I’m taking a refresher on how to write. Things like: tell an interesting story, have a conflict that gets resolved, include self-discovery. Be a little bit scared about each post.
J is always telling me to shake up my routine. As a way to shake up my thinking. I look at baby F and think about all those neural pathways that have yet to be formed.
Actually, one unexpected benefit of baby F’s early wake ups is that all she wants is to get up at 6 am and play with her cup collection and edible book. So while she’s doing that I’ve started meditating.
In other words, she forges neural pathways while I attempt to clear mine.
After years of thinking “how will I establish a daily meditation habit?”- now we know how. Have a baby, be forced awake at 6 am every day. Easy!
Ironically to solve the sleep problem, last week I asked J to hang out with baby F in the morning so I could sleep. Thereby eliminating my fledgling meditation practice. But everyone knows if you’re not getting enough sleep, you’re a sad zombie. And three two hour stretches does not a good night’s sleep make. For five months straight.
Hence the white flag of surrender – and the quiet “please help me”.
We negotiated that he would take over at 7am. We negotiated it. As if baby F and I have been negotiating her wake up times all along.
Now, I know the fastest route to depression is comparing yourself to other people who look like they’ve figured it all out.
No one has figured it all out.
But I can’t stop.
Truth: My casual assessment of the babies in my orbit is that all but one has a dad who is more available and more meaningully involved than my baby. I’m pretty sure the one who is beating us at this is an alcoholic.
Which is what I feel like when I engage in my sick secret addiction of comparing our family to everyone else’s. Even when I know we have some of the strongest family values. And quality time and family dance parties and a truckload of deep genuine love.
In the week since we negotiated the 7am “help” it has happened three times. The first morning it was a success, the second less so, then it died. And then this morning – on my insistence it happened, but resentfully.
And I think I’m over it. And I’m not. I’m thinking about the other dad’s. Who wake up when their kids wake up, walk into the kid’s room and comfort the baby. Or feed it a bottle. This has never happened at my house.
Growing up my family ran this way: mum would ask dad to do things. And he would do them.
But. That’s not us. Something I need to unlearn. In meditation or otherwise.
He is not an early riser and he seems unwilling to change that. I feel like I have this inflexible adult partner and an irrational (obviously) totally dependent baby and I am buffering the two of them as if they made sense together.
And here’s the moment of self-discovery: I don’t want to buffer them. I want to meditate. I just need to find a way to get more sleep. Or maybe just more rest.
Doing more that gives me energy, like writing and creating. And less that sucks it out of me, like fighting with my favourite person over when he wakes up in the morning.
And every now and then, taking a few slow breaths. Forgetting the comparisons and everyday minutiae. And remembering the sweet bundle we’re raising up. That, and there’s always coffee.