face are more than compensation; Forgetting that you could ever read more than three sentences of a book without interruption, but being WANTED as part of a child's happy world; Having a home that gets trashed (often) so that it resembles Armageddon, but watching the most awe inspiring imaginations and free spirited souls take flight.
Liberate Yourself. Let 'Stuff' Go.
No. 5 New Experiences, Making Memories and Magic
Life as a parent is a whole new 'thing' in itself. Your personal history can be categorised: Pre-kid, and Post-kid. Becoming a parent is bizarrely like you have fallen asleep and woken up in someone else's life. It is far out.
CELEBRATE this new version of your life.
My 'new' life as a mum has overwhelmed me with magnificent experiences with my husband, my family, my friends.....
As a mother I have done things that I would never have dreamed of doing before... and I do them without question, out of LOVE. Many things take me crazily out of my comfort zone.
It is simple: The best type of mother wishes to conjure up a life that is not only bursting with love, security and warmth... but also one that is brimming with adventures, and magical tales of fairies, dragons, dinosaurs, unicorns....This is today's happiness and tomorrow's memories.
A life like this is filled with togetherness and a sprinkling of magic.
And that is The Key to the BEST life... that in turn creates the best memories: MAGIC.
Motherhood offers a unique chance to literally fill life up with magic, happiness and spiritual freedom... and this spills out all around...
Create a Life Filled With MAGIC and Awesome Adventures
My conclusion: Channelling uber-love, surviving splatterings of shit, falling apart in order to be whole, letting some bodily hair sprout and chiselling a magic wand is the way to go.
Come on over to my site: The Sass In My Soul, http://sassinmysoul.com, explore more of my stuff and share your own experiences and stories.
All photos supplied by Saskia Lee Stewart.