The Experience of Motherhood
Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans.
Our beautiful friend Jinti shares from her heart about her motherhood journey and the importance of navigating it with self-trust. Below is a conversation between her and our Zohie.
Jinti: I fell pregnant with my daughter two weeks into a planned 12 month backpacking adventure with my partner, and at the time I honestly thought it was all over, that I would never travel again. But when I had my daughter, I realised that we actually had to keep living in ways that felt good for us. Being a stay-at-home mum couldn’t make me happy, so we thought “okay let’s find a way to make this work with kids.” It’s a lot slower, but I think that’s a really good thing.
Zohie: I saw the beautiful way you wrote about your eldest, and it really resonated with me because I am also the eldest, and find it’s not often acknowledged how unique this role can be.
J: Yes I can really see why she was the first, she was just meant to be the eldest it’s so aligned with who she is. I was the first person to have a baby out of all my close friends and family, so she is the eldest out of all the children in our community too. I can really see how it lights her up, but I appreciate what a big role it is too. We do expect a lot of her sometimes, but she is just amazing.
Z: How do you feel about the idea of souls that are waiting to be birthed - maybe your three children all know they wanted to come in together and your eldest chose to come first?
J: I don’t know the exact way it all comes to be, but I have definitely learnt through pregnancy and giving birth, those little feelings, our intuition and inner knowing, there is a lot of truth in them. I sensed when my child was ready to come, and personality traits too and after having Ayana I realised that everything we felt, the way she was born and how she would be, really unfolded like that. The same goes for my other two children too, they’ve always met the dream of what I thought they would be like.
Z: That’s beautiful. These primal feelings you had when you were pregnant, about who the soul was, really came true?
J: Yes I suppose that when they are inside of us, they are unseen, and we tend to not give as much value to the unseen things, but really children are actually already with us and in us, so I think it makes sense that when we feel them, they are already here. They are inside me. That connection can be so strong and clear when we really listen to it. It’s an exercise in self-trust.
Z: Motherhood can come in many forms. It’s nice to hear you describe the friendship and community around you and to imagine your children’s place within that village.
It sounds like you’re raising your children within the vibrancy of community?
J: Well for a really long time we weren’t actually in one place long enough for those roots to go down, but now we have a grounded home space since covid, so we are figuring out how to fulfill the desire to travel so we can have the best of both. That’s the ultimate dream.
Z: I feel that. I’m a bit of a gypsy woman too. I have friends in all different parts of the world and it gives me this global perspective.
I am not a mother yet, but I hope to travel with my children to give them this bigger perspective, which will be important for the coming generations.
J: It takes a village to raise a child, and I see that as children growing with many different influences in their lives.
Appreciating the importance of aunties and uncles, and all the wild mothers and fathers, the different forms of nurturing that fosters the growth of a tiny human.
Z: What do you consider to be strong feminine mother qualities?
J: The ability to surrender and take each day for what it is and the ability to receive. Too much control causes so much stress within motherhood thinking “this is how it should be” or “this is how my children should be”.
Releasing expectation and being really flexible to flow with whatever is on the day frees up so much space and energy and brings us into the present moment so we can be with these tiny humans.
It’s so many small moments that are the most beautiful experiences with our children. Also asking for what we need and actually receiving support, and remembering we are a person too outside of being a mother. Having the space to receive our own nourishment and inspiration that in turn feeds our life force energy as a mum.
Z: Maybe that’s something that’s been lacking in mothers of past generations, from what I’ve perceived there has been so much self-sacrifice in the name of motherhood. It’s important to remember mother is life-giver and she needs offerings of support and care to fulfill her role in raising her children.
J: When I first became a mum, I felt so lost in who I was because my whole world became about caring for my child. I felt guilty for doing anything for me… and then I realised, looking after my own wellbeing nourishes the family and is such an important example to set for my kids. I noticed really early that my kids don’t listen to what I say, they mimic what I do. If I’m living in a way that contradicts what I say, they notice. So if I’m living in a way that means I’m taking care and nourishing myself, then my kids will see how important it is too.
Z: Mother and woman, and being able to keep these things separate?
J: This is the ultimate balance. Being a mum is such a huge role and it does give you so much purpose. But from my experience, and friends have also expressed similar feelings to me, that as individual women we have to have our own passions and gifts in the world, for joy and creative expression.
Having something to focus on outside of motherhood allows you to feel more whole. And you are leading by example. What is my purpose in the world? If I am moving with my passions, then my children are watching their parents go after their dreams, and it inspires them.
Z: I feel this! Not following the prescribed notion of what you ‘should do’. I feel that a lot of the consumption that happens in our society is because people are not living in their passion so they seek to fill the void. When we live in our passion we don’t need to consume as much because we are satiated. Overconsumption happens when we are out of alignment.
J: I notice that about myself that when I’m in a state of consumption, scrolling and comparing myself to others, it’s no good for my mental health.
Z: And creative expression doesn’t have to be producing quantifiable artwork, it can be cooking, or singing or dancing. How do you think about society returning to a mother-centred paradigm? Where mothers are properly honoured for their sacred role.
J: I sense a shift in mother’s trusting their intuition more. Something has happened for them to stop trusting the outer source. Mothers are protective of their children and ultimately we want our children to be well, so we are stepping into more authority and responsibility.
Z: Commanding respect by the way they hold themselves.
J: When you trust yourself, others are more inclined to trust you. Mothers are definitely looking more inside themselves, rather than outside themselves. Returning to and embracing their instincts.
Z: It seems like those primal intuitive feelings, are kind of everything in a mother.
J: In a woman too, and in you is a mother. Those feelings can be so trusted, if we really allow them to be.
Z: What do you learn from your children? What do they teach you?
J: It’s in their nature to learn, have fun, explore and be present, and it really reminds me that my inner child is still with me and how important it is to enjoy life and not take it too seriously. And then I see, in the harder times of parenting, they are just the clearest mirror, and the issues and struggles I’m having with them are really just issues within me that need addressing. Children magnify that so intensely as a parent.
Z: It’s beautiful you can recognise that. I saw on your instagram you mentioned “growing with your children.”
J: The main thing I get from my kids is that life is beautiful and fun, and I want to enjoy it.