Friday, December 18, 2009

Trying to live in the moment

(G tries out the new headphones but doesn't worry
about plugging them in anywhere!)

I've been rereading a great book this week called "Buddhism for Mothers" by Sarah Napthali. (Sorry.....I'm too tired to organise a link but I'm sure you can google it if necessary). It helped me a lot when I was struggling with motherhood the first time around and it's been packed in a box for a couple of years and stored in my sister's garage. Funnily enough, I managed a quick child free browse in a book store this week and saw she has written another one along the same lines called "Buddhism for Mothers with Young Children". has such great stuff in it about the Buddhist approach to life and how you can apply their philosophies and way of thinking to coping with parenthood - a whole chapter on anger management (I very very rarely lost my temper before motherhood but now sometimes have a short fuse) and lots of stuff about living in the moment. It has helped me slow down lately and this morning when I walked to the train for work I thought to myself (like a buddhist monk according to this book) "I am walking. I am walking". Then I thought about feeling the cool morning air (it was 6.30am) and the warm morning sun (it's summer here) on my skin at the same time and about all the noises I could hear. It was so much nicer than rushing madly and worrying about missing my train. As if anyone really cares (or actually knows) whether I am at my desk by 7.30am or not. Still...I do have 7 and a quarter hours to do twice a week and I do have to rush out at 3.15 pm to collect the girls).

Usually, bedtime here is a bit of a farce and Scott and I struggle to stay patient. We usually don't eat dinner until the girls are asleep and so sometimes we aren't eating until almost 9pm. My little girl is particularly crazy and somehow does not have the idea of bedtime routines through her pretty little head despite the same routine for the last 2 years or so. Tonight, I relaxed the rules a little bit, we let them stay up late while we ate our Friday night nachos cooked by Scott, and then G fell asleep lying on me in her big bed as usual. Sometimes I lie there and grit my teeth and take deep breaths trying to be patient until she falls asleep and then I gently roll her off me and go and do my own thing or tidy up or whatever. But tonight...I just lay there for ages after she fell asleep and enjoyed the sweet weight of her on me and the sweaty but yummy baby smell of her head. I listened to another song or two on the lullaby cd and then came out to do my own thing (ie check some blogs).

Scott took this photo of me doing my big girl's hair for school this week (her last week of Grade 1). It's not the world's most attractive picture of me but I like that it captured an ordinary moment in our lives. It shows our living room in all its lived in glory - the books overflowing on the shelves, the toys on the rug, the discarded nightie on the couch with its daggy blue cover. I feel like it's time to edit my life a bit less, go with the flow, and maybe stop dyeing my hair and let it go whatever colour it is (ie half dark, half grey). I don't feel like having fake hair anymore. I brave enough to be real? I'm not sure I'm ready to look middle-aged yet so I have to work up a bit more courage. (Scott is all in favour of me going a la naturel).

I've also been thinking a lot about Jen, from the Comfy Place, who passed away from cancer a week or so ago. Her ex-partner has taken over her blog and, like Jen, he is pretty amazing. Jen had an incredible knack for finding the positive in the midst of facing a premature death and leaving her two much loved children. She was really an inspiration to me so this post is dedicated to you Jen. You have really helped me get some much needed perspective on this life. Thank you.


Tammie said...

i was just thinking about jen the other day. i had only read her blog a few times, having just stumbled upon it once, but found it so inspiring.

i struggle with bedtime. we have a strict one around here for lucy (monty can stay up later) but she isnt always willing to comply.

ive seen buddhism for mothers in a few places around blog land, i may have to give it a read.

hester said...

Tammie - it must have been through your blog list that I came across Jen's blog. I was intrigued by the name "The Comfy Place" which seemed sort of amazing considering what she was going through.