Don’t postpone living

We think that we need a change of scenery, for some reason. 

I didn’t grow up with the idea of “going on holidays”. Being away to travel was a luxury. It’s a luxury to take time off, to go somewhere else and look at some touristy stuff, to not be working. 

My mother didn’t get the chance to do any of that.

For her, “the good life awaits in the future”. That was her life motto. But she never thought she had to leave before that future.

Just right before that future.

She wasn’t suffering in her working day-to-day. But she postponed joy. Actively avoided it. She had to rationalise the things she enjoyed, as if she used it more today there won’t be enough for her tomorrow, or next year, or ten years later. 

Now I’m here. On my second holiday away with my husband and baby daughter, I keep thinking about my mom. How she thought her life could finally start when she retired and when I start to make a living by myself. 

She didn’t get to see much of the world. She thought she didn’t have the choice, or the control.

She never went traveling alone. She was afraid of being alone. But in the end, she had to leave alone. Like we all will.

But the best ones always leave early.

Thanks to my parents, I started traveling by myself early in life. And I don’t plan to stop, even though now I will take care of a baby full-time. 

I will travel the world with her. And tell her that life has hope for the future, but is happening right now.

Attachment

“Life was so simple before,” I thought. “Why do I have to get myself so much attachment in life?”

Such thoughts appear whenever something my husband or baby does that irritates me.

Sure, life would have been easier and simpler. Lighter and freer. I could go anywhere I want and do whatever I want; eat whatever I want and drink as much as I want. The world would be opened up to me and there would be uncountable possibilities…

Too bad we can only see the small portion of the whole picture of our own lives.

But we imagine the could-be life down another road as the shining, bright side of that whole picture.

It’s impossible for me to stop myself from thinking about “what would have been…” That’s my sincere reaction to every relationship I have had. I wanted to stay alone and independent. So there is no commitment, no responsibility. So that I can push the “stop” button whenever I can.

But life is just much too meaningful to live like the only star in the sky.

If I am brave enough, my pain triples and happiness times a thousand.

That’s only possible with strings attached.

Can distractions be helpful?

From birth on, my baby already had her traits: nice and quiet, patient, only using the sound of “crying” to “tell” us to check in with her needs.

She’s almost six months old now. Every day she’s become a little more like herself.

But there are still moments where something else takes over her. I can feel that she’s fighting that thing, whenever she’s tired, hungry, anxious, or scared. It’s like only one of them can be in front of the stage and she’s fighting for the right to stay.

What helps her at this moment is some kind of distraction.

If she shifts her focus on something else, away from her hunger, tiredness, or insecurity, she could stay.

Is distraction helpful to pull us out of our own obsessions too?

When we feel we are stuck, trapped, or swamped in something – “taken over by something” – can we use distraction to pull us out, too? In the end, our obsessions are just one aspect of our realities.

The last one to go to bed

I guess I will be the last one goes to bed. Forever.

Sometimes I do think it feels unfair. Why do I always have to be the one who is making sure everything and everyone is ok before turning in or just resting herself?

But on the other hand, it’s my own choice, too.

I choose to do all these things. I don’t do it perfectly but somehow I feel I have the responsibility to do it.

Is it a sexist thing to do? I mean, am I conditioned to do that and behave like the responsible adult in the newly established family which consists of two adult at the same age and a little baby?

I was not like this at all. What changed?

I was the person who’s taking care of her own shit but now I leave everything to my husband. What changed?

Well, I have him now.

I leave the things in my life that he does better. I take care of the things which he overlooks.

I guess that’s just teamwork.

I guess not everything has to be a sexist thing.

I guess I’m certainly conditioned in many ways. But it doesn’t always have to be that way.

I’m a mother but not a fan of kids

I noticed something interesting today.

I still get annoyed by other people’s babies and children!

It’s proof that becoming a mother didn’t change who I am. Ha!

What about my own baby?

Well, she’s not “a baby” to me. She’s a person. An individual to-be.

I thought I’d become a “baby person” — a loving woman to children of the world. Well, that didn’t happen… I’m surprised.

It’s proof that pregnancy and motherhood change us, but not change who we are.

Does motherly love have borders?

Isn’t the purest love the most blind and easily misled? 

By our ego, ideal, or belief?

We can do so much wrong in the name of love. Where should the limit be? When should you say “it’s over the line”?

It’s almighty, but whatever is almighty can also be the most destructive. 

Yes, they are in the name of love too. The destructions. 

Shouldn’t we, the mothers and the daughters, be aware of them? Of how far we are going, how far we are letting it go?

(Un)thankful

I’m a new mother. I’m 24/7 now fully on my baby daughter. I’m not ashamed to say I get annoyed often and wonder why I wanted to be a mother from time to time.

These moments come and go. They don’t stay in my mind longer than an hour. In terms of any relationship, this is an extreme short period of “off” time.

We are social animals. Of course, every relationship with anyone in our life is a “relationship”. Why should “mother and child” an exception?

I feel the need to write this because I was told to “never think of things like this and be thankful.”

I hate it when older women say this to me. And they say it a lot. Like a mantra.

“…be thankful. Be grateful.

You are suffering? Don’t. Just be thankful…”

This is the kind of crap I have to get out of my life. Because I don’t need to be thankful for shitty things that happen to me, or traumas I have to live through, or sufferings that I am experiencing.

I’m not a victim and I don’t need to be thankful for the things I’m not thankful for.

A baby’s compassion

“Does it worth it?” A good friend of mine asked me when I said that I was very tired from taking care of my baby.

It’s not easy to answer this question.

Of course the answer is “yes”. But the question needs an elaborated answer.

How do I know it’s worth it? Just because she’s my baby? Because she’s cute?

When do I know it’s all worth it?

“It’s so exhausting. My head hurts from lacking of sleep. My back and arms are hurting from carrying the baby. I have no time to socialise with others, no time to do sports, no time to do whatever I want to do for myself, and my own career. I’m pushing myself physically and mentally to the extreme…

“She’s going through a big growth leap now. She eats more often but doesn’t sleep well. Every time she cries for comfort, and I’m not quick enough there for her, she sounds so desperate that I feel that I was killing her… I try to be a good mother. But when I’m sleep deprived, I’m just not a good mother.

“I’m up every two to three hours now at night to breastfeed her. Sometimes even every hour. One morning it was already getting bright outside.

“My husband just got up. I heard him making his first cup of coffee in the morning. It had been another long night.

“The baby was drinking her fourth feed that night. When she’s hungry, or tired, it feels like she was taken over by a small animal. All the crying and screaming is so… primal. And when she drinks on my breasts, she’s also like a little animal.

“But then this morning she was drinking, and slowly she was full. And waking up.

“And then, she unintentionally looked up to me. Suddenly, her eyes brightened up. It’s like she was saying ‘hey! It’s you!’

“She was looking at me and smiling. That look I will never forget.

“That was a look filled with compassion. Like she knows me, and understands me.

“Like she understands all that I’ve been doing for I love her,

“she understands I’ve been trying my best even if sometimes I think I could do better.

“Like she feels me. She’s not a little animal anymore. She’s my daughter and she’s there for me. And she makes me feel loved, and safe.

“At that moment, I felt relieved, and somehow also forgiven. By myself.

“That’s the moment I know it. Why it’s all worth it.”

What anxious mothers say

“Oh my god! My baby hits the 20-week mark this week but she still can’t roll over! What should I do?”

Anxious mothers can be a handful. And anxious mothers were anxious girls before they became anxious mothers.

There’s something “off” about their life, always. And now they think the same about their children. The poor things!

“It’s xxx (some kind of a deadline) and I haven’t xxx (some kind of achievement)… what should I do???”

Some things are not supposed to be rushed. Because the deadline is made-up and the achievement point comes at its own pace. Simple as that.