Every once in a while, as you're mindlessly scrolling through your Facebook news feed, a photo shows up that does more than just make you smile- it makes you stop and think and sticks with you long after you turn off the screen.
This picture had that affect on me, and it's timing was simply perfect.
The beaming mother, adoring father and adorable new baby are all wonderful of course, but the process itself that got them there is beautiful as well . By beautiful, I don't mean easy or pain free or without serious effort. It doesn't even mean that it always seems natural or goes smoothly or exactly according to plans.
I do mean that something fabulous happens inside of that hard work~ to the person directly responsible, to the people who support her, and to those who are called to witness it.
As a Childbirth Educator for years, and former Breastfeeding Counselor and Doula, I've been surrounded by the process of birth for years, and because I've seen so much of it, I think I tend to see the magic and beauty in the process of birth more than most people.
Sure, many people think the the squishy baby you get after the work is done is cute (as long as they are cleaned up and free of goo) but the process of getting that baby into the world is often treated like a horrible and terrifying ordeal.
I wish people knew that it doesn't have to be that way.
In fact, it's a lot like the rest of life.
Every story may be different, but some things are consistent, and unfortunately, they are consistently forgotten. Here are just a few lessons birth can teach us about life.
1) There is an amazing well of strength inside of every woman, even if she doesn't know it.
I've seen it time and time again, and it never ceases to amaze me~ Mama's are freakin' amazing. Lately life has shown me that I too am stronger than I knew, even when the shizzle hits the fan.
2) Too often, we're afraid of pain, messes and not knowing what we're doing, so we give the control over to "experts" who "know better."
There's nothing wrong with having a team of people you can work with and trust~ It's as valuable in birth as it is in life. It's good to be open to help and unplanned situations too.
But if we're exchanging our power and voice for a numbed over and controlled experience, not because it's what we really wanted, but because we are afraid that's the only option... that's sad.
Asking questions, thinking, making informed decisions for ourselves and being flexible all work as well for conscious life planning as they do for birth planning.
Know you have options, and that it's even OK to freak out on occasion.
Beautiful events can be loud, messy and may even include cursing by people who might not normally speak publicly in such ways. Sometimes these things happen in the midst of big stuff, and it doesn't take away from the awesome.
3) There is magic in someone entirely new coming into the world.
Those who are blessed to open the door to the future should be aware of and celebrated for the amazing thing they're doing. I've seen babies inspire people to change for the better in ways that nothing else ever could.
Whether birthing ideas or books or people, they can all make a difference. They can chance the world.
4) You have to keep nurturing things if you want them grow in healthy and tangible ways.
With a baby, a dream or a creative project, it's not just getting them here that requires hard work. It's an ongoing endeavor. The good news is, that watching them grow and thrive and find their potential makes it all worthwhile.. It might not look or grow into exactly what you expected, but it's still something amazing.
5) Kids can be a helpful part of the process, and usually learn a lot from being involved.
Depending on everyone's personalities, temperament and age, they may not need to be there for every glorious moment, but excluding them entirely would also lose terrific opportunities for bonding and growing together.
My kids are awesome partners on my creative adventures and as they grow, I really value their opinions and advice.
Looking at this happy family, how can you be anything but in awe of the whole thing?
I don't plan on having any more human babies myself, but I have hatched some little idea seedlings that have been sprouting in my mind for months. I'm incubating new ventures~ like a series of online birth classes which are due to be born this fall, a book on travels with kids, and some funschooling and parenting workshops~ All of it celebrating the awesome and amazing journey of motherhood, and all of it leading to this new Zesty Mom blog and website here
Like anyone getting ready for birth, I'm a little bit nervous and lot excited.
And, like every new mom heading into new phases in life, I know there will be sleepless nights and long days, but I also know the effort is worth it.
How about you? Do you see any parallels in birth and life? What ideas are you hatching?
I hope you'll share in the comments below. If you liked this, be sure to Like Zesty Mom on Facebook and check back soon for newsletter sign ups.
I'm glad you can join me on this leg of my journey.
Who is Zesty Mom?
I'm an Artist, Writer, Funschooling Facilitator, Empowered Living Advocate, Wanna-be Organic Gardening Foodie, Travel Loving Life Explorer, Former Goat Herding Chicken Lady, and Full Time Mamacita Extraordinaire to a Couple of Cage Free Kids.
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