Menopause: A time to mother inward
Mother’s Day has passed but mothering certainly hasn’t. It’s a day that stirs up many thoughts and feelings. This post shares the significance of the word mother and how its emphasis changes during the menopause transition.
On Mother’s Day many of us reflect a little more about the word mother and its meaning, possibly influenced by where we are in our own life.
Perhaps the word mother immediately calls to mind thoughts about your own mother, grandmother, women who have stepped in and mothered you.
Perhaps its stirs feelings of being un-mothered leaving you with hurt and a sense of abandonment, mourning for the mother you wanted.
Perhaps it arouses deep emotion about being a mother yourself. Motherhood has so many demands, joys and societal expectations, leaving many mothers doubtful and self-critical.
Perhaps it evokes a deep sense of gratitude for the gift of being able to give life and nurture that life into adulthood.
Perhaps it stirs sadness for the loss of your mother. Her warmth, her reassurance, her pride in you. Now the only way in to “feel” her is through fond memories which you sometimes fear are fading.
Perhaps it continues to anchor a grief so deep for the baby you lost through miscarriage, illness, accident that never goes away. It’s still raw but you manage somehow to wear your brave face to the world whilst experiencing your own private pain.
Perhaps you mourn the child you never had, visited by waves of resentment and confusion.
Perhaps it reminds you how you’ve chosen to mother the community and the planet to a better place.
Perhaps you feel fortunate that you made the conscious choice not to be a biological mother.
Just in a few short paragraphs we see how powerful and evocative the word mother is. It has an energy and a memory. Although we can’t always name it, the word mother carries the archetypal energy of compassion, carer, protector, nurturer, wisdom, giver of love and affection just to name a few.
I give thanks for the privilege of being a mum and watching my sons step further into their adult lives. Knowing it’s the most profound, creative and sacred experience I will ever have. Beyond that, I as many other women feel that it’s time now to mother oneself. The word mother takes on a different energy as we transition menopause. Against the backdrop of loving their family many women begin to recognise that they are tired of the mundane mothering duties, of holding the nest and being keeper of all things great and small for those they love.
Mother Nature recognises that you have served above and beyond and that it’s time now to mother you. It’s time to mother INWARD. Mother Nature reminds us of this as she speaks through our biology, heart and spirit. Our symptoms of hot flushes, mood swings, fatigue, irregular cycles, anxiety and brain fog demand that we take care and nurture ourselves through our menopause transition. After all, if your child showed such symptoms you would mother him/her back to health.
Mother Nature’s wisdom message is so simple:
- Take time to delight in the glorious company of yourself
- Mother yourself the way you wanted to be mothered whilst growing up
So be the “good enough” mother to yourself as best you can, when you can and wherever you can.
HER simple yet profound wisdom is not indulgent, but essential during menopause. It is the soul-medicine for your healthy “labour” and miraculous “birth” to live your second adulthood. A second adulthood that is one of renewal and transformation.
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See you soon,