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My children have taught me many things, but most importantly, they have taught me how to love and be loved.
When I met their father, I was travelling overseas and running away from an unhealthy relationship with a married man. My parents had just separated and I figured I’d go with the flow. Our first beautiful child was born a year later. It was a surreal moment holding this beautiful baby in my arms and being her whole world for survival. There was a moment when I was changing her nappy when I realised that I was it, nobody would be coming to help me change her nappy, or help her to do anything; it would be me. Unfortunately her father wasn’t much help.
But with baby number 1, I made a lot of mistakes, I was really running on survival mode because quite simply, I had no idea what I was doing, no idea how to be a mother or even how to love this beautiful tiny thing. She taught me, with her adorableness and innocence to crack open my heart to being somebody’s somebody. She taught me how to love unconditionally and that I am human, I make mistakes, that my parents were probably just as out of their depth when I arrived and made a lot of mistakes with me, she taught me to forgive my parents, for being human, just as one day I hope that she, as a teenager, forgives me for being human.
Baby number two was such an easy baby and I built in confidence with the logistics of caring for a baby that I had learned from baby number 1. With this freeing up of logistics, I had more time to enjoy her gifts and talents that I didn’t get to enjoy with baby number one. Oh, if I could only go back in time. Maybe all new mothers feel this with their firstborns – completely out of depth and like you’re to somehow know how to do this parenting thing.
Hindsight is such a splendid thing.
Then when baby three arrived, I knew what I was doing, I knew what to expect and loving her was so easy. It’s not that I didn’t or don’t love the others, it is because the first two cracked my heart open so much open that by the time she arrived, I knew how to love, she didn’t have to teach me.
Her sisters had shown me the way to love. I also knew what I was doing.
With each baby, I have learned more and more to love and be loved. They have taught me the greatest lesson of all; that it is safe to love and be loved. Finally, I feel like I’m in a space where I can give and receive love from other people, friends, family, lovers and I have daughters one, two and three to thank for that and of course their father, who allowed me to be a mother in the first place.
©Alyssa Curtayne 2016
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