To My Dear Self,
Seven years into unschooling parenthood, I have realised that probably the most important love letter I can send on Valentines Day is one to my very own self.
So, here goes. Let me count the ways…
- I love how I am rediscovering my own identity after years of having intentionally put myself to the side in order to meet the needs of my babies and then young children. More and more I can feel myself coming to share the fore, exploring myself and my passions and interests, and making them a priority.
- I love my body, in all it’s glory. It has experienced two pregnancies, two births, the physical toll of carrying, breastfeeding, and co-sleeping, plus all of the physical work involved in day to day family life with young children. Having shared it for a long time it is starting to feel like my own again and I love it without condition from top to toe.
- I love my mind and the thinking work I have done over the past 7 years and continue to do. First thinking about my pregnancies and births, making informed choices for myself and my babies, informing myself as fully and critically as possible. Then thinking critically about parenthood and childhood, really thinking about my children, spending time with them, observing them and their needs, working out how to best support them in navigating this world. I love myself for having prioritised that process, and for continuing to do so.
- I love that I am committed to being true to myself, and to not giving in to societal norms when the are in conflict with my ethics, and the best interests and wellbeing of myself and my family. I love myself for toughing it out, going against the grain when necessary, and for living with the greatest integrity and authenticity that I can.
- I love that I have tried, that I have made mistakes, and that I have sought to acknowledge and reflect on those mistakes in order to develop and grow. That I have practiced self-forgiveness and self-love, and endeavour to model that for my children so that they feel free to love themselves as fully as possible too. I love that I have compromised and changed my mind when that has been the right thing to do.
- I love the personal boundaries that I am working towards. That I feel worthy to be mindful of my experiences, to say no, to stop doing things that don’t work for me and to protect myself when necessary. I love that I am taking responsibility for my own life and experiences, and acknowledging my needs and limits.
- And finally, I love that, despite everything, my commitment, courage and passion to do the work in this life that I need to do, is stronger than ever.
Happy Valentine’s Day. xxxx