By Nina Sidell
For as long as I can remember, specifically since the age of seven, I wanted to become a mommy. I felt love for my future unborn children and was excited to know and love them. I recall telling my parents that this was my dream, along with being a teacher, helper (I did not know the word therapist or life coach then), singer, dancer, writer, drummer, detective, and race car driver. I knew that I had big dreams and that I somehow wanted to help the world and grow rich and famous doing so. So far, I have succeeded in accomplishing all but a few. I don’t drum professionally, although I have enjoyed African dance classes with drummers inspiring our moves, and I have treasured creative, musical family times and spiritual drum circles. I am not a race car driver, yet I drive with confident enthusiasm (sometimes with a tad too much vigor). But throughout it all, I have relished being my children’s mother. It is a job that I honor and loved when they were little and still love now. It is a privilege to give life, then nurture those lives, and watch developmental and personal miracles happen as new paths continuously appear in their lives. I am proud and honored and my heart remains full with love for my dear sons.
As a therapist and life coach, I work with people from all walks of life and with different perspectives and issues. Being the facilitator for other people’s psychological, emotional, behavioral, and spiritual growth and process; I also facilitate my own growth. Being my children’s mother is another important way that I continue to learn and grow with my evolving kids. The learning experience, focus on mutual love and growth, and the “felt sense” to own in everyday life, as described by Dr. Eugene Gendlin, is perpetually rewarding. The “felt sense” (Gendlin, Focusing, 1982) is the focus of adding to traditional emotional and environmental
cues by focusing on a slight bodily quality that can be physically felt from a deeper, more emotional place- a global sense underneath that can deepen cognitive detail not otherwise accessible to the person. This technique works well with my clients, in addition to
using it myself. Being a parent for me is deeply heart profound and soul rewarding. Being a parent keeps me honest, open, and forever evolving. My practice of parenting helps my writing and work helping others. My philosophy is, “Healthy communication involves an ongoing willingness to learn and relearn, an awakening of new ways to absorb and express information, for yourself and the ones you love.” Parenting for Life, Nina Sidell, 2015. Being the devoted mom of two older children, I have been there and done that. Much of my experience as a mother has been done solo, as a single parent. It has been the journey of a lifetime, offering my open-hearted wisdom and care to the two human beings that are a part of me, the ones I undeniably love and adore-
forever and always and no matter what. Our journey has been one of co-habitating and co-learning. That is the way it has been and the learning continues as our lives become more separate; more individuated. Time forces us to morph into our separate selves, as we all find both old and new ways of being and relating as adults with one another, and as we three continue to grow.
I can remember countless moments when raising my children, that we used our self-appointed family slogan, “Harmony Three” enjoying fun family time together. We made up a family song based on a movie moment favorite. We often enjoyed meals together, family projects, hiked in nearby woods, played sports, invented games and special family rituals, camped out in the backyard, enjoyed picnics in lush meadows and on our family room floor, and created art, music, dance, plays, puppet shows, and writing projects in an open learning environment. Life without the illusion of perfection was loving, close-knit, and an adventure in its own perfect way. Rather than freezing time, I have cherished every single second of it: the joys, challenges, struggles, triumphs, and spiritual process between us and for each of us, my two children and I. I have tried to capture each moment in- the- moment and cement as many as I can to remember as a memory later. My heart leads the way as we continue our lives journeys.
With one child out of the house, living on his own post-college I have had to let go. My next child is perched to fly the coop and about to attend his college years. The letting go place in me slowly re-opens, (initially kicking and screaming), now welcomes in a new time and new era. My children are growing into more of who they are and are destined to become. The same is true for our relationship, as we relate on different levels while still maintaining our roles. I watch proudly and protectively as I let go and yet still hold on. Like a proud mama eagle, I proudly sit and watch my children’s wings spread and fly taking them to where they may go next. I become the woman in the “empty nest” welcoming my children back home again as my wings too shall fly.
When you have children, whether you always wanted to become a mother or not- you are connected to them for life. The awareness that your lifetime relationship is an ongoing evolution as you and your child (or children) evolve makes it all the more worthwhile.
Live Inspired! ® Nina Sidell, M.A. Therapist, Life Coach, Speaker, Writer, and Award-Winning and Deepak Chopra endorsed author of, Parenting for Life www.LiveInspiredwithNina.com