Eli is a happy and flourishing 6 almost 7 month old and I am totally and unconditionally in love with him. If you had met me prior to having a baby, I would not have struck you as the maternal type. Holding babies was awkward and unnatural and I struggled to connect with the idea of becoming a mum... Until I was one.
However, my initiation into motherhood was tough. I become very unwell, battling almost every side effect from child birth that you could imagine. We had sleepless nights, changes to routine, insecurities of not knowing what we were doing, limited time together as a couple, and home renovations. I was overwhelmed and tired - oh so tired. Everything seemed to be gathering negative momentum as the change became almost too much to digest. Until one night sometime a couple of months ago, my son taught me one of my greatest lessons to date.
It all started during a horrendous storm and Eli woke up howling with tears pouring down his face. Parry and I leapt out of bed as Eli crying in the middle of the night is not a common occurrence. We went to his room and upon arrival, Eli immediately stopped crying, looked at us and smiled. His Mum and Dad were there and in that moment he knew he was safe and loved. He immediately settled, had a drink and went back to sleep. Now, I reflected upon this in the hours that followed. Had this event occurred to me or another fellow adult, our response to that situation would most likely be completely different. If many adults found themselves crying and upset with a delay from others in providing support, I can guarantee you that 9 times out of 10, the response would go a little something like this; "I've been crying for ages and you only just got here??" "You always do this, remember that time before...?"
In fact, when I think about it honestly, I do this quite a lot. Reflect upon and live in the past, grumble about the present and stress about the future. Babies do not. They are with you or their toy or simply themselves in each moment of their day - they do not carry with them the events of yesterday or stress about the probabilities of tomorrow. That simple and uninterrupted bliss that Eli has with him, even after tears or a bad nights sleep is genuine. In turn, this has created a shift in myself, Parry and our home. Collectively, we are becoming more simplistic in daily routines, interactions and expectations - each moment is lived with presence and it is doing us well.
So let us all constantly remember... Now is the moment. We keep endlessly waiting for a better, more convenient, happier, more rested, less stressed, better financed, more zen, less burdened moment to find peace but it is actually there at all times. In us, as us. Life doesn't get any better and is not supposed to be any other way than what it is right now.
I certainly understand that it is hard to be mindful and present all the time and it is a practice (trust me - I'm still learning), but I highly recommend spending an afternoon with a baby to assist you in mastering the skill!
With light, love and lots of dribbly kisses from Eli,