On the Mothering Zen

Well, the weekly updating hasn’t gone so well. Motherhood is exactly as time-consuming as you think it is. And then I went and quit a perfectly good job to be an at-home contractor and everything that counted as a routine in my life went directly out the window. All of last week was like living in a flooded house. There was earth under my feet but all of my belongings were floating around, unmoored and random. I’m working this week on grabbing the big pieces of my sanity before they float away.

Tavi is 5 months old next week and I currently consider myself a pretty successful mom. I mean, she’s not even a little dented yet. She smiles, she’s learning to laugh. She likes some people; other people she hates. She likes baths and sunshine and hates the cold and poo on her butt. As I said, 100% success so far.

While I find her changes, happening daily, to be fascinating, I’m more surprised and overwhelmed by the changes she’s making in me.

I’d been warned by experienced mothers, not my mom mind you who would rather wash dishes than sleep, but mothers of children in the double-aughts, that one should prioritize time with your baby above all else. The constant advice I received was not to worry about vacuuming the carpet, spend time with the baby. She’ll only be a baby for a few months, whereas the carpet will always be there, and always need vacuuming. I took that to heart. Strangely, my new found ability to ignore the mess in my house has resulted in me focusing more on the piles of clutter that really do bother me and managing them, and letting the rest go to pot. My house is in someways cleaner now than it was a year ago.

My capacity for flexibility and forgiveness has grown. I more easily leave other people’s problems where they belong and more constantly keep my own problems right in my own court. I shrug a lot more often and actually care a lot less about anything outside of my circle of light. The result is that I have fewer problems.

I acquire less crap and more importantly, crave less crap. All I want is enough money to go away for the weekend with my husband, and every day 2 hours of baby smiles, 3 minutes of my husband’s laughter, 1 minute of silence, and 6 uninterrupted hours of sleep. Everything else has dropped off the priority list.

I may finally have achieved some sort of Zen.

Living with Zen for me is one of the big goals. It comes down to one simple phrase: Be Here Now. It means not simply going with the flow but also getting as much living out of any given moment of flow as possible and not worrying constantly about how you got into the flow or how you’re going to get out of it, ‘cause really, you’re not. No one makes it out alive… Maybe somehow I’m learning to love the flow, if not the flood…

I’m getting close.

I admit that sometimes my Zen is actually a result of complete and utter exhaustion. I don’t care because I simply don’t have the spoons left to give a damn. (For the original Spoon Theory.) I’ve spent the entire day giving so much energy to the baby that all I can manage to do is wash my face and pass out once she’s finally asleep.

But that’s alright too. I mean, in getting this new sense of flow, this new list of priorities, I’ve had to, and will continue to have to, leave some people and things behind. That’s what the flow is — some things simply float into the past.

Maybe I’m getting used to the feeling of being ankle deep in water, picking up the important bits before they float away…

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Published in: on June 14, 2011 at 4:00 am  Comments (1)  
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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Beautiful, Leslie! I have been so looking forward to your post!


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