A Long Day

It’s been long day. We closed on our house Friday, I’m in the process of coordinating 5 different contractors to get things fixed up before we move in, the roof on our current rental is being replaced so it’s been incredibly loud, our AC went out so it’s been 85 in here today (around 92 in my office upstairs), and our landlord laughed at me when I called to ask for some sort of compensation for the headache.

Most nights after Shawna does Veda’s bedtime routine, I take over and bounce her to sleep on an exercise ball. Most nights it’s pretty straight forward. She might squirm for a bit, but then calms down and I can quickly bounce her to sleep.

But tonight, she wasn’t having it. She was contorting her body and kept reaching up and taking out her pacifier. She always sleeps with that thing so I’d put it back in then try to pin her arm against mine so she couldn’t pluck it out again. But she just kept at it. Over and over. And my back is getting sore, my hands are starting to hurt. She just keeps fighting me. I keep trying to force her to do it my way…..

Then a thought pops in. Maybe she just doesn’t want to sleep with the pacifier anymore? And now I’m faced with a decision. That by damn I’m going to force this kid to do it my way, I’m in a bad mood and I just want to go to sleep!!! Or I could loosen my grip on what I think is right and instead listen to her. Let her guide me.

Veda has a very strong personality and I can see that the more I try to force her to do things my way, the more she is going to rebel. This battle over the pacifier might seem like a small thing, but this decision to control or submit could either set the stage for a life of struggle between us, or one of grace and flow.

What is it about being a parent that makes us want to control so much? Or is it not even about being a parent, and that we want to control all aspects of our lives? Control is something I keep coming back to is so many different ways. And the lesson is always to release and let go. Let life wash over me and enjoy it. Whatever that may bring.

And wouldn’t you know it, that as soon as I just let her take the pacifier out she passed right out…

Working out my love muscles

I’ve always had a hard time falling asleep.

For the past few years I’ve gotten in the routine of meditating until I start nodding off then crawling into bed and passing out. This has worked great…. up until a new baby entered into the equation…

Veda is really hit or miss on her sleeping. Some nights it’s great, other nights she’s up all the time.

Because of this I’ve gotten into the mindset of “Ok, Veda is asleep, I need to fall asleep NOW so I can get some sleep before she wakes up”. It stresses me out. And Sunday and Monday I got like 3 hours of sleep each night. Not necessarily because she was up a lot, but because I was lying awake stressing out about what would happen if she DID wake up. Pretty ridiculous…

Last night I was headed down the same path so I got up and started meditating, trying to get into that old routine again. I got like 30 minutes in, started nodding off, got into bed and crossed my fingers…. And I immediately started stressing out and couldn’t sleep….

I lay there for an hour and then got up to try meditating again.

I was super pissed but stuck with it, and this time after 30 minutes something interesting happened. And this is really why I always come back to meditation. For me it’s the quickest way to get to these insights that might have otherwise taken weeks or months to come to.

I had a thought pop in. It’s one of my favorite prayers / mantra’s:

“Help me see this moment in a more loving light”

Hearing this totally snapped me out of the rut I wasn’t even really aware that I was in. There was no compassion, no love in the attitude I had been taking. I saw her sleeplessness and my anxiety about it as a frustration that needed to be eradicated so I could get back to my normal routine. So I could be happy.

Now there was this new found love that started swelling up and overtaking the old negativity. I realized that this situation could instead be perceived as a challenge. Can I bring love and compassion to this difficult experience? It’s like going to the love gym.

Taking this approach lets me work WITH the irritation instead of AGAINST it. Working against it like I had been doing just made it worse. My flow was totally blocked and I was just piling more pressure behind the build up. But now I can instead embrace the negativity and start to transform it into something I can use. Something that makes me feel happy regardless of if she is sleeping, regardless of if I am sleeping.


And interestingly enough as soon as I adopted this new attitude I hopped back into bed and went right to sleep.