We are the Centers of our Family

Center of FamilyBy Abby Bordner

I realize time and time again that I am the center of my family. For better or worse, the climate of my family life depends on me. I notice it day in and day out, throughout the seasons and years of our family constellation, I create the rhythm.

This is a responsibility that I don’t always want. Sometimes I want to curl up in bed and have everyone just go on without me. Sometimes I am quiet and alone but want the lively excitement to continue without me. It doesn’t. My kids notice. My partner notices. Then they slow down to see what I’m doing. They wait outside my bedroom door and put things on hold until I reemerge.  When I’m quiet, they try to engage me. When I’m sad or pensive, they become quiet and stay in close proximity to me. I enjoy this special connection I have to my family and sometimes I resent it. Why must I be the captain of the ship?

When I reemerge there is celebration. I feel better, I become lively and all is restored. We smile, we laugh, we engage in our lives. We eat and life picks up. When I am ready, I look for them, look for our life together and find my joy.

Then I realize my kids are getting older. There will come a time when no one notices my rhythms, my ups and downs and my quiet and reemerging. My partner is caring and self-sufficient. He will notice and make space for me. But my kids won’t be waiting for me outside my bedroom door anymore. I’ve come to rely on the unconditional readiness my kids have for me. All is forgiven and they are waiting for me. They tolerate my moodiness, my quiet, my sorrow and my deep contentment for the life I live.

I’ve talked before about loving our kids unconditionally. Learning to love them for WHO they are, not what they DO. It’s a struggle for us parents. We have to learn over and over again to let go of our expectations and desires and fully accept them for who they are. Depending on our own pasts, we work to heal ourselves so we can love our children more fully.

But what about the gift of unconditional love our children give us? They are born to love us. They come into our lives with the DNA to be in relationship with us, no matter what. Their mere survival depends on it, right? They accept us and rely on us with no judgment, no need to learn how to love us.

Today is a day I have reemerged. I am so grateful for the family that waits for me outside my inner cocoon. Even though, in my moodiness, I don’t want them to bother me. I know they’re there, waiting. I reemerge today looking for them, looking for connection and the family that makes me whole.

I am a mother in my early forties. My children are almost eleven and fifteen. I find my own emotions travelling the spectrum of melancholy, joy, sadness, anger, profound gratitude and the deepest love I’ve ever known. My kids are integrating their childhoods into the adolescents they are becoming. I can’t even remember when I first heard this but it’s so meaningful to me right now:

“There are two things we give our children. One is their roots. The other is their wings.”

As I feel the tug in my heart of letting go, I am grateful I know this life of being at the center of my family. Feminine energy is that which cares for, nurtures, feels emotion and rides the waves of life’s beautiful (and heart wrenching) cycles. This is motherhood.

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Leave A Reply (9 comments so far)

  1. Shannon
    3 years ago

    Beautifully written Abby. I so admire when people readily admit that they are imperfect & are accepting of the various shifts in their mood. It is all about growth. Our own & our childrens. Recognizing that is so important.

    • Abby
      3 years ago

      Thanks, Shannon! You’re right. Our children aren’t the only ones going through growth and change. We are, too. :-)

  2. Nazca
    3 years ago

    This was written so beautifully! Thanks for this heartfelt reminder. After a process of cocooning, I have reemerged.

    • Abby
      3 years ago

      Thanks, Nazca! I like that we can celebrate that we reemerge after our quiet time :-)

  3. Kimberly
    3 years ago

    Thank you for sharing from your heart. This article helps me see I am not alone and reminds me how important my choices are – meaning that I can reemerge today, too. Thank you for the enlighenment! You are appreciated!

    • Abby
      3 years ago

      I’m so glad this was meaningful to you, Kimberly. We always get another chance to re-emerge :-) Best to you.

  4. kathy
    3 years ago

    I enjoyed this read,thankyou

  5. Laurie
    3 years ago

    This is a beautiful article, Abby- I am brought to tears. Your wisdom and insight are truly remarkable and I am so thankful to have met you. I look forward to reading more of your articles and learning from you in the days, months and years to come. Thank you for being here.

    • Abby Bordner
      3 years ago

      Laurie, thank you so much for your comment. I’m glad this article touched you. Hearing from you feeds my soul fire to continue doing this work and on this path in life, because I want to touch people’s lives in a positive way. I’m looking forward to staying in touch.