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Un poil' enceinte et des poussiereuh

On how Wellspring are opposing freedom of speech and trying to silence a mother.

Our nightmare with Wellspring has started on Tuesday the 16th of January at 2:45pm, when the Wellspring Community scheduled an appointment at 2: 45 PM to meet our daughter Tulsi. We had already met with Wellspring to discuss why we wanted to enroll our child in their school. We explained that it was their alternative education and teachings that attracted us, and specified that our daughter had attended Lemonts, a Montessory nursery, for three years, and was trying to master four languages at a time, which caused her a small delay in speech but nothing that required, according to Lemonts, a worrisome thought of any kind.

Lemonts preschool gives parents very detailed report of what a child learns in their program. They were very happy with Tulsi and she also showed a lot of enthusiasm. During this interview, Wellspring didn’t mention the procedure of the interview, didn’t mention the requirements to get enrolled in the school and yet asked us to pay the sum of 160 $ just for the interview. As optimistic parents we imagined the interview to be an opportunity to meet our daughter. We had no idea that our daughter would be taken away for a 30 minutes to be “tested”. We had no idea that a school can seriously think that you can asses a 3 year old child’s  in 30 minutes away from his parents.

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On Tuesday the 16th of January at 2:45pm, we arrive at the school, and our daughter falls asleep due to an already exhausting day. As we arrive, a child is yelling in the reception, and another one is crying. We are holding our daughter asleep.  The woman in charge of our file asks us to wake her up. Tulsi is upset but begins to wake herself up. We then go to the playground.  Five minutes later, two women ask to take Tulsi to a separate room. Tulsi has never visited this school and is only three years old. Yet she is used to strangers  and very sociable and so she kindly accepts and follows them. Nabil and I are terrified and don’t understand this procedure. But as parents wanting the best for our child, and trusting Tulsi, we slowly watch her being taken away to a separate room.

30 minutes later, a woman, looking sternly at us, asks us two questions without introducing herself. We have, after all, no clue who she is!

  • How did you learn about Wellspring?
  • What can you say about your daughter?

Nabil and I stare at each other very surprised by their lack of interest as well as their superficial questions. We answer and leave.

After a few weeks, we are notified that our daughter might not be accepted, but that another appointment has been scheduled for her. I refuse to go as I cannot believe this is happening, but my father, a rector of a high school in France, encourages me to take the second interview before deciding of anything.

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During this time, we are told by other parents that their kids also got rejected and we start to learn more and more about this obscure alternative school.

It appears, to be not alternative at all…

Nabil goes with Tulsi to the second interview.

Tulsi is taken to the garden, plays a bit and then the interview is over. How a decision by Wellspring was taken at this moment that Tulsi is special needs and unable to follow the class will forever remain a mystery…

We are told two weeks later that she is not accepted. I ask them to send me an email specifying why she was refused. I’m told to call them in the morning. I send an email specifying that I will not call them, that I paid 160 $ and that I ask them to specify the reasons why they didn’t accept Tulsi.

I receive two weeks later a mail saying they didn’t forget about us and will answer us but only, once again, if we call them. I repeat that I want a written answer.

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It will take them more than two weeks to answer this :

Tulsi was not cooperative in the first interview. This could be due to the timing of the interview, which was in the afternoon, and, as mentioned above, she was in Lemonts all day and was tired. That is why we decided to have another interview with Wellspring. During the 2nd interview, the school observes and assesses: the development of the child’s motor skills, language skills (verbal and vocabulary) and speech, cognitive and thinking skills; if the child can follow instructions and directions; if the child works independently and is responsive.

According to the interviewee’s notes, Tulsi was not interactive during the second interview. Her speech was neither clear, nor was it understood. Tulsi was not able to follow 2-step instructions, and was repeating everything the teacher was saying instead of answering the basic questions.

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After our experience with Wellspring, we went to the Lemonts administration to ask them if Tulsi fit the profile described, in response to which we were told a categorical “no”.

I decide to write a post on Facebook to denounce what Wellspring did and to show that they are not the alternative school they pretend to be. I emphasized the fact that we paid 160 $ for an interview that we didn’t know anything about and that this is not acceptable on legal grounds.

If the requirements to enroll a year old child were specific, then as parents paying for the interview, we have a right to know the procedure in detail.

On Tuesday 26 of June, the committee on Cyber Crimes in Lebanon contacts me to notify me that the school complained about our post. I have to go to a convocation on Tuesday at 10 AM to answer why I wrote what I wrote. I might even be asked, according to my lawyers, to never say a word again about my experience.

Wellspring never apologized for it. They did worse: they opposed our freedom of speech and are trying to silence us.

NB :  Tulsi has been accepted very smoothly since then to the Grand Lycée Franco-Libanais.

 

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I See Mother

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This mother

Present or gone

Was born mother

Before he was born

And he was born son

Before she was born

For each

For each a mother

Alive

Or Gone

A mother loved

Loathed

A mother sick

Drunk

A single mother

An absent mother

A full time mother

For all

Always

A mother once

Before we walked

Under Eternal

Suns

We bathed in our mothers

Eternal Sea

I see mother

I see mother

everywhere

I see her

In animals

Plants

Dogs

Birds

I See her in the nest

On my Window

Behind a hidden egg

She

The invisible mother

Who went to bring food

I see a mother

in a woman

Holding a refugee’s hand

Or any soul

For who

She will stand

I see mother

In each everything,

I see her

In the deepness

Of a cow mother’s eyes

And I see her

in the grass

They walk on

 

My daughter doesn’t speak yet

 

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No she doesn’t.

She actually mutters, screams, sings words. But her words belong to a world of music and sounds, to a world where it’s not mandatory to be understood nor is it mandatory to talk in a certain way, nor is it mandatory to talk at all.

The freedom to be.

Many times, I’m asked : your daughter is more than 2 and she doesn’t speak yet?

And my answer is : no, she doesn’t.

And on the faces I can see the fear of them my daughter not being “normal”. Immediately this fear and the question that follows :

Is it normal? What time “should” they start?

Already, my daughter who is in a world of hers is confronted to this fear of people and the “normality”. This urge to speak to “fit”.

No my daughter doesn’t speak yet and I’m not worried. I’m not worried about her not communicating in the same way I do, because I’m not in a hurry for her to change or to grow or whatever they call it.

I contemplate her from the place where I am and where she is.

I don’t think : let me talk to her more, let me repeat the words in front of her, like : these are your SHOES or do you want to come with MOMMY. No, I can’t. I never say a word I don’t mean to anyone. Why would I start with my child ? Why would I act the life that is not real ? What is real for me is to talk to my child when there’s need to talk, when I have something to say. And when things can be said without words, I keep quiet.

I don’t want to stress a word so that she gets it, or repeat a question loud so she gets it, or say anything really so she gets anything really.

I don’t want her to “perform”, to repeat numbers or letters so I can say : yes, I made it!

I know that the letters and the numbers are already in her in a poetic form. They are the music, they are the sounds, they are all the possibilities.

I contemplate her from the place where I am which is also my ignorance.

I contemplate her silence, her singing and try not to project on her something I want for obscure reasons, like talking, like being someone she has to become.

She’s immersed in the now. Life is being what it is. In her silence or in her own words, she is saying : I AM.

Somehow, I shut up and listen. I’m learning to listen. It’s so hard to listen. To truly listen when a voice inside urges you to act according to your beliefs or your projections. It’s so hard to actually SEE people, SEE in them. SEE kids.

But they do  teach you that. They teach you to LISTEN and consider another point of view.

Having my daughter not speaking to me  forces me to observe. And I see in this miracle of being another way of being and I learn from her how to be open.

No, my daughter doesn’t speak yet. But she does a lot of other things. She climbs the stairs (and the trees roots), she draws abstract stuff on the walls, she swallows two bottle of chocolate milk in a row, she makes funny faces and plays hide and seek, she imitates the downward facing dog, the cat, the cobra. She repeats a word after me then forgets about it and its importance.

She smiles to strangers and sometimes even hug them too.

She smiles to strangers.

No, she doesn’t speak yet, her world is somewhere else, out of reach, her world is beyond words. In this world, I imagine, sounds and music and colors are filling her ears of meaning. She is still listening to us, not in a urge to answer or to prove anything to anyone.

For her, it’s not important to be right. It’s not important to be adequate. It’s not important to FIT.

She is still singing, she is still trying to figure out how she will communicate with the world and when she will be ready to talk and how she will do that.

I want to say to people who are afraid of “the difference” : only because she doesn’t speak yet doesn’t mean she doesn’t understand what you are saying. She does. She’s just not ready yet to leave the world of hers to completely enter the world of us.

She will on her own time. Like a flower blossoming gradually.

Like a flower.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mothers have dreams too

This text was written by my friend Ana Julia Escalante

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Ana Julia and her son Daniel

I just came back from a 5 days trip with my one and a half years son and the 4 sisters that life gave me, we decided to gather after 5 years of not seeing each other. We are all spread around the world between England, Germany, France, Spain and Lebanon.

We had plenty of time to talk, many things happened in the past 5 years; we are all on our early thirties so inevitably the question of having children came up. They said they are not ready, another reason was lack of money, lack of help around them, they don’t want to stop their careers they even got philosophical about how ugly is the world that we are leaving in right now and if it is worth it or not to keep on bringing children, the idea of adopting came in between the options.

Out of 5 friends I’m the only one who has a child, I have to confess “that it is tough to be a mum who wants to build a career at the same time”. Another confession  I’m struggling since I have no family around me, and my partner travels often, I work to pay the daycare, I wake up every morning thinking about the future of my child and I think also about the future of my child every time I watch the news, and of course I’m worried about the money, but I want to work and I want to build a career while building a family.

So I came into the conclusion that there is a lot of prejudice but even worse we are forced to choose between family or career, we live in a society that doesn’t give part time jobs, where the maternity leave is only 60 days but believe me if the mom’s head is with the children she won’t be performing at her best.

Meanwhile countries like Austria, Czech Republic, Finland and Hungary provide with a 3 year paid leave for mothers, Germany has introduced the parent’s salary to encourage women to stay home, other countries like New Zealand put emphasis on preschool education so they get moms back to work Britain, Germany, Japan and Switzerland are strong on mothers working part time.

Family and relatives play a big role also, one night I was coming here and had to leave my child with some relatives they were nice enough to keep my son with them but there was a price to be paid, the unnecessary comments before leaving they told me that I should slow down, that I was a mom that needed to rest and sleep, and to stop my activities. As if I should turn off my own life for good…

Another example : my son started the nursery so we had and adaptation period during those days I was late to work If I’m late it will be deducting it from my payment and my boss will make remarks that I’m being late giving a bad example to others.

Women are being judged by the same standard as man, we don’t want to be like man, we don’t want to be treated like them this is a misconception of equality, as a prove childless women in corporate America earn almost as much as men. Mothers with partners earn less and single mothers much less.

Even in the countries with family-friendly employment policies only 14% of the top five leadership positions are held by women, or even worse if we just consider the very top out of 500 companies there are only 24 female CEO.

Don’t get me wrong I’m not here to tell you that you should have children or not, I want to send a message from a working mom to tell you guys, husbands, partners, sons, companions, and also to you mothers, sisters, friends that we should respect the women right to decide if they want to participate in the motherhood path yes or no, and if they decide to do so let’s give them the tools, and give them our support, to keep going.

Yes we are moms, but mothers also have dreams, we want to climb to the top of the ladder to see what’s up there, women work represents an economic necessity rather than liberation.

Yes we are capable, we are prepared we just need the motivation, the comprehension and the trust to earn those credentials, we are ready to work, we can make a difference.

 

Life Shouldn’t Stop When You Have kids

 

photo 5.JPGWe are all tempted when we have kids to just dive in the experience, give everything we have, do all the things that we are required to do, drop all our dreams, sacrifice our time and wishes for ourselves, and then pretend that it’s normal, it’s the way when we have kids, when we become a family…..

If you are in a situation where you feel that you have ceased suddenly to exist for yourself, that all your decision making depends only of your kids and family, then you need to stop for five minutes and think twice.

Ask yourself :

When was the last time you did something only for yourself? Are you waking up with a purpose in life other than raising your kids, something that you love to do and that you’re still doing for the sake of your sanity? Do you still have dreams for you and not for them, dreams of you becoming whoever you want to become or accomplishing whatever you want to accomplish? Or have you just dropped everything ?

You might answer : I love just raising my kids, and if it’s the honnest truth, than let it be. Some women only want to raise their kids and that’s great, if it’s their choice.

But, if you are one of those mums who thinks that you should sacrifice it all, then know that :

-If you are happy, filled with energy and dreams, you will show your kids the example. No matter how hard you try to explain to them how important it is to follow our guts, our dreams, your kids will never believe you if they don’t see YOU fighting for your own dreams, for your own goals, if they don’t observe you with a purpose other than raising them (which is a great purpose if it’s the one you chose, but not if it’s one you are forcing yourself to do because you think you have no choice).

-By realizing yourself, you will let your kids realize themselves too. You won’t project on them what you have failed to give yourself in the first place. It’s a healthy selfishness. It’s about taking care of yourself the best you can so you can give the best version of yourself to your kids. You will not be asking them to be the doctor you wished you were or the artist you failed to become. You will let them be free of their choices because you were free of your own choices. You will teach them without even noticing the true meaning of freedom. The freedom of becoming who you ARE.

-When you follow your path, when you follow your guts, when you believe in the potential of life, when you believe in your own potential, in the options that life gives, you are setting a true example to your kids. You are showing them that if we believe in something hard, we can get it. You will teach them to wake up with a purpose, with a thirst for realizing and working towards realizing things. You will give them HOPE. But if you are just starring at life, no taking care of yourself and not even trying to reach your goal, your kids will integrate that everything is NOT possible. They may “succeed” in their life but they won’t have this deep belief that they can do ANYTHING. And believing that is the only attitude we should have toward life,because the more we believe it, the more it becomes true.

Yes. Believing that everything is possible is not just about words. It’s really an attitude to the world. When you meet people that believe that they can do anything, that they can climb mountains, that they can drop their job and follow their true passion, people who are not AFRAID to LIVE, you get inspired.

It’s just the same with your kids. If you take your life seriously and believe that you deserve to pursue whatever dreams you have, your kids will be inspired. And this is one of the best lesson and gift that you can offer them.

-It doesn’t matter if you succeed or not, what matters is the PATH, it’s the ATTITUDE. We never realise really when we’ve succeeded or not because all the time we were living the life we chose for ourselves and not a life that is choosing for us.

It’s really simple. If you don’t choose for yourself the life you want for yourself, other people will do it for you, life will do it for you. So it’s up to YOU only.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What the mothers want

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For days your phone and Facebook and all your social accounts have been bombarded with mother day’s gifts, quotes & articles. You’ve eaten a lot of it the past few days and you’re looking for a way to digest it all. So here the recipe. And I won’t be redondant and say that mother’s day is a daily celebration because to be honnest I don’t believe it can always be. I think sometimes it’s even pretty shitty.

But, then, the mother day can be the opportunity to talk about what the mothers WANT.

In a straight forward form.

So, Believe it or not, every mother, especially mothers of kids under the age of 3 are very very very TIRED. I wish there was another version of the word  “very” in the dictionnary but you see my point. They are just VERY.

Forget about some judgemental people who say that nowadays mothers complain too much about their tiredness. They  just don’t have a clue what they’re saying and if these people are men then they have absolutely NO CLUE. Mums are tired because contemporary conditions have changed and being a mum today is way more challenging than it used to be.

Don’t be tempted by the people who with assurance will tell you that in tribes or other countries or communities, mums hold their babies on their back, breastfeed the whole day, have the hard life, and that because of that we should feel happy and privileged. This is bullshit and this guilt trip they want the mothers to feel is not constructice in any way. When you want to compare two types of mothering or parenting or living, you need to compare what is comparable. Not just play on sensationnalism and manicheism way of looking as thing (the good, the bad). If our society is individualistic (and our society is) then it creates more hard work for the mums. That’s just it. If our society is into hard work and impossible schedule & working times, you have to take it into consideration. There are many other relevant points but we’ve talked about this already.

It’s really simple. I’ll make it simple. When a mother says I’m tired, tell her, yes I feel you, I understand you, I believe you and you are right. I can’t help really ( yes, try honesty), but I can LISTEN to you.

What mothers want first is AN EAR.

If you feel like a wave of humanity and compassion crossing your heart, you might want to push it. Then, it’s easy you can help a mother for an hour or two per week, you can suggest a good baby-sitter, you can sit with her kids and play with them while she’s busy with chores ( or with anything really like poo or pee), you can cook for her, you çan massage her (if she falls asleep, let her sleep). I’m talking here about anyone but you the husband who is reading me, you know I’m talking to u first.

Yes what mothers want is HELP.

And if you see that she’s depleting, that she has dark thoughts, that she’s not in the mood to do anything anymore, then take this mother seriously.

Because some mothers need a LOT OF HELP.

What mothers want is understanding, they want recognition, they want the government, the companies to understand that what they are doing is not simple, it’s a full time job that requires more energy than a whole army.

And i’ll prove you my point. Put a whole army in one room with a baby, and then see how it will affect their training.

They will loose their mind, believe it. They will want to kiss their mothers feet after that. But this is not what we’re asking for here right?

What mothers want is UNDERSTANDING & COMPASSION & RECOGNITION

It’s easy to offer flowers, to offer cards, to invite her over dinner, on the mother day. It really is.

What is harder is to FEEL with a mother. To offer her support, to offer her the one hour break she needs everyday. This is what I call truly celebrating the mother day. You don’t need to spend any money really, you just need to open your heart (and move your ass 🙂

Because what mother want is LOVE ….

And Love, we all know, is an everyday offert.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Le jour de la fête des mères

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Le jour de la fêtes des mères,

ne m’apporte pas de fleurs, de boite de chocolat, ou de lettres enflammées

J’aimerais juste avoir une petite heure pour moi

Pour prendre un café

Dorer au soleil

En silence,

 

Le jour de la fête des mères,

Ne dis pas que je suis la meilleure des mamans

C’est pas très sympa pour les autres

Et puis surtout ce n’est pas vrai…

La maternité c’est pas quelque chose qu’on fait bien ou pas

C’est quelque chose qu’on fait…

Et moi, je suis juste une mère

Je ne me défies pas moi-même

J’apprends lentement a aimer….

 

Le jour de la fête  des mères,

Offre moi une nuit de sommeil

Offre moi une nuit d’amour

Offre moi une nuit tout court

Offre moi ce que j’avais

Quand je n’étais pas encore une mère

Parce que parfois

j’ai besoin de me retrouver

 

Le jour de la fête des mères

N’oublie pas celles qui ne sont plus

Et qui ont encore quelque part

des enfants

Celles qui vivent encore

Dans leurs coeurs d’enfants

Ne dis pas : je suis désolée …

Dis leur que tu te souviendras toujours de leur mère

Que c’était une belle personne,

c’est vrai.

Our Wordless World

photo 3.JPGI’ve always wondered why, so often, I remain in silence with my daughter, unable to speak the langage of adults, producing weird sounds, inventing weirds words, and yet, feeling that I’m communicating with her.

Since she is born, I have invented at least 20 words that I continuously repeat to her whenever emotions emerge. These “words” are printed with music, full of life, locking a wide range of feelings. They are words that nobody- not even me- understands although they came out of me. They are the words that motherhood gave birth to. And motherhood can give birth to music.

My daughter still lives in a wordless world (at least in her way of being her externally) where communicating is still saying anything, being freed of any conventional kind of speaking, experiencing, speaking loud, refusing to speak.

She can say Kamoubibalou and everyone enjoys it. When she sees something that she loves, she yells: wawwww, or wooooww or wiwww. She has a range of different unknown words that are out of my reach and she says them with confidence and trust in life. She can say anything, any word, any syllable in any context. No one would dare saying : you cannot say that. Since she doesn’t speak yet, she’s allowed to say with musicality. It’s really interesting to observe how babies are connected to the sounds of music, to the art of the sound through the words, to their bodies vibrating while they say, to their mouth producing the wording.

I wish sometimes that we as adults had this awareness and the right to have this freedom of speech. To be able to say the things out of the heart and the openness rather than out of the logic and the convention. Allowed to sing maybe rather than have a cold conversation. Allowed to be natural, to be all love, all feelings.

How many among us have repressed in themselves this natural appeal to life? How many among us have stopped being themselves because being oneself is sometimes too much in a conventional society?

See, each sound produced by my daughter and I when we communicate, is shaped by love or by the feelings we have toward each other and that we cannot express with words of logic….For words were not enough together to make the sentences of love, we have invented our own langage….In our wordless world, where words are just expression of emotions,  because they are just what they are, it doesn’t matter that feelings have a name. What matters is that they are being expressed in the purest form of truth.

In our worldless world, there are so many cuddles, kisses, looks, giggles. And then sometimes there are also words….They are also words but they are not our main way of communicating…They are just friends, other friends, like cuddles, that make us closer….They are coming gradually, slowly, and never under the pressure of the necessity of being understood.

Being a very chatty person myself, and writing since ever, I have been lately impressed by the fact that with my child I’m not this person. I’m just not this talkative person.

She has taught me something else: the talk through the mouvements, through the looks, through the cuddles, through the silence and the possibility to invent a new langage that is the unique expression of our relationship. I think that in a way, she has taugh me not to think and speak but rather to feel and create.

She took me back to the time when I was a baby myself, and with my twin sister, we used to have our own langage like many twins do. We even spoke late. She took me back to this essence that was in me, that always was, and reminded me of my own childhood. See, our kids hold in themselves a part of us.

And being  a mother and being reborn is learning to speak again.

But this time, with the heart in it.

 

 

From Feeling Guilty To Feeling Great

 

 

Photo du 15-01-2016 à 17.19 #2.jpgSince I became a mom, everyday and at least once per day, I go on  a guilt trip. Everyday at least once, these words cross my mind «  you could be a better mother ». It can happen anytime. In the kitchen, yesterday, for example. The inner voice mutters slowly as I chew my food : « You could cook Maya. For the sake of your daughter. » While I swallow the last bite, Tulsi has reached the last stairs and from the top is looking at me her mouth full of chocolate. Her look is precious. She is pressing one chocolate bar in her left hand, agitating the other chocolate bar in her right hand. I should probably stop her but she looks so happy, crowned with glory.  My happiness if of short term. I now remember the words I once heard « sugar is bad for kids ». I stand up ready to confiscate the chocolate and show the example. I can’t explain though why I don’t do so and just step back. I can’t. I just can’t. Her face is too much. I know I’m guilty.

I don’t cook. I never cooked. And on top of this, i give sugar.

Twice guilty.

Now other thoughs are crossing my mind. I remind myself that I’m lucky to have someone cooking  for me. I then remember having heard somewhere a mother stating out loud «  I cook, I clean, I do everything and I’m great » and how it made me feel so awkard because I don’t cook, I don’t clean and I’m not feeling great.

I’m quite tired actually.

I check some mums groups online sharing their worries. I feel compassion and I realize how most of them are worried when I’ve never really shown so much concern about my daughter’s health. Not that I’m not aware at all, I have myself a healthy diet and lifestyle but I’m not over concerned. I give her simple food, the food I eat myself, and I keep on breastfeeding. I cuddle her, when she’s sick i stay with her.  That’s it. I’ve rarely done any elaborated researches on each fruit and vegetable or ideal diet for a child her age.

Scrolling the computer, I give it a thought and tell myself : why am I so relaxed ? If I were a good mother, I wouldn’t be relaxed. I’d be doing researches, I’d be worrying, I would be caring ! And I hear the voice muttering again : you’re a bad mother…

Then there are these moments when I’m with my daughter and I just let her do her things and I do my owns. I’m happy, she’s happy. Her little dog toy with no name is happy. She’s dragging him behind her. Everything is fine. But then out of a sudden, a feeling overtakes me into a sea of doubts and remorses. The feeling that I could be with her « more ».

So I grab a book, start to read it to her but nope she’s not interested. I grab another book, thinking this one might work – not interested. And then I wonder, and I even tell myself, maybe it’s my fault if she’s not interested. I must be lacking in method that some mothers may have developed to make their kids absorbed when they read to them. I remember once a mother told me that she’d read for more than half an hour to her daughter the same age of mine every night. «  And she adores it ! » she cried out with a satisfied look. I starred at her, motionless, wondering why I was not able to share the same experience with my daughter.

Everyday, I think about my life, about how lucky I am. I don’t need to work from morning to night, I have a supportive husband, I have a wonderful woman at home helping with everything from cooking to taking care of Tulsi. Compared to many mums, I’m truly blessed.

Yet, with all this, I’m still feeling tired. I’m still not sleeping through the night, I still struggle sometimes with being a mom. My precious free time still doesn’t seem enough to me. I’ve always been a free bird and having a kid in a way stops me from flying. What am I, some kind of freak or a desperate case ?

I’ve been thinking about this a lot to tell you the truth. I’ve been thinking about why I’m feeling guilty.

And then I reconsidered my thoughts. I’ve had this call that maybe guilt was not just a bad thing. Maybe the urge to get rid of it immeditately as if it didn’t matter wasn’t my only option. I though that if it did exist, it could be for a good and valid reason. It’s not just about the pressure of society (yet society indeed pressures us), it might also be something related to our biology which urges us to take care of our progeniture the best way possible. I though that I was indeed lucky to come to such realisation. Intellectualizing it didn’t erase the feeling of course but rather made it visible. And what is visible can become a friend rather than an enemy.

Our worst ennemies are not visible.

So now that I had established that i felt guilty for a reason, how could I live with this guilt everyday ? How could I make guilt something more meaningful than the remorseful state it leaves in me ? How could the guilt become constructive ?

Pondering on it, I’ve though of specific situations of guilt, such as the fact that I don’t cook and I don’t talk much to my daughter. I’ve tried to come back to my intuition. If I’m not able to talk a lot to my daughter, is it because I don’t love her or is it because I show my love differently ? I looked up for the positive things I did for my daughter and tried to enumerate them. I’ve done a list. I breastfeed her on demand which takes a lot of my energy, I buy her books practicaly every week which means I think of her future as a reader, I cuddle her at night, I might not cook for her but I make sure someone is doing it. As I was enumerating the positive aspects of my kind of parenting, I also tried to remember who I was. I never was someone who loved to cook, I always liked to be busy all the times, have plenty of projects, realize myself artistically, I realized that this was me, and the projection of the perfect mother I was desperatly trying to follow just didn’t look like me. Why would someone want to be someone else ? I mean, why would someone,in the name of a perfect mother image, change his true nature ? I like to draw, I like to put my creativity into drawing and writting. So I though, this is me. I’m the mom who draws. This is what Tulsi has. A mother who likes to draw because drawing makes her feel good, because it gives meaning to her daily life. And by giving meaning to my life, I can surrender the pain for example of not being able to sleep at night because I breastfeed and havent night weaned yet.

This realisation made me feel amazing. First, I got rid of a lot of guilt, I acknowledge that we human beings are unique in our ways and that we shouldn’t change just to please dogmas or theories of what things should be like, I realized that this love that I had for my daughter was expressing itself in its unique way, and that our relationship was unique, with it flaws of course. But is any relationship perfect ? I also realized that my daughter would have to live with her mother who is not only her mother but a woman, with her idiosyncrasies, and that, if I gave her enough love, she would understand and accept me as I am, and if she didn’t, she would have to do the work to accept me, because becoming adults and grown-ups is also about accepting our parents for who they are and their part in the play of life.

If we use guilt in a good way, it can become empowering. Those two words seem contradictory I know, but aren’t things just so paradoxal and do we have to choose between two extremes or rather understand the roots of the guilt trip to be able to manage it ?

When I realized how I felt, i started to organize myself, to believe in my capacities. It’s really funny how from a negative feeling you can build something better for yourself and your surrounding, if you just can change your perspective on things.

This empowerement, this liberation that was caused by the realization that we are unique human beings doing our best in being who we are, in being happy with ourselves first in order to serve others, really saved me. It doesn’t matter if we fit or not to the ideals that society impose on us, what matters is that we are happy to wake up, happy to participate in this crazy world, in our own terms. I remembered how when I was a little girl, I had so many dreams, and I thought I still want to be that little girl, and I want my daughter to see a woman who loves life and communicate it to others.

 

Cooking food can wait. Happiness can’t.

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