Do you know what the greatest gift a child can receive from their parents?
It’s their parent’s own happiness.
That’s one of the heaviest but motivational quotes that I’ve taken from Gabor Maté.
If you’re not familiar with his work, he’s an expert on addiction, stress and childhood development.
He explains that a child takes everything personally. So if they see that their parent/caregiver is happy they think “I must be really great!”.
On the flipside, if they see an unhappy parent, they think “I’m not good enough”.
The most important thing for children’s development is the quality of the relationship with their caregiver.
And you need to be healthy to have healthy relationships.
This is of course complex, but also simple when you look at it from a high level.
I feel this deeply. I remember how stressed my little toddler used to be when I was struggling with my physical and emotional health. I felt so guilty about it.
Because I was so exhausted… I didn’t have energy to engage in play and fun activities.
Because I was so overwhelmed myself…I didn’t have the capacity to hold space for his emotional needs in ways that he needed.
Because I was so frazzled…I didn’t have the capacity to get outside and play much. Leaving the house seemed like a monumental task.
But a few years later, after spending years healing my postpartum depletion, I now have the energy, mind clarity and capacity to do things that my kids love!
During the school holidays, I took a moment to really take in the fact that I had the energy to pull my kids down to the local toboggan hill and spend an afternoon sliding with them!
I’m grateful for the giggles and grins we all got to experience and share that afternoon! And I’m so deeply grateful for the capacity that I now have to show up as the mom I want to be for them!
What would having more calm and energy change for you as a mom?
I’d love to hear from you on what that would mean for your life. Send me a message through my contact form below.
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