Saturday, November 14, 2015

In response to tragedy - Friday the Thirteenth

I lay here before the sun is up with my son sleeping on my chest. His little breaths are audible over the sound of the noise app I have playing on my phone. The glow silhouettes his tiny back rising and falling. He is innocent. We are lucky. 

After the terrorist attacks in Paris yesterday I held my boys close. We watched Christmas movies and ate cereal for dinner because none of the formalities mattered. Later, watching my children sleep put the enormity of this in perspective for me. All of these people were once children. Attackers and victims alike. They all had a mother who carried them in her womb for 9 months. She held her baby protected in her body and imagined powerful dreams for her child. This cannot be was she had hoped. 

She rocked her baby to sleep, maybe sang lullabies, and told stories of love and greatness to her child. How is it then, that such innocence can turn into such hatred, such terror? I don't mean to say a mother's love can save us, but it can certainly be a start. 

Attacks such as these, on innocents, in public places, places where friends meet and families gather, generate so much fear. So much anger. And for me, so much sadness. Retaliation is imminent. After the attacks on 9/11, I understand that hurt and rage. But I also remember a country uniting as it never has before and certainly has not since. I pray France finds that unity, let it be their silver lining, if there is to be one after this senseless tragedy. 

This morning, when much needed sleep eludes me, I meditate on loving kindness. I send love and light to Paris, to Europe, and to humankind as a whole. I focus on happiness, kindness and peace for my boys and pray they do not have to continue to live in such a cruel world but that we will all unite and spread love. Let us discover that honest disagreement can be peaceful, educational, and productive. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A mom of two

I didn't know that becoming a mom of two would help me with my identity of being a mother. Right before becoming pregnant with my youngest I was having serious identity issues on being a mom or being Emily. I started running and this helped me to find balance in being both a mom and an individual. It brought forth the requirement for balance. I was feeling REALLY good with my running. I was sticking with it. Then I found out I was pregnant. I didn't feel confident in my physical ability with the newness of running and having had a miscarriage in the past; I thought it was selfish to continue so I put my running on hold. I was actually pretty depressed for the next couple months after giving it up.

My pregnancy was brutal on me physically but I actually attribute that to my stress levels. As you may have read in my previous posts, we sold our house, moved into my grandparent's condo for a month, then into a hideous basement apartment for a month before lucking out on our new home. Meanwhile, work was the most stressful it had ever been. Once we moved into our new home, I was able to release that stress. I started to practice hypnobirthing (although a little late in the game) and guided meditation geared toward pregnancy. This and hour long baths in my giant tub really helped bring me back down to earth.

Fast forward nearly a month, my supermoon baby blessed us with his presence. This is when life's need for balance REALLY came into play for me. This is when patience, grace and forgiveness made their permanent place in my home. In the last six weeks I have had to find patience with my eldest, grace with my husband, and forgiveness for myself. With each of these yins comes the yang and those yangs are my weakness.

I have been home bonding with my youngest son and during this time I have been reading books on Buddhism and motherhood, meditating, and reconnecting with friends and family. Having little family nearby, it is important to create a support system that I can count on, and having a baby really shows the true colors of people. But the creation of my village is going to be crucial for the coming months and years.

My darling husband leaves before we wake up in the morning and gets home just before bedtime. This is going to make life even more hectic once I go back to work. This is why I need to hone in on patience, grace, and forgiveness. My fuse will be shortened with fatigue and stress. Practicing these now will help my family continue to grow and thrive, no matter what life forces upon us. I see myself growing in new ways with Bear. Being able to stop and take a breath, evaluate situations and finding new solutions before losing my cool is the best part of this positive change and probably the most important.