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Posts Tagged ‘motherhood’

I’ve been visiting my mother in my hometown for the last several days.  It is good to be here – I am getting a much needed period of rest and renewal as my mother is helping considerably with my daughter.  The best thing about my trip thus far has been reconnecting with two friends – one relatively new who reminds me of my unencumbered college and graduate school days, and one a lifelong friend and kindred spirit.

I am learning some things on my trip.  My childhood friend is reminding me yet again about the importance of faith.  She is encouraging of me and inspiring to me.  She is my daughter’s Godmother because I admire her dedication to faith.  She recently left the Catholic Church and has joined a United Church of Christ congregation.  She is fired up about it and her pastor.  I asked if I could attend services with her tomorrow morning and she was elated to share her church with me.  She even suggested that I might talk to her pastor if I am interested.  I’m really looking forward to the service and to see how it feels to me.

Since talking with this friend on Wednesday I have been praying consistently before bed.  She inspired me to return to this practice and it feels very good and natural right now.  At the moment I am headcovering while praying (and will tomorrow for church) but not the rest of the time.

With my newer friend I am cutting loose a little.  I let my mother babysit and went to a party she threw.  I had a great time and really liked her friends.  It reminded me a great deal of my former life – those days I thought I was missing because my life is currently consumed by Mommyhood… and I found that although it was fun to unwind and be irresponsible for a few hours, I was happy to return to my settled life.  I do not regret anything about my life.  I love my husband and I love my daughter.  It was a great blessing for me to have this opportunity to be reminded about how much I have and how little I would desire to trade my life for another.

My daughter has been blossoming during her time here and is starting to comprehend language and play interactive games.  She has been a joy to observe.  I was feeling a bit disconnected from her before the trip and now I feel close again.

I am understanding that what I need is more balance in my life.  I need to be Mommy and also a person alone.  My marriage needs times when we are a couple alone.  I have let my interests fall too much to the wayside.  I don’t know the solution yet, but when I return home I intend to pay attention to finding balance in my life and life-roles.

Unfortunately being here around so many old friends and acquaintances (and my mother) I have indulged in a fair amount of gossip that I am not proud of and regret.  I do not want to be this person.  Tomorrow I am going to endeavor to practice mindfulness and right speech.  Tomorrow I intend to refrain from gossip and judgmental speech.  One day may seem like a small goal, but I need to start small.  This may be a hard one for me.

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I realized while away for the weekend that my life is out of balance.  I am too much in Mommy-mode.  I love my daughter but I want a break.  This is probably normal.  I don’t know that I will get a break any time soon, but I’m looking forward to the fall and going back to work.  I need more balance.  Tomorrow the little one goes to the babysitter for a half day and I’m looking forward to some free time.

My husband and I also need some time to reconnect.  This weekend did not provide that because there was camping chaos to deal with and activities with the step-kids.  We need a regular date night.  I don’t know when this will happen, but I hope we figure it out soon.

I’m feeling motivated now to make some changes for my health.  I am sick to death of chronic yeast infections and fatigue.  I also think I have some low-level depression, probably related to the general state of unbalance in my life.  I need some regular exercise and to improve my diet.  I need to cut back on my sugar and corn syrup intake, and eat more vegetables and drink more water.  I need to start these things yesterday.

So, starting now, I am taking my health into my own hands and being responsible about those aspects that I have some control over.  I am heading to my mom’s house for a few days and this will be a good opportunity to break some habits since I’ll be busy and not in my regular environment.  I will let you know how it goes.  The dietary changes will be easier for me to start with than the exercise piece so I’m going to focus on that for now, but plan to work on both.  I should be able to manage at least some yoga on a daily basis.  I would also like to learn more about nutritional and other home remedies.

 

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Action, Karma

Tonight my daughter had a rough night.  Every time we put her down to sleep she would start howling as she was lowered into her crib.  We picked her up, rocked her until she was drowsing and again she’d start howling as she was lowered into her crib.  I tried this 4 times.  I could have let her cry it out.  She would have survived.  I asked my husband what we should do, did he think she was in pain?  He said that he thought she just needed to be held tonight.  Holding is the answer.  I said okay.  My husband went to bed and I stayed up and held and rocked my daughter for an hour.

And it made me think about the difference between good intentions and the right actions.  Good intentions without action would have tried a few times and then left her crying while hoping for the best.  Right action was giving my daughter what she wanted and needed to the absolute best of my ability.

I spend a lot of time thinking that I am not doing a good enough job as a mother.  I understand intellectually that that is part of our culture.  Mothering in our culture is a job with impossibly high standards.  Tonight I understand that what matters is my actions.  Regardless of my thoughts and feelings, taking action to meet my daughters needs is what makes me a good mother.  Actions determine who we are.  Actions change our thoughts and feelings.  Actions help or harm the people around us.  Sure, intentions can influence actions, but actions hold the power.

I used to think that intentions mattered as much as — or even more than– actions.  This was a nice intellectual/philosophical perspective.  I thought that our mental/emotional attitudes awere what determined our happiness and were how our karma was embedded in our mind stream.  As a parent, this perspective is no longer practical.  An actual person is deeply affected by my physical actions.  I am in turn re-created from the outcomes of my actions (in terms of my mind as well as my environment and my relationships).

I am a good parent in accordance with my actions.  Though actions I become.

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