06 11 2013 • Tanya Kazeminy Mackay
We are so used to feeling in control. Striving, planning, implementing so much of our lives is about control. I think that can be one of the hardest lessons to learn with having a baby, that ultimately we are no longer in control.
It always makes me smile when I hear women talking about their birth plans… the due date, when they hope to actually have the baby, how soon after they plan to be back at work, back on form and so on. Because the truth is – mother nature is in the driving seat and you will have the baby when the baby is good and ready to be had! You have no idea how you will feel after baby because mother nature is the boss and you may feel great you may feel awful. The most business minded may become the mushiest mama and the one who plans to stay at home may miss work.
But, you really cannot predict how it will go, when it will go, or how you will feel because you really are not in control. And the sooner you can totally surrender to motherhood, the easier your journey will be.
My first son was a great sleeper – a little champion. He allowed me all my rigorous schedules and was smooth as silk. I was gently introduced me to the loss of control. I knew I was no longer the boss, but he was quite cooperative with me, and my need to have things go to plan. He allowed me a partial understanding of the world of chaos. Of course I didn’t realise this, I just kind of thought I had it figured out. I was actually a little smug about it.
But when my second son arrived, he was having none of my controlling. He wanted to eat when he wanted to, and sleep when he wanted to, and party all night if he wanted.
Let me just set the scene – he woke up 3-5 times a night for 24 months. I fought so hard for routine, I read every book I could keep my eyes open for, spoke to experts, spoke to everyone and tried everything. I remember vividly the night I ran out of ideas, ran out of hope, ran out of fight. I looked at his tiny gorgeous face all contorted with upset, my face looking about the same (but with far less gorgeous) and my body and spirit surrendered. I picked him up, put us nose to nose and I said: “I capitulate”.
And I repeated it again and again until we were both calm. And we stayed quietly in that moment of love and surrender until our breathing became the same and we totally relaxed into each other. Time passed, I don’t know how long, I had abandoned the clock watching. After a while, I asked him if he wanted to sleep, he nodded and I lay him in his lovely cot and he slept through the night for the first time. And that was it, he slept through the night from then on.
Funny how in surrendering to the chaos, it evaporated and became non-chaotic. I often think about that moment when I ask the kids to bend to my will. Sometimes it’s just about respecting their presence, their timing, their needs – and surrendering to all of this with love.
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