It wasn’t until I had my first baby, my first son, that I began to know what it is the be a mamma bear. Some of us are lionesses. Either way. We are fierce and not to be messed with when it comes to our cubs.
Even in those first blurred months of feeding and not sleeping, I remember so well that feeling of closeness. Like my heart was now outside my body. I carried my heart around. And more than I would have ever fought for my own life, I would fight forever for this little person in my arms.
And this mamma bear/lioness doesn’t only come in the ‘I grew you inside me!’ method. Although, of course, I do like to throw that line at my kids every now and again. It might be a little facetious, and, ok a lot, but I never forget how truly blessed I am to have grown these two real live human people in my body. Of my three pregnancies, I am blessed to have two beautiful sons.
Yes, three pregnancies. I, like 25% of all mums, have had a miscarriage. Mine happened very early. But the time that I knew I was pregnant for the very first time, was very special and heartbreaking when it ended so soon.
Some mamma bears become so through fostering or adoption. I’m part of that equation too…yep, I was adopted at ten days old. My birth mother was single and 17 when she became pregnant with me. Society was not kind to her but she was brave, and went through with the pregnancy, and grew me inside her and then gave me up so that my parents, who desperately wanted a daughter, could take me home and raise me as their precious baby girl. Their precious baby girl who grew to be this fierce lioness and mamma bear.
Four and half years after son number one, I gave birth to my second son. By this stage my lioness was already in full flight. My tiny new baby stayed in my bed from the first night in hospital.
I had learnt through the first four and a half years of motherhood that I had this fierce mamma bear inside me. Who knew that I was an ‘Earth Mother’. I had no idea. Thankfully, I met a few women along the way who encouraged me to trust my instincts. Trust the way I wanted to feed my son, the way I helped him grow in courage and independence and emotional intelligence and spiritual integrity. That son is now 19. He is strong and independent. I miss him and I miss my little boy. I am still his fierce mamma bear. I still keep an eye out for him. Always will.
My second son is also strong and not quite as independent…although I believe he wishes he was. He’s 14, nearly 15. Around the age of 9, he was diagnosed with a few ‘learning challenges’ or disabilities as I find I need to call them when I’m asking the educators of Victoria to stop expecting this ‘fish to ride a bike’!
Yes, my sisters, I know that statement is about another topic altogether but feminism and being a brave mamma bear work together for me. Especially when facing the male dominated positions of authority in schools.
Again…another topic for another post….and breathe!!!!!
Being the mother of a creative soul who sees the world through very literal lenses (unlike these actual words) has its challenges but so many more joys. Much as I could go on and on about my brilliant sons and their brilliant abilities and gifts and hearts and all that; this is not the purpose of this piece. It is to encourage all us lionesses, be they aunties or mothers, adopted, big sisters, darling friends or biological mamma. Be you! You are the best you that we have. You are the only you that we have on earth at this time. We need you. We need your voice. The children who’s lives you effect need you.
Trust your instincts.
Trust your heart. Take this moment to listen to what your heart is saying about you mamma bear. You got this. Whether it’s working, teaching, playing, doing life in any way with those beautiful cubs, you got this.
I want to be like those women who encouraged me way back when. So if you’re a new mum an older one, aunty, carer, guardian, big sister or friend; hear my voice cheering you on. You can do this. I believe in you.