Swan Mothers

Discovering Our True Selves by Parenting Uniquely Magnificent Children

Forgiving Myself My Own Ignorance

IMG_5803.jpgIt takes considerable knowledge just to realize the extent of your own ignorance.
Thomas Sowell

When my daughter was born one week before my twenty-ninth birthday, I thought I was prepared for motherhood. I’d been a youth group leader and camp counselor since I was fourteen. For years, I taught kindergarten in Saturday school. Since becoming pregnant, I’d doggedly perused the 649 shelf in the library, hauling home and reading dozens of parenting books. I knew what to expect during my baby’s first year.

Scratch that. I was familiar with timelines for normal development. I had read about infant behaviors. I had developed a how-to-parent-a-newborn plan. And I was wholly unprepared to be a mother. I had expectations, for my child and myself. I thought having an agenda was a good thing.

Let’s raise children who won’t have to recover from their childhood.
Pam Leo

Within a few days of being home with my much-wanted, instantly-loved child, I yelled at her. She had been screaming for hours. I had changed her, nursed her, rocked her, left her in the crib for a bit, sung to her. In my ignorance, I never considered that she might be in physical or emotional pain, that there could be a reason for her distress. I was failing — so soon! — at being the kind of mother I had prepared to be, the kind I was supposed to be.

Immediately after I yelled, I lay on the bed beside her, and joined her in despondent weeping.

Education: the path from cocky ignorance to miserable uncertainty.
Mark Twain

Almost two decades have passed. I think I have forgiven myself for that horrible lapse of self-control, the abhorrent dearth of understanding, but I continue to regret it. My children are my greatest teachers, and I continue to remember the profound lesson: I have much to learn. Always.

This post was inspired by Forgiveness Prompts For #1000Speak January Link-up. #1000Speak is a group of bloggers from all over the world are coming together to talk about compassion on the 20th of each month. The above is my first contribution.

I write about my parenting journey, and the journeys of other mothers, in Swan Mothers: Discovering Our True Selves by Parenting Uniquely Magnificent Children.

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The Memo

I didn’t get the memo…
The one that said
There is an us
And them…
The one that said
Different Is bad
Or scary
Or inferior.
I’m afraid
I am Terribly out of step,
But I didn’t know
That it’s not about
How we play the game,
Because winning
Is all That Matters.
And winners […]


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Every Generous Moment Heals the Heart

Every Generous Moment Heals the Heart   No matter who is doing the healing, whether it is a master Reiki master, a Greek angel, or a two-year-old baby, the essence that heals is the same. The healing force is love, offered from the highest intention, and founded on the truth that under it all, as […]


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Parenting Poem

The greater grief

first we have our childhood wounds to heal,
then far more harrowing, our grief
for the wounds our children have to bear
wounds inflicted by our action or neglect
or by giving them what we wanted for ourselves
when they needed something altogether

Elizabeth Cunningham, from her newest collection of poetry So Ecstasy Can Find You

I adore everything Elizabeth writes. Check out her novels and poetry books Elizabeth Cunningham author.

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field of filaments
purple sparkles icy dew
colors yellowing grass

#iseebeauty #micropoetry

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