Parenting as an UnInitiated Adult is Hell

Nicole Hartley Bradford
3 min readMar 4, 2022


While I celebrate the many profound and magical experiences inherent to watching human life emerge, I take a stand for accuracy about how parenting goes in Modern Culture. I take a further stand for how it can go — in Next Culture.

I am aware that most of my readers are not mainstream. Still, even on the edges of Modern Culture, deeply set patriarchal and capitalist ways of doing things are happening, and children (and other-than-human children — but that is another article) are bearing the brunt.

I came to recognize this the hard way.

I was not an Authentic Adult when I became a mother - (I would have argued this)- at 21. Nor was I when I had my 2nd child at 25, and not when I had my two youngest in my early and late 30’s.

I finally — devastatingly started breaking out of pretending that it was all okay, that I was handling it — in my early 40’s. My kids were 4–20 years old. I could no longer keep from being real about the pain of watching them become at least as numb and desperate as I could finally start to admit I was. I could no longer pretend that I didn’t feel massive pain about how things were going on Earth, because of Modern Culture’s ways.

I made a terrible mess. For years I was strung out between being a victim of it all and being determined to find new ways.

For ten years I have been searching for something radically different, something that might empower me to clean up my messes, and see to messes beyond.

I thought I’d been on that search (and successfully) for decades. I had choosen home birth before it was legal, baby wearing before you could buy baby slings in North American stores. Heck, I’d grown up going to unconventional schools, eating whole foods and backpacking in foreign countries. I’d started empathetic listening, re and upcycling, permaculture gardening etc decades ago!

I’d had no idea I was missing so much about becoming an Initiated Authentic Human and Humane Adult.

In the midst of the mess, aching form my children and realizing I could only choose for my self, I admitted that despite Yoga and Meditation training, diligently using Hopono’pono, being a long time ecstatic dancer, despite my many dietary experiments, and my being well established in the world of evolutionary ways, I was still not an Authentic Adult.

I decided it was never too late to start over about growing up. Lo and behold I found others committed to such rare things — in the world of Possibility Management.

If I had my life to live over I would not choose to become a parent before receiving at least as many Emotional Healing Processes and Adult Initiations as I have received in the last two years (something like 250).

You may judge me for saying so, but hear me out. The damage I unwittingly did to my kids is understandable, maybe even forgivable. It was ‘normal’ even in the context of the edge of Modern Culture. In fact my parenting has been highly commended. I had a following as an extraordinary parent from a young age.

But I know how it goes, how it went. I‘ve been gaining deep and dire information from my experiences healing from my own childhood in Modern Culture. I have been bravely facing and feeling and noticing, in retrospect, the consequences of lacking skill and capacity to Be With my children in ways that did not interfere with their Being-ness. I live with the consequences of my choices, conscious and unconscious, on my kids.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not beating myself up. (Though I am still learning to stop doing this.) My love for my children is vast, and I admire them for their exquisite qualities of being. None of this is negated — in fact I think it is magnified — by my radically honest admittance about how it went.

I don’t let the past determine my present as much as I used to, I am healing into being present HERE, NOW. I am creating the life of my wildest dreams.

I just won’t pretend that raising humans is not a job best suited to Authentically Initiated Adults.

Thank you for hearing me.

Love, Nicole



Nicole Hartley Bradford

Nicole is a catalyst on the “Help Gaia’s Risky Human Experiment Succeed” Team.