It came to me the other night while imagining all the love I pour into my children, all the effort of trying so hard to get it right for them. I considered the intensity with which I had met motherhood. The massive desire I have to protect them from all harm.

It suddenly came to me the reason my role has been so intense – has such a straining feeling of going all out is because I am trying to make up for every mistake my parents made with me. I am trying to be there for my children in the maximum possible way to try and save them from the pain I felt. I am trying to make up for my lack by giving myself entirely to the process of mothering in the hope that I will have it all covered, reading books, taking parenting courses and listening to all advice even when it differs.

Obviously there are flaws in the plan. Because I am learning that when I come from emptiness and trying to give and do all, I burn out. I am then no use to anyone and my huge ideals come crashing down. When trying to be more than I can be I unknowingly pass on lots of issues, which was exactly what I was trying to avoid.

I have come to realise that in order to be an effective mother to my children I have to parent the needy child inside me. I have to include her in the loving, caring and cuddling. Essentially I have to three children that need their voice, to be seen, heard and loved.

If I include my inner child in the mix suddenly I can come from wholeness. I give myself what I need and I no longer have to try and be superwoman. Three crying voices need to be soothed, three hungry tummies fed and three anxious children need comforting. It’s like my abandoned inner child has been in sibling rivalry with my kids vying for my attention.

Thankfully I have come to recognise this and now there is a chance for my whole self to step in and give us all what we need. Give us all the attention we crave and deserve. What a relief that hurt child no longer has to rule the show! And maybe, just maybe, she won’t feel such pain any more.

My whole self knows I can’t be a perfect mum and understands how essential it is that I put my feet up now and then. Rest, rejuvenate and renew. And then go back into the fray.