Sunday, August 11, 2013

RELEASE by Liz Abbene

From the moment you see that first positive pregnancy test, the release begins. Every moment, every joy, and every challenge of parenthood, from beginning to end--it's all about releasing and letting go.

Pregnancy begins, and seemingly in an instant, you begin to let go of your former life. Things that were once savored, like sushi and red wine, now are off-limits, and replaced with soda crackers and ginger ale. Naps are favored over late nights . As the months go by, you release your body to the incredible process--your belly grows, your breasts change, your skin and hair take on a life of their own (for the better or the worse)--and you release your body image to that of the amazing work of pregnancy. For some, this is process is awe-inspiring, for others it's frustrating. Either way, it's preparation for the next release:  birth.

The journey of birth begins with the last days of pregnancy and the final release of your current, pre-baby life.  (Our last newsletter touched on this wild time!
See: enlightenedmama.comThe entire labor and birth process is the most incredible release a woman will ever experience in her life. Everything about birth is out and down, which means every sensation, every sound, and every emotion is centered around letting go and succumbing to the power of the body.  The release that is felt when a baby exits the body is like none other. The exhilarating feeling is the culmination of months--maybe years, days, hours, hormones, stretching, opening, laughter, tears, highs, and lows. Regardless of how the baby emerges, be that vaginally or surgically, intervention-free or intervention-full, the process of birth is amazing preparation for the next release:  parenthood.

No matter how many books you read, how ready you think you are, or how long you've been pining over having a child, there is nothing that can truly prepare you for parenthood. Many people are the "best" parents before they have children, vowing that their children will never do this, eat that, or be allowed such-and-such. The reality is that having and raising happy children means releasing selfishness, rigid schedules, and preconceived notions. It means letting go of some of the hopes and dreams you have for your children and allowing them to aspire to their own. Parenthood is about acceptance of the process, despite your confusion and frustration as to why your child isn't sleeping for a specific number of hours in a row, wanting to play a particular sport, or has a certain medical condition. 
Releasing is not easy.  It takes time, practice, and dedication. However, the rewards can be great. You will find that there is sweetness in the toddler snuggling in your bed, the girl who favors stained Beatles t-shirts over her sister's hand-me-down skirts, the child who decides ballet is not for her (making for an abundance of tutus and dance shoes in the dress-up bin) and the boy who prefers to sleep (in a pink owl bed) with his little sisters versus being alone.  When you're able to let go of what you thought you children should be, you're able to love and accept them for who they are.  

Reprinted here with permission from and with gratitude for all Liz Abbene and the Enlightened Mama staff do for all of us!

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