Monday, September 12, 2011

From the Trenches

Things change every day as a parent. Being a parent requires extreme flexibility. It requires quickness and sharpness of mind. It requires creativity. Being a parent, especially of young children, teaches you how to be a Buddha.

One of the main teachings of zee jolly-bellied Buddha is that attachment leads to suffering. This is so true in the parental trenches. If you are attached to a particular outcome or if you become accustomed to the way your child acts in situations, when that changes, it will lead to pain (read: insanity).

In that sense, Dax must make me a better person every day as the patience grows and grows. I have to let go of my vision of things, the way the ego WANTS things to go, and just let them BE. Parenting a baby and remaining sane requires that mentality.

If I'm saying, 'Dax will go down for a nap now and sleep for like two hours.' I try to erase it immediately and say, 'He might not nap, and if that is the case, that will be ok.' Otherwise, the mind goes berserk.

In some ways, having a baby requires you to plan MORE. But on the flip side, having a baby also requires you to plan LESS.

To adapt to the new mommyhood and keep the sanity, here's a few things done around here to maintain the Buddha brain (i.e. not lose the mind, cultivating peace instead):

1) We listen to Pandora all day long when Dax is awake and we're at home. Listening to music adds magic to the moments. It helps one use the adult brain and think adult thoughts and feel adult things. It adds background to the smiles and laughs and goings-abouts of Dax.

2) Traded cars with my husband so that we can leave every day if need be. Not sure how thrilled Dave is to be driving my no-AC little old purple pickup across San Diego county every day (p.s. I love you babe), but it sure beats the craziness that ensues if Dax and I sit home all day .

3) I sign up for my mom's groups meetups that intrigue me & agree to lots of other plans that do the same, EVEN if they are during Dax's naptimes or make his nighttime schedule a little off. I don't know how, but 92% of the time it works out just fine. I don't do it all the time, but I find that a little faith goes a long way.

4) Quit worrying about what to do about Dax in the sleep department. The kid is gunna sleep just fine someday. Right now, he's happy as ever, so what the heck does it matter? Let's just gunna ride this out and not bang the head against a brick wall for the next year or so. See how Buddha that is? Non-attachment to solutions? Check.

5) Learned to clean as the day goes. Well, gotten better. Dax is friggin messy. And this house induces hives if a couple days go by without a clutter-clean, a kitchen floor sweep, a wet mop on the tile. It gets messier, quicker. And I suck at cleaning, so this is a revelation. It's become...more habitual. Out of necessity, of course.

6) Aiming to go to bed at a decent hours, letting go of the need for solitude. I suck as a parent when tired. That must override the ridiculous need to browse the net till midnight. However, sometimes the numbness of the web is necessary. And that's ok too.

There's prolly a thousand more examples. What about you? What things help you let go and flow within the mommy moments?

inquiring minds want to know...


Steph(anie) said...

Planning more and less. Yes.

Yoga. Yoga helps me let go and flow in all things, mommy and not. Unfortunately, I have not been practicing lately. I need to correct that.

Minimalist Mommi said...

Deep breathing! My patience is constantly tested. I LOVE your advice. Seriously, it's pretty amazing. I'll definitely be reminding myself of these things as the boys get crazy. It's also amazing how messy kids can make things!

Eva Marie said...

I think I have did or done all of your list.. minus Pandora because in Canada you can't get it.. im shedding a tear right now..

regardless its all so true.. one day the house will be clean, one day they will sleep.. they will, and as you are doing I did go out, even during nap, enjoy the day, go with the flow because otherwise you may just go a little crazy... and I for one don't want that :)

Mama Durso said...

Um... yes. All of the above. I didn't fully embrace the going with the flow thing until I had my second. So I guess I had another child to help me let go... not sure how helpful that is to others...

Also, since I'm a (formerly, kind of) Type-A person, I keep To Do lists of both long term and short term things. Short term stuff includes things like "go to the grocery store", "send a birthday card", etc. Long term stuff is more like "organize the desk" or "give casserole dish back to so-and-so" and I make it a goal to complete one long term item a week. I've found that having all of my To Do's written down and accomplishing them slowly lets me stay in the moment more and cuts down on frustration. But that's me. :)

Darcy said...

stephanie: me too! i've been away since pre-pregnancy and am feeling soo soo ready to go!
MM: i am apalled by how messy things get how quickly!
eva marie: WHAT?! no pandora? sending hugs. they need to get on that!!
durso: how is the one to two transition? I am terrified....
i love that advice on the long-term list! I always also have a to-do list, but find only short term things get done and long term (cleaning closets) gets shuffled under the bed. that is an excellent idea. i am stealing.

Phoenix said...

Since I don't have a baby, I don't know what advice I could offer, except to say that growing more and more flexible and adaptable as you parent can only be a wise, beautiful thing. Bless your zen heart, Darcy. You're kicking ass.

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