Thursday, July 23, 2009

summer Yum!

Yesterday I decided to make a special dessert using all of our yummy summer fruit that is begging to be eaten. I also decided that involving the kids would give us all something nice to do together. My son loves to do the dishes, I realized yesterday this is a hugely undertapped resource in our house! I hate doing dishes.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

releasing attachment

I talk about releasing attachment to outcome all the time in my classes, in fact, it is the cornerstone of all that I teach. When we are attached to outcome, we miss the magic of the process, the purely transformative magic that happens when we see and experience each moment as it unfolds. For birth that means allowing ourselves to be fully in the moment, not doing labour math or worrying how hard it will be to push. Rather, being connected to the moment, to our babies and to ourselves. This is what birthing in awareness is all about.

But what about living in awareness? Or even better, parenting in awareness? As I move through each summer day with my children, I am faced each morning with the grand question..."What are we going to do today?" Are we going to have a quiet home day of playing in the garden, reading stories and painting? Or are we going to go on some kind of adventure? Whatever the activity for the day, it is often with the notion that my children will get something out of it, that they will feel like we spent a good time together and hopefully at the end of the day they will be tired and have had their need for one-on-one attention filled.

Some days this happens, some days it doesn't. Those days it doesn't it seems like I could have taken them on a space trip to the moon and still they arrive home unhappy, cranky, demanding my attention in all the wrong ways. They are upset. I am upset. Everyone is grouchy. I feel frustrated as though all that time I spent was for nothing. I also feel this way about cooking dinner when the reaction I get is "Ewwww, this looks disgusting" My cooking actually isn't all that bad, apparently my son just has a very discerning palate.

Anyway, what I realized tonight after yet another stressful bedtime was that maybe if I released my attachment to the outcome of the day, activity, whatever, with my kids and just enjoyed the moment, (even if it meant that later they would have a meltdown as though I had done nothing with them), I would be able to be present in the wonderful moment that I was in with them. Even if that moment was temporary. Well, I guess all moments are temporary, that's why they are called moments.

It really got me thinking, how often do we do things with or for our children with the hope and intention that it will result in something great. And when it doesn't, we feel let down, maybe even resentful. But if we were able to take the kids to the river (for example) just for taking them to the river, not for some desired outcome, we would feel a whole lot happier and maybe a little less frustrated. I guess this is what mindfulness is all about, have I unknowingly been practicing mindlessness? Is this a case of "those who can't do, teach"? No, I think we just all have to arrive on our own time.

Are you attached to outcome?

Friday, July 17, 2009

my new favorite movie

This is my new favorite movie. Some have said it is a love letter to Canada. For me, it was an inspiring film about courage, finding oneself and breathing in life every moment that you have. In my past life I had a serious wanderlust and this past trip to California reminded me how alive I feel when I am traveling. I love, love, love this movie. Oh, and did I mention that I also love Joshua Jackson? Yep, he got me through a full year of early morning feedings with Liam, every day from 7-9am, I would watch Dawson's creek while I breastfed.

Go rent this movie.

Monday, July 13, 2009


My daughter turned two yesterday. It was such a great day to celebrate her and her arrival in our family. It is also a day of reflection. A day to remember her birth, that excited entry into the world after a huge plate of guacamole and nachos. A birth that almost happened without our dear midwife (thankfully she got there in time), a birth that was so lovely, all four of us were tucked into bed and reading a book to her by 9:00pm. Her birth was a gift, as is she.

Happy Birthday love bug.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

finding some grounding

So, these past couple of days haven't been as wonderful as our boat float day at the beach or library day. Actually, they have been hell. My boy has been pushing every button there is, and when he is done with that, he seems to have invented some new ones. My daughter, who is now about to turn 2, is beginning to follow along with whatever her brother does.

It is official: I am outnumbered.

So after a ridiculous day that would put the Gong Show to shame and an only minor meltdown on my part, I left the house. No, not with the kids in it alone, they were with my husband. I went to a La Leche League meeting. For those of you that don't know much about La Leche League or perhaps have heard some rumours that they are just breastfeeding Nazis, I am here to set you straight. The local group here is amazing, the leaders, amazing, the support, well, amazing. It is the largest non-profit women's organization in the world. It is a group dedicated to the support of women and their children in their childbearing and mothering journey. The meetings focus on a topic every month and there is always time for women to bring forth their questions or concerns. In this supportive atmosphere, women are given mother-to-mother support. Honest, compassionate, non-judgmental support.

So tonight, after a day that should have been a joke on candid camera, I went to a meeting where I was met with understanding, camaraderie and wisdom. I feel more grounded and am reminded that like this tree, my roots are strong and although sometimes a gale comes and tries to knock me over, my branches are always reaching for the sun, doing the best they can each day. If you haven't been to a La Leche League meeting, consider going, you might be surprised what you find there.

Oh, and if you are wondering if I am still savouring the summer after all this, yes of course. I am still happy to be with my children and enjoy the break, but I realized tonight, that I just needed a break of my own, on my own. Maybe you do to?

Monday, July 6, 2009

a summer to savour

Summer is fully upon us giving us many opportunities to do everything and nothing. The school year is full of events, drop off, pick up, parent meetings, class meeting, meetings about meetings. It seems like during the school year there is always something that needs doing that our front door often seems like a revolving one.

Now that we are on summer holidays (notice how I said "we" not my son), many people ask if I have the kids signed up for soccer camp, drumming camp, swimming lessons, art camp, day camp or anything out of the house camp. It is as though it is too challenging for us to simply slow down and savour summer for what it is, a break.

So this summer, I am thoroughly enjoying not having to be anywhere for anything or anyone. The children are not enrolled in daycare or any other form of group activity. Some days we get up and enjoy the garden outside, some days we go to the beach and sail boats and some days, like today, we go to the library and stock up on a great pile of books. And even though there have been moments where I long for my morning "off", I really enjoy the simplicity of not having a schedule. Sure, trying to have lunch with a friend and finish a sentence with two children with me is impossible but I know that there will soon come a day when these days feel like a dream.

It's such a cliche to say it all goes by so fast, but it really does and if I don't savour this moment, right now, right now and right now, I will regret it forever. Children are magic, how do you savour the summer with yours?