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.

And 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.

I am learning that when I come from emptiness and try to give all, I burn out. I am 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 – 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 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 no longer have to 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 there is a chance for my whole self to step in and give us all what we need.

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.