Written by: Michelle Harris, Guest Writer
She was born in a typhoon, so I should have known then that my motherhood journey may not follow the ‘normal’ route. From the moment my daughter was conceived and during the pregnancy, I felt very in tune with her needs: it was as if she was guiding me on how to prepare her for her birth. I sought various alternative techniques including my own inner healing work, to provide her with the optimal experience and start in life.
However, since I was a first-time mum and “to be safe,” I was also encouraged by other mums to follow the experts’ parenting books, which advised to create early routines including set times for feeding, self-soothing, and so on. Armed with this knowledge, and driven by the collective need to be the best mum I could be, I felt ready and prepared to have “the perfect motherhood journey” from get-go.
However, things didn’t work as planned. Within the first 3 months of our new family life, I was more stressed and anxious to make sure I followed the protocols in the parenting books than being a mum itself! It was clear that something had to change.
We let go of the book and the ‘shoulds’ of newborn parenting and immediately, a huge weight lifted. We scheduled our own routine and found our own rhythm. My daughter didn’t want to be left alone to cry settle to sleep, she wanted a hug. She didn’t want to sleep alone in a cot, she wanted to sleep close to me. She also certainly didn’t want breastfeeding to stop after 6 months but actually went on for 2 years.
For both my daughter and myself, what we needed was something different and once we aligned to what that was, we flowed in greater harmony.
As the years have passed, my husband and I have always trusted our intuition along with practicality, in our parenting journey of our now 16-year-old daughter; one that also connects to higher consciousness to follow the best path for her and for ourselves as a family. Through many years’ experience and observations in my work with women and kids, this approach feels more appropriate and aligned to the needs of our new generations.
The ‘New’ Generations
Our traditional roles of motherhood and parenting until now have been appropriate for most. However, there are a lot of mothers who apply the methods and teachings of their parents to their own kids, and find it doesn’t work.
You are not failing if the traditional parenting styles don’t work for you or your children. There is a fundamental shift in parenting happening because kids these days are evolved in different ways and so their needs are different. New systems and ways are needed to support the new evolved levels of consciousness.
We can draw upon the amazing wisdom of our parents and our elders but we need to understand that each generation has a different focus and a learning and so our parenting style should reflect their needs, drives and motivations. Only then can we offer true understanding and guidance that best supports them, and which also helps us in our motherhood journey in the process.
In general, Gen Z (born 1997-2010 approx) focus on communication, wanting to be heard and listened to. They command truth, honesty and authenticity. This is how you/they build trust, respect and honour, which is important to them. They want to be accepted for who they are, and seek equality and justice. They are not entitled as some might label them to be, they just know what they want and what is fair. They are all about collaboration and non-hierarchal structures.
Gen Alpha (born 2010-2024 approx) understands our real or true identity is oneness and so any forms of separation or disconnect feels difficult. They know that we are creating our reality and people and life reflects it back to us. They seek to uphold unity , it feels intrinsic to their very existence and they are wired to create this in life.
Our very culture requires change and change requires us to let go the old ways to allow the new ways to be birthed and created. It starts with us.
What our kids need: Busting the Myths that Bind Us (to embody our true role of motherhood)
Myth 1: “Mother knows best”
Truth: As mothers we have deep instinctual knowing and connection to our offspring that is beyond rational thought, along with wisdom from our life experiences which help us guide them.
Whilst following our intuition is important when raising our kids, remember we are learning from them just as much as they are learning from us. This is how it is meant to be.
Each child has their unique soul, soul journey and intuition, and your main role is to help guide them to that, to find their truth, express their deeper needs and support their dreams. Therefore, rather than steering them to follow your path, give space to listen and allow them to be heard. Nurture them to trust their own inner guidance system – by first honouring, clarifying and trusting your own in their upbringing ‒ and then showing them how to do it for themselves. This will teach them true sovereignty, to stand strong in their own power and follow their calling.
Myth 2: “Motherhood requires you to give, give, give, have no time for self and sacrifice your own dreams and needs”
Truth: Society seems to applaud you when you give everything to your child, and reward you as Super Mum when you are all things to them: parent, carer, support, friend, help, guide, advisor, etc.
It’s natural to want to give your best, and you will, but it’s also important to properly self-care, to help you replenish and fill your own cup first, which then helps you better able to help others. It is also essential to fuel your own soul by doing what brings you joy and nourishes your heart.
Sacrificing yourself and your needs causes all kinds of problems. Not only detrimental to your own health and wellbeing, when you deny your body, your dreams and your needs, you are teaching your child its ok to do the same for themselves, since they model and take on learned behaviour and patterning from what they see/hear/observe.
By creating boundaries and following through on your own needs, you show them that oneself is important, and this is a big part of developing self-esteem, self-love, self-respect and self-worth. Also, it teaches them to listen to their inner desires and relate to one’s body in an empowering and healthy way.
Be the example you wish to be for your child. Balance your parental responsibilities but also show them how to honour the self, fulfil ones dreams and follow your heart.
Myth 3: “As main care-giver you need to control and punish your child if they are to be disciplined”
Truth: Children need to be guided to make empowered choices and decisions not shamed into submission if they do something ‘wrong’ or be punished for their actions. They are still learning and forming their opinions, ideas and understanding of the world. Allowing them space to make mistakes is part of being human, and in that they find their own way and truth.
Moreover, controlling your child suppresses their innate power, and fuels and builds frustration. They feel thwarted. The New Generations don’t tolerate this kind of mothering/parenting, and will likely rebel or may turn it in on themselves, which is not healthy. Treat your child with respect and they will then respect you back. Don’t punish them for not fitting into a box of what we feel is right or wrong. Of course, where appropriate implement guidelines for safety and create boundaries (with ‘consequences’ if need be), but allow them space to grow and be themselves.
Myth 4: “Children should be seen and not heard”
Truth: This myth is now a conditioned belief passed on through generations, that is detrimental to our kids (especially nowadays).
The truth is, children need to be seen, heard, validated, respected and valued, for who they are, what they feel and what they offer. They will test the boundaries, push against us, argue, conflict, and make noise. This is part of being a child, and learning about themselves, others and life.
However, we can learn to be mindful parents, aware and conscious of their deeper needs and soul expression. Working with the higher consciousness and soul of your child brings great rewards because you will then know how to best nurture and parent them, and gain a deeper understanding of what your child is learning as part of their soul growth. So rather than shutting them down, open them up: guide them to live the best journey they can live. Rather than teaching them your way (which may not always be best for your child), help them find their own way and through that, you will also be learning, growing and teaching yourself.
Myth 5: “Giving too much ‘mother-love’ creates neediness and is mollycoddling”
Truth: Feeling and sharing love is the fundamental drive for our human existence and soul purpose for being. It is the language that we all relate and connect with, deep down to our core and our soul.
Building a foundation of love and acceptance of your child allows them to thrive and feel validated for who they are – on all levels. Within this foundational framework, it creates the space for them to love and accept themselves, naturally.
Through the motherhood journey we are learning to separate and understand how giving love from fear is different from giving love from unconditional acceptance. Love from fear creates a need (on both sides), whereas love from acceptance creates freedom.
Myth 6 “Children need to see happy mums all the time .You will always feel love and connection to your child, since motherhood is the best job in the world and you will LOVE it”
Truth: Children need to see authentic, real parents and have authentic, real relationships.
They also need to learn how to experience feelings and to self-regulate, as well as deal with life’s challenges – which they do by observing how you manage problems or conflicts, and in how you relate with others.
The New Generations are very sensitive and empathic with a natural ‘truth detector’ so often sense or pick up on things unsaid. Openness and communicating any difficulties in a child appropriate way helps them feel safe and to know that any challenges are not ‘because’ of them. Further, as age and situation appropriate, discuss things as a family, which helps your kids understand and feel reassured. Give them space to share their opinions and feelings, since their ideas might also offer a newer perspective and insight. This will empower your child, make them feel heard and valued, involved in decision-making and create unity and collaboration.
Also, you and your child are evolving as souls, learning and growing through all your relationships. Sometimes you may not feel a connection and love for your child, or even like them!
There are often times when motherhood feels challenging and difficult, and you may feel lost and confused. Our kids are here to help break down the old and bring in the next phase of our collective evolution. They are experts at pushing our buttons and will show you where you need to heal.
Have compassion for yourself during these times. You will be triggered and may even have feelings of shame, failure, anger, fear, not good enough, self-blame, powerlessness, sadness and guilt. These are also part of the motherhood journey and their healing not only helps your own soul evolution but assists in the balancing of the collective feminine-masculine polarity on the planet.
Through being conscious and mindful of your patterns and fears you take responsibility for your feelings and learn to not project your unresolved pain or trauma onto your child. You turn the challenges into an opportunity for soul-growth rather than entering into power struggles to assume control and ‘show who’s Boss’.
Show your kids how to be in touch with truer feelings and be their true self. Be vulnerable and apologise when need be if you have made a mistake. Teach them how to be accountable, and express their needs clearly and openly. Authentic, conscious relating with self and others builds awareness, self-mastery, trust, love and honest communication. These are deeper needs of our children.
A Final Word: True Role of Motherhood
From the moment we conceive, we are feeding the life of our child. Nourishing them through the placenta, we also nourish through the soul and personality with our thoughts,
words, feelings, beliefs, energy and actions. This continues throughout their lives. Even those who are not birth mothers, your presence and intentions are continually feeding and shaping them. We are always passing on an invisible-like thread of energy, sharing the essence of the feminine, the Mother, that always aims to heal, hold, support, nurture, and love, unconditionally.
The motherhood journey therefore starts with you: You are being asked as mother/woman to rise into her true power, to heal, to love and embody self-love, which comes through the learning that your child is presenting to you, and in allowing space for all to evolve. To draw upon your soul-self connection, inner wisdom and trust in the higher consciousness to guide you and your child, to be the best you can be ‒ in body, mind, heart and soul.
Only then can we truly support our kids to feel happy and to be as they are intended ‒ the pioneers, forward-thinkers and leaders that will shift and align our world to what we really need: one of love, collaboration, truth, integrity, confidence and serving will-to good. In so doing, we will create the balance of our planet.
This is the true role of motherhood.
Michelle Harris, Brainz Magazine Guest Writer
Bestselling author and well-known healer in Hong Kong, Michelle Harris of Michelle Harris International has guided others to healing and self-empowerment for 25 years. Drawing upon her inspiring personal journey, she shares authentic teachings through pioneering initiatives and signature programs, mentoring you to greater peace, growth and transformation. Her effective tools and life solutions have helped many worldwide.
A mum, natural counsellor, master healer and empowerment mentor, she is also the founder of a unique crystal healing system, The Empowerment School platform for kids and teens, the popular Empowerment Dayfest Events for Women, Mums and Kids, and Women’s Retreats. Her well-being programs also support schools and organisations.
As a multi award-winning healer, women leader and women of wellness, Michelle is sought after for her impactful, deep work to overcome lifelong issues and trauma. She is featured in various media and publications. She is also author of “Tools and Tricks for Tweens & Teens” empowerment & meditation workbook, and co-author of two Amazon No 1 bestsellers “Shaken, Stirred But Not Deterred” and “My Voice Vol 3: Journeys of Self Discovery and Resilience’.