Happy snaps

Take lots of photographs and be generous in sharing them with family and friends. It’s nearly always worth ordering two sets of prints, as grandparents and other relatives love to have photos of children, especially if they live at a distance.

There are reasons other than generosity for giving photos away. A family we know had a housefire which destroyed all their photos and records. But, to their relief and delight, people were able to send back copies of photos they thought they would never see again.

Person has your well-being and best interests at heart. Can you feel a sense of relaxation and relief at the pleasure of just being, without having to do anything?

In everyday life, we may have small glimpses of this degree of safety — with a competent and generous partner; from caring family members or wise and helpful friends. Some of us have little of this kind of experience and feel that in life we mostly have to battle on alone.

Secure, trusting and relaxed is what the child in the ‘tigress’s’ care can feel. Now, at this point, think of a tigress, large and powerful, standing guard over her cubs, and imagine that you are this tigress mother. Does it surprise you how easily you can imagine the teeth, claws and muscles of a tigress? This is a fierce strength. As a mother, you will have to call on this strength — for endurance at times when incredible effort is required and for alertness many times during your children’s growing years.

As you sit and think of your baby, you’ll realise that you have made a commitment to this little person, to protect and provide for them, because they are completely helpless without you. This may come easily or it may be very tough, depending on you and your circumstances. Nonetheless, the bottom line is that a baby must be cared for — by you or by someone you have chosen for their competence and care. The tigress energy can keep you going until things improve.

Denise, now in her 40s ‘When I was expecting my second son, I had a strong intuition that something was wrong with this baby. In my mind, I thought it might be some deformity, perhaps a club foot; I guess I was trying to focus on something simple and understandable. So I was very alert at the birth and totally-keyed up to that moment when I would know if there was anything wrong. It was in the days when you lay on your back with your legs in stirrups and, when the baby came out, there was a peculiar hush in the room. I asked: “What is it? What’s wrong?” The doctor looked over at me with a kindly expression and said: “It’s a boy and he’s got a cleft palate, but we’ll take care of him for you” and they proceeded to bundle him up in a warm blanket. At this point, I did something which seems physically impossible looking back — I sat right up, with my legs still in the stirrups, and yelled: “Give me my baby — give him to me!” Which they did. I still see that obstetrician from time to time around town, and he has always treated me with respect and perhaps a touch of awe.’

Denise’s son required a lot of assistance and went through many operations until he was 16 years old. ‘After that last operation, I went to bed and stayed there, and cried for days and days and days. People were concerned about me, but I knew exactly what was happening — I was letting go of the 16 years of effort to get him back where he needed to be. I could now let myself be tired and vulnerable, and I could grieve but, up until then, the Tigress had sustained me.’

Awakening the Tigress inside you is one of the many beneficial side effects of becoming a mother. While not making you invincible, it provides energy, commitment and a heightened intuition which you might never have known you had. The Tigress may develop gradually or might suddenly be there in a crisis. The result is the same. You realise, quite simply, that you would protect this child with your life. It is the energy to do the very best you can.