It is believed in many cultures that we all
have a spirit animal with whom we have a kinship, whose traits we strive to
achieve and, if internalized, would serve us well in our lives.
I love the idea of having a totem, of incorporating animal
traits into my life. But, I’m pretty
sure now, as a parent, I need more than one totem that my life calls upon. I need more
than one spirit animal. Because
parenting life is hectic, I’m pretty sure I need a whole woodland army to
keep my shit in check. Here are the
spirit animals I am calling upon in my life as a parent.
Although they look big and dopey, kangaroos are powerful
creatures symbolizing protection, stamina and balance. Those qualities are fantastic and all, but
I’m focusing on the part where they have that have built-in Baby Bjorn. Dude.
Cats lick their young to give them a bath. That would come in handy. Also, they are mysterious, and my husband
would appreciate that.
Of course, I want to align myself with the magnificent
lion. I’m the queen of the jungle. The lion is a symbol of power, honor,
royalty, strength and leadership. You can’t ask for better qualities than
that. The lion also symbolizes ferocity,
dominion and authority. So basically,
whatever I say goes, biatches. ROOOWWWRRR.
They are just really thin and graceful, so let’s throw that
into the mix.
As I think any mom would agree, an extra six arms would really come in handy.
This is obvious. Every once in a while it would be cool to blend in with the couch or
potted plants; to have
silk-ficus-tree-camouflage, so I can
hide from my family when I just need a damn break.
Bears are warriors known to defend their domain,
particularly in the realm of motherhood. Where else did we get the term “mama bear”
from? In life, but especially as a
parent, I want to be a warrior and protect my children, real badass-like. Bears are also hunters, as in good at hunting food, but in my case, it’s more like “I will hunt your ass down if you wrong my family.” And also, there’s that hibernation
thing. Sleeping through the
This spirit animal was my frenemy for my son’s and
daughter’s first year of life. It’s a
spiritual symbol of fertility, nourishment and abundance. Some days I was spilling forth so much
“abundance” that my little calves were swimming in it. Others, I was putting lanolin and cabbage on
my udders, feeling big as, well, a cow. In Buddhism, the cow is a symbol of patience and holiness. And, man, does parenting take patience . . . and also a high pain tolerance when building
up those nursing nipple callouses.
Beavers are industrious. Symbols of motion and diligence. They are hard-working and known for their building skills. This would help out a lot with school
As I think any mom would agree, an extra six arms would really
come in handy. And moms may also
identify with that “inking” thing that happens when muscles get weak after
Everyone loves dolphins. It helps in parenting to be fun-loving and cute, but also, dolphins’ brains lack olfactory
lobes so it is believed that they have no sense of smell. There are some gnarly smells involved in
parenting. I’d definitely call on that
no sense of smell every third diaper and after my son’s rugby
How great would it be to spray your kid as an extra deterrent
method the next time he got grounded?
The symbolism of a giraffe with its long neck is that of
going the distance. It’s about us sticking
our necks out for our families. I like
that. And that surprisingly graceful
giraffe towers over its kids, able to see every move those little rascals make
while also getting a bite to eat off of a tall tree. I like that even more.
So, as I align myself with the vast and wondrous qualities
which these animals possess, I feel one with nature and an appreciation for the
way all life in this world is connected. But then I’m secretly glad to be a human because we have cars
and iPhones and stuff. Even still, it’s cool to
get spiritual, because parenting, as it
is a part of life, is a spiritual journey. Or is it that it’s a trip. Either
way, I’m proud to be a mama bear.