I have never been a parent before. I am doing this for the very first time in my life.

I have, however, been a child before, and I am using that as a point of reference to the kind of mother I would like to be. “Like to be” is the operative word.

I have a motherhood goal.

My goal is to raise a child that needs a little less healing like what I have required growing up and still do.

This is has landed me here, talking and writing about raising our children from a place of consciousness.

This is teaching me that how I was raised does not have to be how I raise my children. What I have been taught is the right way to parent might actually not be, and I should allow the nature of my child to dictate how she would best be parented.

And that’s tough. Setting your ego aside like that and understanding that your child’s development has nothing to do with you but everything to do with them. Approaching situations from this perspective has led to fewer screaming matches and anger outbursts on my part.

My way or the highway

That when Tshimo has an outburst, I don’t have to reciprocate because “how dare she screams at me cause I am an adult and she is a child?” Children should be respectful of adults at all times.

Adults don’t lie and they are always right.

This is what I was taught, but it is based on so much falsity that I can’t continue in the same path of parenting.

Yes, it is my house, and I have to set rules. But it can’t be ‘my way’ because I am not the only person living in it. My child can’t purely abide by my rules because I am an adult. I don’t know much about being a 4-year-old girl.

Tshimo knows a lot about being a 4-year-old girl, and if I can just allow myself to see past my misconceptions of what her behaviour could mean, she can teach me a lot about what she needs from me.

And I have been allowing myself to learn, and together we have navigated this big beautiful world of parenting. We don’t always get it right.

But we can always revert to my motherhood goal. “Don’t break her, Karabo. Whatever you do, try not to break her.”

I am looking forward to sharing conversations and stories of the journey as a black and gentle mom.