Intuitive parenting: Now, you ask yourself what does INTUITIVE parenting mean? Most would even consider those two words to be linked. Predominantly, people are parenting from a parent centered focus. I did not plan on being a parent that was child centered, an intuitive parent, or used attachment parenting. Yet, the road has had many twists and turns that my son, Sparrow, has guided me to this style of parenting. What I have learned is that being a momma is all about the relationship. The dialogue, the inner knowing, following my intuition and gut. This all started with listening after years of ignoring my intuition. I did listen to my inner knowing in regard to others, but once I started listening full time, it changed the entire course of my life. This momma journey has redirected my ship to guiding me to my true north node. I have always been an intuitive person, and when I was a young child, I was highly tuned in. What I know now is that all of us were highly connected to our source and our own knowing when we were young, and often this got lost as we grew up and away from it. My commitment is to assist parents in honoring that inner knowing.
The journey to becoming a momma is complex, and I'm working on a book about that journey. Currently, I have a show, SparrowLand, about this story of us and finding home in mommahood, my art, and my intuition. Sparrow feels like a soul mate who initiated this new rite of passage which was that inner knowing and whisper that started pounding likes waves on the shore. I could not ignore it any longer.
Intuition: following our true north node, our gut, that inner whisper. When have you listened or not listened to your intuition or your knowing? I know when I ignored it, turned my back on the knowing, or brushed it off because I did not like the answer. Then the repercussion was being mad at myself and kicking myself in the butt for not listening. Also, the shame spiral was activated, creating greater distance from that knowing part we all possess.
The years of not listening caused anxiety, running, work alcoholism, and all of the isms started to rear their ugly head. I was a woman seeing clients, producing a solo one woman show, and driving around like a madwoman. I was in full blown work alcoholism, being praised in my field for this ability to do so much. My hands were literally calloused from driving the LA traffic. I was at every event, dinner, and conference and available 24-7 to my clients. I was superwoman.
My intention was never to be a single mom because I did not want to repeat family patterns of growing up with a single mom. Though, at 40 years old, I was in a position where I had not secured a partnership that was stable or progressed far enough to have a baby. The curse of being a therapist and artist was that I had both the romantic fantasy of love and realism of clinical assessment, knowing too much. However, love and matters of the heart often are not logical. I was in a place after three long-term relationships that did not lead to marriage for all the right reasons. I started dating, doing a rapid fired psychological assessment to see if potential partners were right for having a baby. Interrogating about addiction, mental health, medical, and attachment styles sent any potential partner running for the hills. The first date was often sabotaged with bulldozing into questioning of any potential addiction history: food, substances, sex, gambling, and the list goes on. I had one date comment, “Are you are doing an assessment right now?” I thought I was being sly or casual about it, but I was far from casual in any part of my life.
My first long-term relationship was with an undiagnosed BPD and active sex addict who was a beautiful and talented artist. I was 19 years old, and I found someone that fit in my family of origin story-line. I was in therapy, self paying, when my brother was diagnosed with AIDS in high school, reading CoDependent No More and Stephen Levine’s books on Death & Dying. I was not a typical teen, yet, in my first long-term relationship, I was mature beyond my years. In the romance department, I was still a 19 year old girl obsessed with love and went in for the love merger.
My second relationship was with a woman. My storyline is that I fell in love with the person, not the gender. This woman and I were soulmates in many ways, yet my family history of addiction and my fear of repeating that pattern made her use of substances too triggering for me as a newly sober woman. I had one year sober when we started dating, and we reinforced the stereotype of the lesbian bringing a Uhaul on the first date. We started dating on February 11th, and in April, we moved to Portland from San Francisco. We had a complicated, yet beautiful relationship. My mother and her both were diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer at the exact same time. There were dramatic parallels between my mother and this love, with beautiful similarities in their spiritual depth and active addictions. Both loved me dearly, yet the addiction and being on different pages with that led us down different paths. That would be my version of a much longer story for another time. Yet, she was still the woman that cut the cord of my son, Sparrow, at his birth. We are forever connected, and I finally have her in the family category versus the romantic department. She is now married and is truly happy in this partnership which makes my heart happy.
The third relationship basically was with a fellow Aries who was pure or had a peter pan complex of being the eternal kid. We had a magical intensity and big love, yet his ambivalence triggered my abandonment or our reciprocal wounding described In the book, Drama of the Gifted Child, by Alice Miller. I thought I broke dating the folks with addiction issues, but during our relationship, he decided to get sober and joined AA, fully committed. Instead of this reassuring me, I was freaked that I was going down the path of dating another person active in their addiction. What came first was my projections, his fear of commitment, my unresolved abandonment issues, or our reciprocal wounding. The bottom line was that it did not work, yet in this relationship, his ambivalence about having a baby forced me to face my ambivalence head on.
In essence, I started listening. Basically, I always had keen, highly tuned intuition, but I did not know how to navigate this gift. As a child, I was tuned in and psychic, having the premonition of my brother’s death. I adored my brother who was more of a father. I was angry at the universe and flipped the switch, turning it off. Convinced that if I could not prevent tragedy, then I would turn my back on it!
Fast forward, the Peter Pan Aries romance ended, and at this turning point, I was edging closer to 40 years old. I fled at once to Kauai, my favorite place, to do a rebirthing retreat. Secretly, despite my lack of modeling of marriage or love working, and tremendous losses including my grandmother’s murder, brother’s death, mother’s passing, my ex’s mom who was a second mom to me, my creative mentor passing unexpectedly, piled up like dominos all linked up and interconnected and came tumbling down. I fell to my knees listening. I started painting and fell in love with it. This all propelled to surrendering and listening to that small, quiet voice! I did want marriage and children. I was scared with my first romantic partner concerning his sex addiction and my fear of infidelity, and with the second one, afraid of our different paths with substances; then, the Peter Pan’s ambivalence gave me my clarity. This man’s inability to decide or his ambivalence was a beautiful thing, in retrospect, that put me face to face with this tiny whisper deep inside me that secretly and boldly wanted to be a mother. The irony is that I had mothered the world: first mothering my own mother, then mothering my romantic partners, clients, and the world.
As a psychotherapist that has chosen to have a baby as a single woman with Sperm donor 14091 relinquished, I listened to my woman's intuition or inner knowing. The book, Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell conveys that we know in a one or two second blink our truth.
I followed the road less travelled honoring this desire to have a baby. I was gonna freeze eggs on layaway, and then the road took to having a baby now. This is part one of a story to be continued: finding our intuition.