At The Reconnected, we honour parents inner vision.
The Reconnected Magazine makes spaces for the voices of everyday parents and their everyday moments.
An advocate for empowered breastfeeding, London mum-of-two Chaneen Saliee is magnetic in her digital documentation of motherhood – photographing and poetically sharing all its highs and lows.
Chaneen is the proud owner of breastfeeding clothing brand Chic And Discreet. She also fosters a loyal following on social media through the honest lens she offers to both the joys and obstacles in her experience as a Black mother.
As a working mama navigating a busy urban life with her babes latched to her chest, Chaneen’s journey has been one of self-discovery yet unlearning.
Here, she shares a snippet of her soul, and how in raising her children, she is also raising herself.
Becoming a mother has been transformational for me in more ways than one. I knew that once I had become a mother, my life would change, but I wasn’t aware just how it would. I am on a journey to raise powerful, loving and joyful children, and I am also raising myself.
I’ve become much more connected with who I really am, what I truly want for myself and my family and how I need to get there. For me, it’s all about the feeling.
I feel there is so much to unlearn as I progress on this journey. There’s a lot of soul searching and connecting with my intuition, which enables me to be the empowered mother I envision and embody. I’ve done away with the traditional and subscriptive notion of parenting because it does not feel right to me to disregard my inner beliefs, perhaps even my children’s needs, and follow the instructions of a book.
I’m way too much of a free spirited, rebellious woman for that.
Sometimes, bed time ‘should’ be at 7pm (ours never is) but we may not get to sleep until 11pm. Sometimes I feel okay with that and at other times it frustrates me. Sometimes, I spend some time in the presence of my daughters while I’m working and they are playing independently or watching TV, because I know I will need to nap when they nap, and other times I will put off work altogether because I feel that they need me, they need my presence.
I go with the flow of how it all feels.
“How do I feel? What do I need right now? And can I give them (my daughters) the best of me like this?” are the first questions I ask myself. Then I work with where I am.
I also ask, “How is she feeling? Is there something I can do right now to help her through this? What is the most loving approach right now?” and if I feel overwhelmed and on the edge of yelling, I accept what is happening.
Whether it is a tantrum or a squabbling session, I go quiet and/or walk away from the situation until I am better connected to that space of balance.
These aren’t typical or any prescriptive, parenting strategies I have come across, I feel as if I created them for myself and because of that, no matter what it might look like to others, I know I am doing the right thing.
I remind myself of my mantra:
“If what I am doing is out of love, then I am doing the right thing.“
These mantras, affirmations and techniques I use for myself, I also use in front of my daughters and you have no idea how adorable it is when they start to do some breathwork and then say, “I’m calmer” without any prompting from me.
It’s in these moments, despite the chaos or the mess, that I know that I am a great mother.
Some of the affirmations that we say together while jumping up and down on the bed and before or after listening to ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy’ by Bobby Marley are:
“I am happy. I am brave. I am strong. I am safe. I am loved. I am loving. I am amazing!”
We also sing:
‘What are you thankful for? What are you thankful for? What are you thankful for?”
I’m thankful for my family.
I’m thankful for my friends.
I’m thankful for the love I have, the love that never ends.
It is such a beautiful and high vibe to spend time with these little ladies and remind them of the good around them in their day to day life.
To follow Chaneen and her life, head to @chaneensaliee on Instagram, or to purchase her beautiful breastfeeding-friendly clothing, check out @chicanddiscreet
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