I had been married for nearly fourteen years before I adopted my son Ryan. He was three days old when I first laid eyes on him. He was and is the love of my life. Don and I were so happy. That very week we brought our baby boy home I conceived. Thirty -four weeks later I gave birth to my daughter, Lauren, prematurely (the other love of my life). Two babies, seven and one half months apart!
We were so happy! We felt so lucky! It was a long journey from infertility to parenting.
There were many bumps in the road, but the road was paved with love and joy. My first task was to weave together my perceptions of my life as a mother with the reality of being a mother. This was quite a process.
My first reality check was the realization that life as I knew it had changed. The more I accepted that reality the more I was able to adjust to it, enjoy it and be present.
I gave up my cup of coffee! That was really big for me. For fourteen years I would wake up, do a little yoga and then sit in my favorite chair, facing the sun and enjoy that cup of java. It was like heaven to me, my little piece of paradise. I tend to be someone who really likes rituals. My morning routine set the pace for my day. I enjoyed the warmth of the cup in my hands, the sun on my face, the birds chirping.
My new reality involved mothering, two babies that were less than a year apart. My babies were at very different developmental levels. My son at seven months old was already walking around furniture and climbing stairs, My daughter a preemie, was 4lbs 6ozs and nursed almost around the clock.
My mornings were quite busy yet I felt up for the job. My original mindset yearned for and included my morning ritual. At first I thought I could include both mothering my babies and enjoying my morning ritual or some semblance of it. My focus was on completing my tasks, making sure my baby’s needs were met so I could get my cup of coffee. I was often left frustrated. Most days it just did not work. I was way too focused on my end point and was not being present for each moment. I had waited a long time for these babies and wanted to enjoy them.
That was the start of a new beginning for me. I wanted to be present for my babies and enjoy mothering them, thus I gave up that cup of coffee and all that it represented to me.
From that point on I practiced being present for my babies. I wanted to be in the flow and not in resistance to the flow. Each moment I tried to focus on what I was doing, putting aside the mindless chatter regarding what I wanted to do, what I should do, or what I could not do but wanted to do. I was much more happy.
Still “practicing” living in the flow, sometime successful, sometimes not.
Kathleen McCarthy CNM, MSN.
Are you in the flow? If yes! How do you stay present? If no! Why not?