The Toughest Job You’ll Ever Love

Dear readers, in this post I will share a bit about my journey as a mother and offer encouragement to parents of young children.

I gave birth to Zak in 1997 and Gabe in 2000, and I was an at-home mama for many years. I felt so grateful to be home with them, and, at the same time, it was the hardest job I ever had! Whoever wrote the campaign for the U.S. Peace Corps in 1961 must have been a parent. The slogan read, “The Toughest Job You’ll Ever Love” and if you are a parent of young children, I’m sure you can identify with that, right?

Along the mothering path, there were many sweet joys as well as many stressful days. At the time, when I felt challenged to attend to the many needs of little people while trying to figure out a career path and take care of my own highly sensitive needs, I felt as though it would never end. I heard well-meaning older people say, “Enjoy every moment, they grow up so fast,” but while I was immersed in the stress of it all, it did not feel fast!

If you are a parent now of young children, I know it is hard work, and I know it can feel like time is slowing down, but that is simply your temporary perception of time, which might be a result of sleep deprivation! What I can tell you now is those older people were right. They do grow up so fast. All of a sudden, your grown children will be standing before you! So please, try to enjoy and savor every precious moment you have with your young children.

Now that my sons are young adults, I must say that I enjoy them more than ever before. In the Acknowledgements section of my new book (Reaching for Orange: Practices, Visualizations, & Blessings to Help You Happy Up Your Life), this is what I wrote about them:

“How can I even explain my gratitude for my two sons? These very aware young men are the bright spots in my life. They keep me going, keep me inspired, and keep me real. Thank you so much, Zak and Gabe, for the ways you really show up and spend quality time (long distance via video calls) being with me, and sharing yourselves with me. I am so proud of you both. I am honored and delighted that I get to be your mama bear. I love watching you grow into your amazing adult selves, and I bow to your wisdom, brilliance, and modern savvy-ness.”

On super crazy mothering days, when my little cubs were fighting with each other and I got a headache from the overwhelming stress, I would never have imagined how much I would miss them in the future when we would live thousands of miles apart. Now tears are welling in my eyes as I type this, because I miss my guys so much! I think this mama bear has a case of “absence makes the heart grow fonder.”

I hope you enjoyed this post.

With much love,
Mama Teja

 

Photo* of mama bear and grown cubs taken by my niece Lily Rose at a family gathering in Ashland, Oregon, August 2018.

* If you are viewing this post in an email, to see the photo of my sons and me, simply click on the title of the article and you will be taken to the StarFire Teja Blog!

 

Does Coffee Give You Bear Power?

I joke that Coffee is my spirit animal, but actually I think it might be Bear. Do you drink coffee? Did you see my blog article in January about the health benefits of coffee? (“Coffee is Good Medicine”)

And do you love bears? Recently I discovered a fun Facebook page called Bears Make Me Happy, so now I can enjoy seeing photos of bears in my feed, while drinking my hot black Organic, Fair Trade, dark roast coffee!

In their book, Medicine Cards: The Discovery of Power Through the Ways of Animals, authors Jamie Sams and David Carson write, “The strength of Bear medicine is the power of introspection.” They say that the special energy of Bear has to do with their hibernation in wintertime. Just like Bear, I feel as though I’ve been going deep inside my cave this winter. How about you?

Here’s a short little Bear visualization to bring comfort… imagining you are curled up in a cave with a Mama Bear and her cubs… you feel peaceful and completely at ease… and so do they… the Mama Bear pulls you close and cuddles you, just like one of her own cubs… you feel so much love… you melt in that love… and you send some of that Big Bear Love out to all beings…

May All Beings Feel Loved
May All Beings Be Happy!

 

Bear image by mlorenzphotography/Getty