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Monday, 22 April 2013

Connecting by disconnecting

The last few weeks have been busy. There were blog posts to be read and written, emails to be checked and responded to. There were projects that needed tending to and general other stuff to be done. I don’t know why I am working like crazy like now, when I have three children (one of which is a baby), a house, and a husband.

Maybe it’s because of my fear of being left behind and having difficulties with getting back on track with writing. The day I went into labour, I got an email from the institute I occasionally work for asking me to give not one, but two trainings in late March and early April. On top of that, I had two sort-of-work-related appointments on that very same day. Needless to say, I had to cancel all of these things. The Universe just couldn’t be sending me a clearer message: forget work, you’re a mom of three now. I’m still hoping to prove the Universe wrong.

The other reason is that after this birth, I’ve been feeling very well. I am now back to my old weight, and my old self, even if I am pretty much sleep deprived.

And so my brain kept spinning and coming up with all these ideas and my body just couldn’t keep up. I only noticed it when my Internet connection broke for a few hours. My boy was hungry, and so I sat down to nurse him, and took my Kindle to read for a while. I am reading “Turning International” and it’s a very good, helpful book for expats. When I got to the part where she describes ways to deal with expat stress by doing breathing exercises, I found myself doing them as well.

And then I had a revelation. I put the book away and looked at the baby in my arms. Really looked at him. Now, I am not a person who enjoys having a baby. Babies are cute, yes, but they cry and they poop, and they can’t wake me up with a kiss and they can’t have discussions with me.

I am also not a fan of the mindfulness philosophy that is so popular nowadays, because I believe that we don’t have to be in the present all the time. Some moments are just not worth giving them attention. I prefer to keep my energy for moments that matter, just like this one.

I look at my little boy, and he is indeed perfect. He has little fingers and little toes and a soft warm little body, and a little soft head that smells of baby. There is nothing like baby smell, and his hair is light and soft as I smell it. I touch his cheek with mine, and he loves it. I kiss his hands, and feet, and head and feel very, very happy.

I think of Klara and decide to be more patient with her. Her energy and her will power are sometimes too much for me to bear, so patience is what I really need. I think of Julia and how it would be good to spend more quality time with her. She is the middle child, and her sweet nature makes it so easy to just overlook her.

I decide not to turn on the computer before the girls go to daycare unless they want to watch ballet. We already use the iPad to do our yoga exercises (which often resemble a game of Twister and are tons of fun and additional cuddling), and maybe we could watch ballet there as well so I wouldn’t be tempted to check Facebook all the time.

I tried it out today and noticed that I was much calmer and more patient with the children- even though I haven’t slept well last night. It is a good feeling not to feel rushed. It is an even greater feeling to spend some real quality time with the children. Next time I’ll feel rushed again, I’ll remember to do two things: to disconnect in order to connect with my children. And.. to take more deep breaths. 

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  1. I've kind of been going through the same thing really. I've been making myself too busy and not taking enough time out for myself and my family. It's reassuring to read about someone else going through a similar situation and finding a solution.

    1. Hi Stu thanks for dropping by! Good to know somebody else is going through the same thing! Except, the solution I found is good but I am not sticking to it 100% to be frank. But at least I got some new energy by disconnecting- and will be trying to do it more often. Today I was working again, but it was fun and at least I got work done. So next few days will be more quiet, I hope. I hope you will also find a solution that works for you, Stu!


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