mother as mentor

as i am preparing for my first BIRTHING FROM WITHIN childbirth series i am thinking alot about the difference between a teacher and a mentor.  looking in a dictionary, a teacher is described as a person who instructs or teaches.  a mentor is described as a wise and trusted teacher or counselor.

i believe the difference between the two can be taken further.  a teacher is one who has an agenda, an outcome.  the teacher wishes to instill specific learning to their students.  this outlook comes from a patriarchal standpoint.  whereas a mentor is one who guides a being through a journey or a process.  there is no specific outcome. . .the journey is where the self discovery takes place.  a mentor offers trust to this journey, and is flexible and adaptable.  she leaves her judgements and opinions at the door, allowing space for true conscious and unconscious learning to occur.  

from the moment of conception, a mother is the child's greatest mentor.  as the fetus develops in the womb, the mother is mentoring through being.  each thought, emotion, and experience that the mother goes through, passes through the child from the placenta.  as the mother prepares for birth and motherhood, she is sharing information with her child.  the way she handles stress and the unknown lays out a template for the child to follow.  this is why yoga and meditation are so beautiful to enjoy during pregnancy.  tuning in with the breath and body not only relaxes the prenatal mother, this practice teaches the conscious fetus how to connect within.

how the mother approaches birth greatly affects the blueprint of the child.  this is the child's initiation into being, a most sacred event.  the way the mother receives the child at birth teaches the newborn about bonding and touch.  the first two hours of birth offer a special time to connect as a family.  taking the time to make eye contact and have skin to skin contact allows your newborn to touch and see you.  your baby is as excited to meet you as you are to meet her.  

as the postpartum mother begins her healing journey, she teaches her child how to make space for healing and self care.  as the mother feeds her baby with total presence and awareness, she teaches her child the beauty of nourishment and connection.  the awareness a mother brings to each moment deeply imprints the child, from changing her baby's clothing and diaper, to picking up her little one. . .these are all moments of mentoring.  the mother, like the goddess gaia, is an all encompassing source of life; surrender, protection, nourishment and unconditional for her little one.

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