That's what it's called! "Stream of Consciousness!!" That sounds way better than "Train of Thought." I don't know what I'd do without Google. Actually I'd probably be fine, I'd just have to think a little harder. ^_~
Today's topic is Kids. I wanted to share something I've realized lately...
When I was younger, I never really liked kids. Even when I was a kid I didn't really like most kids. I had a few friends, but a swarm of kids screaming at the park and similar situations have always just bothered me.
For most of my teenage years, I was convinced that I would never have kids... because I mean... what do you *do* with them? They are so crazy! I would rather live my life in calm solitude (I was an only child, after all)... or not solitude, but I would at least always have a choice.
And then, like any teenaged girl with low self-esteem, I became pregnant at 19. Long story short, I decided that I would now live for my son and not for others (I talked briefly about not living for others last post). I've now realized that to optimize what life has to offer, I have to live for my self first, family second, and others third. I was about to say, "Who cares about those other people!" But that would, in fact, be a lie on my part. I care deeply about the well-being of the people around me, but I'm finally realizing that it's not my job to make them happy, it's theirs.
But I LOVE being a mom. I'm pretty good at it, too. Having kids has very much changed my life for the better. I got my priorities in order because this beautiful life that had been created was now dependent upon my priorities.
Since I've had my second son a little over a year ago, oh wow, it has been so different than when my first son was a baby. I've gotten much more caught up in the "shoulds" and the "what-if's" and I haven't really been able to be as present as I'd like to be. I don't feel too bad though. This is apparently what happens when most people become parents, and somehow I'd escaped that on my first round.
Someone told me once,
"I heard that when you have your second kid, your brain turns to spaghetti."
So, this is the paradox (actually probably not really a paradox, but I like that word): The separation between "kid" and "adult" is stress. When I'm stressed and not grounded and stuck in my head, I simply don't connect with my kids. I interact and talk with them, but not really get on their level. I skip over the whole "putting myself in their shoes" part, simply because I'm just so busy.
And I find that to be true in a lot of different sort of relationships - the lack of connection between me and the outside world is due to the fact that I haven't been trying. And part of me says, "Of course I was trying!!" But I was trying too hard. I was stuck in my head. I needed to get out and try experiencing the world from the other perspective.
How would I feel if I was you? What would I want? What would make me happy?
Really that's what I should focus on when I want to nurture any sort of relationship, be it with my kids, Nebberz, friends, or even strangers. I doubt catering to their perceived wishes would even be necessary- I believe just the fact that I consider them is enough to really strengthen a bond or brighten someone's day.
Back to the original topic: I have recently realized that I'm afraid of kids. Not my own -- like I said, I'm a great mom and I've totally got that down -- but other kids. And other family members. And other people in general... I'm not sure how to act! Will someone be upset if I say no to ice cream? (Yes, that has happened on multiple occasions).
I've finally realized that I'm so afraid of what the rest of the world will think of my choices, that I just didn't want to deal with kids altogether. It really takes a lot of confidence to be able to make choices that so directly affect the life of another, and to be held accountable for your choice.
I've realized that I've been afraid of choice in general most of my life... probably why I've always favored routines. I haven't had many solid routines lately... and it's definitely shaken me and stressed me, but I think it's worth it to learn to be flexible.
I realize that these aren't very stream-of-consciousness, but I feel like some quotes are warranted. :D
"Don't get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup; You put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle; You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend."
"If we think we hear, we no longer listen. If we think we see, we no longer look. If we think we know, we no longer search."
And take it one step further:
"If we 'think,' we no longer 'feel.' It's a good thing to be 'out of our minds!'"
~my friend, Patricia
I just wanted to take a second to say thank you to my friend Nina. She knows why. :D She has been an inspiration in my blog and life in general over the past few months. Thank you, Nina! I suggest you check out her blog, Castles In the Air. It's super-effective. :D