Finally it feels like Spring is really here! I am even sunburnt after spending the first real day in the garden after what feels like months.
I ordered some new books recently including Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions which I have seen referred to so many times. I am slowly trying to organise the house for our homeschooling. As usual when pregnant, the energy levels just aren’t there and I find myself getting frustrated with mess and grot. But I am really trying to prioritise things well this pregnancy and to not put energy into tasks that just require repeating over and over again, it is more sensible to just deal with the clutter and conserve energy.
I always find being pregnant a volatile time when we are truly at the mercy of our hormonal fluctuations yet as the years have passed and I have had several children I have learned to be far more patient with the process. I know what to expect, I’ve kind of relaxed into it. At four months I already look six months pregnant, it surprises me when I remind myself that I am now forty, it doesn’t feel uncomfortable to be carrying another child. It feels exciting and I am grateful.
I am really happy with my life. I am happy to be at home with the children, I am happy not to have a career. It has been a struggle to deal with going against the norm and societal expectations, a struggle as those expectations have played out in my own psychology and I have internalised the messages that this life at home is failure, a struggle recognising that I will resist all idea’s of perfection, domestic or career wise. I see these pressures as nooses we place around the necks of women. I am tired of it all. There is something within me that feels this home life and this birthing and raising of children to be so innate, we Muslims could call it fitra. And this is not to criticise women who choose otherwise but I know this is right for me.
And yet I refuse to do it within the standard patriarchal package with all the unrealistic and often brutal expectations. These are the things that have turned women away from homemaking. When I read pedagogical philosophies I recognise that part of the motivation I have for this role is a desire to nurture something hidden in myself, to mother myself as the mother. I am learning as I go along to give to myself what I hope to give to my children, this wholeness that is so lost in our modern age. This is not a war between men and women but we women have to have the courage to resist patriarchy in order to raise our sons and daughters in a new paradigm that creates wholeness for all. I think even men within patriarchy are only half men detached from their own selves. But I am suspicious of modern feminisms which rarely seem to me to cultivate wholeness.
I have been challenged over the years by things I would never have imagined being part of my life to the point where at times it felt like falling into someone else’s dream (or at times a nightmare) and yet I am more grateful for these experiences than not, I would not ask not to have had them because they have changed me so profoundly and they have helped develop the beginnings of something very settled within me, something strong but a strength that I carry that is gifted and not of my own doing. And I guess the strength is faith. What I do with it, how I act upon it always feels like a failure but if I pare it back to that original feeling, it is one of contentment and trust.
Today I have a couple of hours without children at home, the sun is shining, my beautiful friend made me some sage tea and this combination of her good company and sage – the chilled out tea has found the morning floating now into the most peaceful afternoon. I am feeling the first fluttering of kicks from this little boy or girl that I carry in my tummy and everything feels perfectly as it should be, nothing is out of place.
I think this is the challenge for the person of multiple worlds to find this peacefulness beyond the cerebral maze and clashing of identities. Homecoming is the point of exile and whilst I know I am not Home, I am tickled by the delight of it’s promise in the warm Spring breeze. Today I feel connected to Life, the life growing inside of me, the life in this beautiful creation.
I think I will go and buy a chicken and make bone broth and into the slow cooker I will put all this trust, this connecting with my own vulnerability that opens into such a beautiful ease. When our life moves into places of such unfamiliarity the temptation is to run to the norms and wear them like a coat of armour. But I am doing something different and today I can feel the sun on my skin. I can see my fears dancing like shadow puppets pulled by my own imagination, not quite ready to cut the string I let them dance but they are far away from me.
These hours are the nourishment that will enable me to nourish. As mothers we are conductors of energy, through our connecting to Source we connect our households. Today I am connected so I’m writing these words to remind myself during the times of distance and contraction. Everything passes, this will pass also. There will be days of tears and overwhelming. I am well rehearsed in exhaustion, I anticipate the last three months of pregnancy when in fullness I become a vessel capable of little more than incubating life, I anticipate the flooding emotion of post-partum, the rawness of body, soul and person laid bare and pushed to the limits. This is motherhood, this is the contemporary reality. I no longer fear it .
What blocks us from connecting to God/Reality/Universe? What idea’s, terms, theologies, psychologies have we turned into idols? How do we find what is natural within us without making it an identity of gender, race, religion?
My knowing is embodied not in words. The grounding earthing power of pregnancy, what a gift! Allahu akbar ( God is Great!)