Parenthood is a theater scene open to a wide range of random audience, where the interdynamics between your child and you are carefully examined, sometimes, by the harshest critics. And, parenthood is also a paradoxical experience where you become very humble and, at the same time, maybe, a bit defensive. I struggle with conflicting feelings all day everyday. In this post I will let you know how I deal with these feelings. Ready?
But…. First, let me say that I am not a parenting expert, I do not read a lot books. After spending so many years in academia and leaving it recently I have little trust in research. I rather choose to observe around happy children’s parents, trust my instincts and ask Lina if I am doing ok. So, this is just me talking about my experience and this is how the story goes…
Lina is a lively, curious kid. So, we are blessed with a quite entertaining fairy, but not lucky on the “oh well we can sit back and relax” type of a side. Suffice it to say we could never hang out in a cafe with my husband since the day she was born. We would look around and see parents sipping their coffees next to the buggies, babies sleeping, sitting, looking around. That was never us.
But now, this is sometimes kind of us and we kind of can have a coffee, sitting, because we let her watch Little Bear, or Peppa Pig or Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom. They are adorable cartoons and Lina cracks up in each episode of Little Bear, but then, although I see she learns English, has a lot of fun and can relax so much when watching these, I cannot stop feeling guilty since … well actually I don’t know why – well: motherhood, simply put. This is one example of the thousands conflicting scenarios.
I feel even worse, knowing that I could use the time to relax and enjoy my coffee or whatever but instead I keep thinking “maybe I should not have let her”, “what do people think about me”, “am I a bad mom” etc. etc.
Nowadays, I am doing something different, I am just focusing on my breath. No thinking… I count until my inhalation is complete and count then again until the exhalation ends. I do this a lot recently and not only in this scenario but when I am worried, just walking, getting frustrated ….Even just one complete breath cycle count is a huge help. This is so easy but has miraculous results. Both Lina and I are calmer and more peaceful as a result.
It is funny that I always meditated and practiced being present a lot. But somehow it took me long time to get back on the track. The reason was, I think, partly, it took me very very long time to birth the mother I was meant to be. They say birthing the mother is much harder than giving birth to your child. Because, birthing the mother means your old self dies. And for some it is easy to make peace with this but for others it is the hardest thing in the world.
In motherhood, I never thought I would be where I am today. I now enjoy every second of it, and this is what I count to be the biggest accomplishment in my life. Not long ago I had the most panicky, quilt ridden times of my life. I was so scared that my time did not belong to me any more.
But, I think, now the birthing of the mother is complete and I could not be more grateful for what and who I am today.