You know, when I was nineteen, Grandpa took me on a roller coaster . . . Up, down, up, down. Oh, what a ride! . . . I always wanted to go again. You know, it was just so interesting to me that a ride could make me so frightened, so scared, so sick, so excited, and so thrilled all together! Some didn’t like it. They went on the merry-go-round. That just goes around. Nothing. I like the roller coaster. You get more out of it. ~ Parenthood
I am on an emotional roller coaster these days. Today is my little Bean’s 4-month birthday. He is such a sweet delight, and brings me so much joy. But this is an anniversary of mixed feelings as it denotes that I am returning to work next week.
Whether or not to be a working mom could be, I’m sure, the subject of many posts. This is not going to be one of them. But this experience is an opportunity, like so many opportunities, for anxiety to rise up, along with all of my niggling doubts (and self-doubts), and the full range of my emotions to spill out of me (often onto those around me). But it is also an opportunity, like so many opportunities, for me to practice my craft, practice connecting to source, practice trusting that what is best for all of us is manifesting in our lives right now, practice staying present to the now instead of wandering off into what is still yet to come.
The practice, however, is not always my first stop these days. Sleep deprivation and not taking enough time for self-care (not necessarily in that order) have left me a little rough around the edges. After I nursed Bean back to sleep at 3 o’clock this morning, I could not fall back asleep myself. He and his brother had spent the whole day at daycare yesterday, and I was struggling with how little time I got to spend with either of them that evening. Not because of the evening itself, but because I was worried that this is how it is always going to be moving forward, and I was anxiously trying to figure out how on earth I was going to ever be able to spend enough quality time with them to satisfy me. *sigh*
I won’t bore you with the ugly details of the next couple of hours. Suffice it to say I worked myself into a lovely lather before the practice kicked in. But finally, I was able to come to a place where I could honor the emotions I was feeling (fear, sadness, and love, oh so much love). I gave myself permission to not have to be the absolutely best mom/wife/daughter/manager/colleague/friend for a little while. I remembered that what happens next week is next week’s opportunity for practice, and that today all I have to focus on is, well, today. I breathed in the intoxicating smell of baby and looked deep into his joy-filled eyes and enjoyed that single moment, and then the next, and then the next, and remembered that I don’t have to spend all day, every day with him to have these divine moments.
Parenting is a practice. It is not the easiest practice I’ve encountered, but it may be the most effective. It triggers such intense joy, but also all of my doubts and fears. And behind every trigger is an opportunity to release and let it all go and come back into the present moment so much more aware, so much more appreciative, and so much more joyful. As I write about today’s roller coaster, the emotion that most strongly comes to mind is gratitude. Today was a gift. Ah, thank you! Namaste.
Originally posted on Pachamama Spirit