"If you treat a son as a son today, it is the biggest mistake you can commit. But if you treat your son today that by his own right and grace he is a man of tomorrow and affectionately facilitate his development, that's the best you can do."
~ Yogi Bhajan
My first born is a boy, well he is actually a man now. He arrived after a rather scary ambulance transfer and an emergency caesarean during which I was asleep. When I woke up and looked at the baby in the cot next to me my first thoughts were how much it looked like the pictures of my brother as a baby. It was this moment that I felt that first bond.
I found the transition to Mother a challenging one.
Breastfeeding did not come naturally to me and I was riddled with doubt at my ability to know what to do with this angelic creature who I loved with an almost aggressive nature.
This little human allowed me to find my wobbly feet as a mother and survived despite my panics, depression, fears and doubts.
Through it all and there was colic, allergies which began from trying to give him formula in desperation, there was little or no sleep...he remained a joy. He was a happy little boy. Strong and keen to move and explore.
That first year of Motherhood has been one of the
hardest years of my life.
I experienced every emotion. On the days that I have longed to have a "do over" of those years I have reminded myself of my late teacher Guru Dass's kind words reminding me that all was as it was meant to be. We can only truly influence the next breath we take.
As my son grew up he was sensitive. He was as happy to dance as he was to play trains. He copied me doing the house work and played with his little sister, sure he sometimes bashed her too, but he loved her.
You see boys are incredibly loving. Deeply sensitive and hugely effected by their Mothers emotions.
Without a doubt his colic was as a result of my stress. His inability to sleep as a result of me overstimulating him rather than being able to see that he needed quiet. He was my test dummy and he has continued to hold that position with both grace and humour.
My second son came after a daughter and two miscarriages. I was very ill at the beginning of the pregnancy and yet he stayed stable and strong. He arrived into this world after a planned caesarean and once attached to my breast barely left it for 6 months. I was an experienced mother by now and felt confident in what I was doing. As a result he was content. As long as he was full he was happy.
He like my other son was and still is hugely sensitive. He is deeply caring and compassionate. He is happy in who is he is as a young man. He once confidently went to school dressed up as a peacock because he has never been told there is anything wrong with expressing himself. He has as many girls for friends as boys.
I would like to say I don't parent my boys differently to my girls. But I am sure I do.
In my experience...
Boys don't hold the grudges girls do. They get angry and then they get over it. My darling daughters can continue scouring for hours, (I have no idea where they get it from).
Boys, I have found cannot lie. It is not easy for them to do especially to their Mother. Both my boys will smile if they try to lie. (Again the same cannot be said for my girls...)
My boys are hugely affected by my words and my emotions. They will come to my support and stand by my side. They both hug me, big proper hugs even as teenagers.
They also listen. They observe. They watch.
My youngest once told me after a particularly challenging period in my marriage that he would never marry if that was what having a wife looked like. I don't think I will ever recover from that. It was however a very important lesson that I needed in how I was demonstrating relationships to my children.
Boys want nothing more than to please their Mother.
You are everything to them, everything. Unless you let them down. The moments I have seen disappointment in the eyes of my sons have been some of the hardest moments of parenting that I have experienced.
As a mother I have said "sorry" a lot.
I apologise to my children when I get it wrong.
Which has happened a lot.
I have apologised to my eldest son for putting so much responsibility on him at an early age when his father was away. I have apologised for the stricter parenting he received... I have softened with age and subsequent children.
And I have told them both that they are deeply loved as they are. That I am proud of them. I encourage them to share their feelings. Share their needs and emotions.
I am deeply blessed to be sharing this parenting journey with my husband who is a wonderful role model for my sons. He is better at housework than me. He shows his emotions and is not afraid to let his children see him cry. He is strong, stable and steady.
We are not perfect parents by any stretch of the imagination but we are real. We know maintaining open communications is the best thing as a family. We know that we are parents not their best friends...that can come later.
I feel so blessed to be mothering these amazing boys.
And as they move further into adulthood I cannot wait to see my men of tomorrow walking their path of truth.
All love and Sat Nam ~ Sirgun
We invite Brisbane mothers to a very special workshop "Remembering the Miracle of Motherhood" with Sirgun and Sat Ravi on
Sunday October 28. To find out more visit our event info page here.