Wednesday, December 11, 2013

motherhood : to give you need to receive

theresa and mason (such a beautiful, wise little face) - early mornings at the beach

Thank you for your (often brutal) honesty on my "third baby" post last week. It was interesting to read such varied opinions; some of you found the third baby an easy addition whereas for others it really was/is hard, hard work.  

The most humbling fact of all is that I have no idea what my experience will be. There are so many factors involved; most of which I cannot control. Having a baby is a giant leap of faith - yes, there will be challenges but the rewards are of the greatest and most blessed nature. 

I wholeheartedly believe that my fears are valid, and I know that regardless of if and when I fall pregnant with a third those fears will probably be more profound. Nothing a bit of "letting go" can't fix, though. It's interesting that even in this phase of thinking-about-having-another-baby I come back to the words that I have heard during my first two pregnancies; the words I share three times a week in my yoga classes: the essence of conception, pregnancy and birth is surrender. And the same goes for motherhood. Being a muma is one big lesson in surrender because we really do just keep giving, letting go, and giving some more. It's not always graceful and we often resist but at the end of the day we realise - surrender is the only option.

It's universal law that you need to receive a little in order to give a lot but that equation is never very balanced for mothers. Last week I stayed in Sydney for the night by myself - the first time in four years(!). And it was glorious! I caught the train into the city, found a little table at a cafe in The Strand Arcade and had beautiful coffee and an amazing haloumi salad. Whilst there I people watched, enjoyed Nina Simone playing in the background and marvelled at the fact that I didn't need to help, console or reprimand anyone (or share my food). Then I shopped, had a mani/pani, caught the bus over to Manly and went to my work Christmas party where I danced till 1am (for the first time in about 6 years!). The next day involved breakfast at a cafe, a ferry ride, coffee with my brother, some Christmas shopping and a late afternoon train ride home. 

When I walked in the door I felt like I'd been away for a week. It felt like I had been given a brand new dose of patience (thank goodness for that). Whilst away I promised myself that I wouldn't feel guilty for the indulgence; I deserved the break and I needed it - for my own wellbeing. I realised that I need to, on a regular basis, surrender to the urge to have me time. And if I do, everything else will be a little more balanced and much more possible. It might be a night away or an hour in a cafe, a yoga class or a solo swim in the ocean. Regardless of what it is I know it needs to be a regular occurrence; an opportunity I'll embrace before I travel the road of pregnancy, birth and babyhood again.

Years ago, when I worked in a bookstore, I met a mother of a toddler. For Christmas she had been given a handmade voucher from her husband which said: "Once a month, every month, for the next year, this voucher entitles you to a day by yourself, a lovely lunch out and a new book." So every month I saw her, alone, and watched as she relished her time spent perusing book shelves. An idea, perhaps? 

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