Posts In: motherhood

Toddlerland

May 21, 2018

The landscape within me changed. The geography around me shifted. I at once knew this path and my feet were at home. Yet I was also lost.

I looked at the deep lines on my belly, were they directions? Were my expanded hips and breasts there to point me in the right way as I navigated this wild territory?

New mama.

I did not know at the time, how to travel, with child, through my house, to the store. Let alone, the world. Getting in the car required at least three trips to and from door.

Two years and now my son and I can walk together. The path is not easier.

I am. We are. I am more at ease with the wild of this. Better at stumbling and even falling.

Falling.

My two year old likes to fall down and giggle. fall down and whine. fall down and crawl under the couch to get the balls that he repeatedly rolls under there😂 We fall together, and there is so much to see when we are that low to the round.
I don’t always rush to get up, dust off, and pull me and him and us “together”, not now.

Falling is landing, sometimes. An offering of perspective from a truly humble and grounded space.

Many of my fallings in mamahood have been just that. Necessary “slow downs”, pull backs, full stops. Essential opportunities to really really see who I am, now. Where I am, now. What matters, now.

To be sure, there’s something radiant, powerful, freeing about rising, expansion, speed, getting there fast. There’s comfort and esteem in seeming “together.”
There’s also something so honest, so real, so deep, rich, and profound in the sometimes unreasonable, seemingly detoured space of toddler land where things go to fall apart. 😂

That’s were I am at today and apparently for at least the next year, at least.

Who else is in toddlerland with me? How y’all doing?

There’s a lot of overcoming and triumph in this single picture here.
Within it, my answer to this question:
“What would you do if you knew you would not fail?”

It was 10 years ago that this question stopped me in my tracks, and slowly, deliberately began to change my course.

My heart began to whisper in a steady rhythm- “not this, not this, not this, not this.” If not this, then what?

I was only halfway loving.
Halfway loving my life. myself. and so that amounted to only quarter loving him or anyone else.

I was afraid of loving my whole self, including the pieces and flaws. and so I kept myself fragmented. split between a job that did not fuel me and my true path. living in my head, over thinking everything and decision, vs. feeling into my body, listening from my heart, and trusting that I deserved my own love. that I deserved a life I loved.

If not this, then what?

Love.

Love. full on, no holding back, free, honest, strong, soft, transforming, radical, ride all the out for… love.

It’s a practice. loving myself- whole. and opening to the depth of love around me.

What about you? What would you do if you knew you would not fail or be turned away?

you don’t have to do it all at once. just start. moment by moment. choice by choice. the only real way to fail is to never begin.

Motherhood both reveals superpowers that I didn’t know I had as well as soft and tender places that I hadn’t felt in to.

Watching folk come for Cardi B and her pregnancy announcement gave me pause and I have to say I rarely comment on whatever “pop” culture is, but listen, I am here for Cardio B y’all! AND I rebuke the narrative that becoming a mama inherently stunts “career” growth. Does it change the way one navigates? Yes. Do I feel like it somehow shrank my options and opportunities? Nah.

Some notes:
✔️An external eye can’t gauge the internal growth that mamahood demands OR predict what else giving birth will open a person up to giving birth to.

✔️My personal experience is that becoming a mama raised the stakes in a way that unleashed a kind of efficiency, creativity, and radical “take no bullshit” that nothing in my life had. So I rocked with it.

✔️My boundary game leveled up after the birth of my son. Ways I used to leak energy or allow it to be drained have been plugged up by the beautiful and challenging fullness of #momlife because I literally ain’t got the time for that extra.

✔️I’ve gotten more clear on what I want to do. Because of that I make moves and ask for guidance that honor and support my direction.

✔️Motherhood revealed inner, familial, and other resources that I wasn’t aware of. I’m much better at gathering support and asking for what I need when I need it.

Radical growth, deep creativity, resourcefulness, fierceness, and self-advocacy are some of the {super} powers that mother hood amplified and unleashed in me.

What superpower(s) has becoming a mama revealed to you?

Deep in my marrow, I knew it would change everything. It had to.

I labored 2.5 days. Traversed through physical, emotional, spiritual issues I thought I had moved through 1000 times before. I burned sage and I prayed. I played Outkast and I danced. I made offerings and I cried. I called on my Ancestors and I listened. I crawled up to the helm of God’s dress and I pulled and pulled until an opening was revealed.

Through the opening and beyond, this mama walked across water and blood to go get my baby. (I passed so many mamas who have been and will be- along the way.)

Reaching down into the river of both time and myself to touch Oyetunde for the first time, I reached down to catch all of the dreams, fears, doubts, and longings I’d never whispered to anyone before.

He was born just before dawn, and though my labor was an epic quest and rite, in the final stage I did not push. I did not need to.

The work had been done. I got quiet enough so I could hear the breath and pulse of God. I followed that sound toward my baby’s heart. In tune, I breathed the fullest breathes of my life until we both made it to the other side.

My mind was full, and not crowded. My body had ripened soft, yet not been swallowed whole in the consuming process of giving birth.

My heart was cracked open, but not broken.

I had done the hardest thing I had ever done.

Today, my son turns two years old.

Because of him and the power, freedom, and healing of his birth, I know anything is possible.

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