Comparing My Insides to Your Outsides.
I know I shouldn’t do it, but it’s like a really bad habit I can’t seem to break. This morning, my first thought was, “Is it time already?” Yea, eventually I got to the gratitude that I get to spend another day with my son. I get to feed him. I get to appreciate his adorable smile and laugh. But where I started out is, “Damn, I really wanted to keep sleeping.”
I recently joined a Facebook group for mama’s. We talk about everything, and I found myself thinking I knew about each of them. Ok, really, I think I know all about you.
In my mind you wake up 3 hours before your baby does. You head to the gym with your hair and teeth brushed, wearing your newest adorable workout clothes where you are totally uplifted by your workout and the sight of your rock hard abs. You do a little yoga where you have a savasana that leaves you feeling totally tapped in and tuned to the divine. This connection is the foundation for your bliss throughout the day. Yep, all day long blissful and joyous is how I know you roll.
You come home and rejoice immediately when you hear your baby stirring because you missed her so. You just put the cloth diapers in the wash on the hot cycle so they have time to air dry in the sun because you are such a stand for the environment. This is your day before 8am. Do I need to go on?
Your strong ripped arms allow you to snuggle with your baby while you eat your healthy breakfast that you calmly waited to cook and eat until your little one had been nursed. Maybe you even make breakfast for your significant other, too before they start his/her day. With total joy of course. You then put your baby down for tummy time which she delights in as you joyfully clean up from breakfast and begin to prep for dinner.
And on and on in your perfect joyousness. Or at least when I am reading your posts on Facebook, this is how I assume it goes for you other mothers of the world.
The thing is, before I had an infant, I think I thought that was how it was going to go for me. I didn’t anticipate having breast feeding issues. I didn’t anticipate baby blues. I didn’t anticipate an extra 10 minutes of sleep making the difference between functioning and crazy. I didn’t anticipate my son would hate the stroller and exercise would feel like a long distant memory.
Ok, it’s only been 4 months. Maybe it’s ok I don’t have it all figured out yet? I know what you experienced supermom’s are saying. Hold on. Keep breathing. Trust. It’s going to get better. Laugh at yourself. Make new friends. Share. Sleep when he sleeps. But, is that really enough? When I lay my head down at night, how do I feel like it’s enough?
How do you know you’ve done your best? How do you acknowledge your progress, rather than searching for perfection? And please tell me how you stopped comparing your insides to other’s outsides!
When I was pregnant the naming of my child was a bit of an obsession. Ok, to be perfectly honest my husband and I had starting talking about it LONG before I was pregnant, so it was a long term commitment to the obsession.
And there was the problem. I liked names like Max, Michael, and John, and my husband liked names like Levi and Asher. There never seemed to be any crossover. I wanted a name our child could find on a mug or a pencil when he wanted a keep sake. My husband wanted the road less traveled.
Then I was pregnant and worried we just would never agree. Would my vote count double because I had morning sickness, I hoped?
At 12 weeks pregnant I had an appointment with an energy worker, who, after hearing my stress about not seeing any way we could align, asked the magic question, “Have you asked your baby?” Duh, no!
I talked to my baby about everything else. I talked to him long before I was pregnant. I knew I was having a boy. I had a feel for his energy, a feel for his soul. But, I hadn’t thought to ask him what he wanted his name to be.
I get quiet, I go in, and I ask, “What would you like your name to be?”, and clear as a bell I hear, “Bodhi!”
My initial brain response is, “Are you sure?” I’m thinking, oh crap. He’s never going to be able to find a pencil with his name on it. No mugs. No pre-made stickers. And Bodhi, really? That’s kind of weird. I was really hoping for Max. I was really looking for something a little more mainstream that says “I fit in, no need to look here.” Not wanting to shut down this blossoming door of communication, I simply say, “ok!”
I call my husband and share what I got. An hour later he calls back after his google search and tells me the name means awakened, enlightened. You see I had no knowing of the story of the Bodhi tree and Buddha finding enlightenment there. All I know is about 5 months before I got pregnant I had a vision for a logo that was the tree of life. Well, then of course I get home and looked up “Bodhi tree” and there it was! It looks remarkably like the tree of life!
Bodhi Michael is now with us. I love his name. I love that he chose it. I love that it means awakened and enlightenment. I love that the Buddhist view of Bodhi is spiritual awakening and freedom from the cycle of life. I love how much I get to honor his divine knowing as a teacher and a perfect divine soul by having let him choose this name which is so fitting to him. I love that he, like his father, isn’t afraid of the road less traveled. I am so blessed. And after two months I am proud to report that when I tell people my son’s name I mostly keep breathing and don’t worry so much about what they’ll think about me. This master soul has already taught me so much.
Progress, not perfection!