Well, I’m back from my first weekend away as a parent. It was more like 5 days, Wednesday - Sunday. I was up at the Honeyroot retreat in Nevada City. if you don’t know about it, sisters, you gotta check it out and get you some. http://www.honeyrootretreats.com/
It was hard to be away from the kiddos at first. And my boobs kept filling with milk (because I still breastfeed the boy) and triggering hormones that made me really miss them. Lotsa tears and and difficulty being present.Then there was some internal movement that got me to understand that part of what I was going through was that I had no one to care-take, great mama/partner/doula/teacher that I am. So I had to deal with me. It came in clearly that my work for the weekend was to do me, love me, make choices based simply on my needs and desires. Have deeper uninterrupted conversations and meals! Move at my own pace. I ended up doing pretty awesomely good at that.
It was a good resetting to the place I live, love and care-take from best. We can’t feed from an empty bowl. I was feeling energized, renewed, closer to enlightenment. I was excited about spending the summer with my kids outta school from this lofty yummy feeling place.
By Sunday, though the day was a powerfully beautiful day for me at Honeyroot, I was so ready to hug and kiss and smell my family. Yeah, I’m hooked on the smell of my man and my kids…
I pictured them being as open and ready to love and enjoy each other as I was. And they were...But…. The boy, 2 ½, was certainly mad at me and threw angry fits of sleep resistance and mam rejection till like 11 something. It took a while of telling him I understood he was upset I was gone, that I loved him all the time and would always do my absolute best to come back to him whenever I leave. That I am home now. I am right here.
The girl, being 6 ½, was like “Mama! You’re home!” for like 1 minute, then it was business as usual.
The man and I are just exhausted. He from his parenting alone weekend and me from my moving deep stuff weekend. Fully in love, just tired.
Monday was a rough day of readjustment with the kiddos. While I was away the boy shifted into the tyrant whiner level of two-year-old-um. My big girl needed everything repeated to her at least 5 times. They whined and fought and ignored. I yelled and bribed and threatened consequences (usually no books or nay-nays). Growling and whining were the sounds of our day. The boy withheld kisses and hugs. The girl would rather hang out with her favorite big girl….
This was not how I picture it. My inner tranquility didn’t hold up. I felt really upset and disappointed. Beaten…
But wait. It’s not about getting it perfect all the time. It’s about keeping at it. It’s about getting another chance with each moment to be and parent as I intend to. With respect, patience and love.
So this morning I snuggled my boos in bed. I apologized and repeated what I say when I yell or mess up- “ It’s not your fault when I yell or let myself get frustrated. I’m the grown up, it’s my job to take a deep breath and calm down. But I am a person and I make mistakes. And I need help sometimes. Well a lot of times. Actually everyday.”
“ Please help me,” I said. ” Please help me by talking to me rather than whining and flipping out. I want to do this together. Can we keep trying?”
My wonderful children both agreed to this and stated things they could do better, like taking a deep breath when their feelings feel big and trying to use their words so I can understand what they want or need.
Oh. My. Goddess. I love my children! They are my favorite people.
And then at breakfast we talked about the summer we want to have together. Adventures, Yes-es, Fun. We talked about keeping up with our mindfulness practice with our Tibetan singing bowl and deep breathing. About down time. About helping each other.
And I feel that all the work I did at the retreat is not lost to one rough day of parenting. It is in me growing. Just like it’s growing in them.