I would love to say that I have these all the time, but I don’t. Whenever I do have one, it intrigues me.
For instance, tonight, Really Little Man was acting lethargic and generally tired. Since he has a bit of a cold, was just playing hard outside, and woke up early this morning, I wasn’t surprised to see him fading. I didn’t think much of it, besides a brief thought of “well, I guess I’ll put him to bed a little earlier tonight.” I was in the process of carrying him to his room to do the diaper change/pajama donning routine when he projectile vomited. Of course, as a reflex, when he started to throw up, I pivoted, and thusly covered even more area, including the open dresser drawers and changing pad area. Nice.
Here’s were the zen moment comes in: I was totally calm. Never mind that I had multiple things simmering on the stove, or that I am so largely pregnant (I’m due on Thursday, ftr) that I can’t even manage picking up the toys in the house, much less clean up a massive mess. Or that I’m already woefully behind on laundry, or any number of reasons why it would have been completely reasonable to find the scenario utterly overwhelming.
I barely blinked. I was like, um, something really calm. An elephant? A non-charging elephant, that is. I will take suggestions on similes, thanks.
Maybe it has something to do with stepping up to the plate when there’s a poor, yucky-feeling kiddo in my arms. Maybe it’s the way he rested his head on my shoulder after he was done throwing up. I don’t know. But I calmly cleaned him up, laid him in his crib, and cleaned up the mess. The clothes are in the wash right now. Little Man found the whole process fascinating (of course). And so did I.
Funny how, when the boys are fighting (again) over who gets to play with a specific toy (even though we have a gazillion), I can practically feel my blood pressure rising. Same thing when there are those little power struggles, when my boys are asserting their independence, and I am asserting my Mommyness. I can get really stressed out. But when something objectively overwhelming happens, I can be cool as a cucumber in a bowl of hot sauce (yes, that is a reference). Not all the time, unfortunately, but enough that I suppose it’s just a massive dose of siyatta d’shmaya. And I’m grateful for that.
Do you ever surprise yourself with resiliency in difficult moments?
20 thoughts on “Zen Mommy Moments”
Aside from this being very sweet, and that fact that I relate as I’ve been dealing with a toddler who had some sort of allergic reaction today resulting in an ALL over rash–I also just realized how long it has been since I have seen you in person. I don’t even think you were expecting when I last saw you. How pathetic! Now that I have a house I want you to come by… except I am guessing that in your “condition” lol, that you probably aren’t up to it at the moment. As soon as you’re feeling like making the trek, please come hang out with us in Silver Spring for a day! :)
I saw your status! Poor little guy – hope he’s feeling better. I would love to come and see your house (and you, of course!), but I think you’re right about not being up to it at the moment. In a few months, IY”H!
Looking forward to it :)
Has your mom come around yet?
Thursday night, IY”H. Kinda hoping I don’t go into labor until she’s here, kinda hoping I go before she comes because, well, it’d be nice to have the baby. :)
totally understand! For me I never want my mother around while I’m in labour. Afterwards? Sure… but not during lol.
Ohhh yes! I feel like I could’ve written this myself ;) I love that euphoric feeling afterwards… even better when you’re having a down-in-the-dumps mummy kinda day ;)
And how! It’s especially validating after a hard day.
How funny, we’ve been discussing this phenomenon this week in our house and in our women’s group. I get the same feeling with a really sick kid. Like a snapping to attention. Nothing else matters in the world except taking care of that baby and making sure they are comfortable. Very strange feeling especially when you could have been uber-overwhelmed with Mommylife three seconds before. I was also thinking of you this week out of the blue and would love to be penpals. Bshaa tova, may everything go well and in its right time!
It’s some sort of Mommy mechanism. Making sure our progeny survive and all that.
When people remark on my relative resiliency, I always think to myself – if I can’t muster the strength, who will do it for me? Now, that being said when the baby got sick the other week and threw up all over herself and her crib and we had no water because of a water main break, I did find myself in tears on the bathroom floor…
and you are allowed! I’ve had the same feeling about “if I’m not going do it, it’s not going to get done.” That’s the life of a woman, I think, much of the time.
I remember an incident about 4 years ago, where my son who was 2 at the time (and he has the crazy wild long hair in the picture to prove it) dumped an entire bottle of soup nuts all over the living room floor and was making “sand castles” out of them. when I discovered it, it was like one of those out-of-body experiences, where I felt like I was a character in a novel, and I began to narrate my own scenario…”Rachel, seeing the huge mess, decides to see the humor in the situation. With the greatest of ease, she laughs, and decides to take a picture of the mess rather than yell.”
But, also like you said, where’s the zen in the everyday squabbles? Why can’t I always be so calm???? It wasn’t any great middos work on my part, it was a gift from Hashem that I didn’t get mad.
BTW…the picture really is hilarious :)
Great example – out of body experience indeed! Perhaps Hashem gives us the gifts of calmness so we can have a goal to aim for.
I have those moments when my kids are sick, too. Not long ago, my daughter woke at 1:00 am out of a sound sleep with bad head pain. Then she threw up all over me. I was so worried/scared about what might be wrong with her, I felt panic well up, but just as quickly, I felt myself calm down. (Even though all these scary things went through my head!) It is an absolute feeling of protection and wanting to make them feel better and not panic. In my desire to calm them down, I think I calm myself down, too. And I feel bad for them, because it’s out of their control. It’s easier to get exasperated when they are making choices about their behavior, lol. Major kudos to you for keeping your cool when you’re pregnant. I know when I was about to pop, emotions (hormones) were always running high, and tears would spring to my eyes easily.
That’s an excellent point – when it’s their behavior choices v. something out of their control. I hadn’t thought of that angle! As for keeping my cool while enormously prego, well, let’s just say that was a hefty dose of help from above. I’ve been a basket case reciting “I need more space!” lately.
Yes, I’ve had one of those moments that served as a great precedent for dealing with many others. I was in the middle of a Very Difficult Evening created by one thing after the other, and I walked into the kitchen and saw this huge bug that looked like a Daddy Long Legs with a large button for a body. I thought I had seen all the House Invading Bugs there were to see, but this was one that I could not define and therefore did not know his speed or method of locomotion (Jumping? Running? Summoning his friends?).
In tears, I thought to myself that this was just beyond natural. This on top of everything else could just not be happening because it was too much for one person to take.
And then I realized…beyond natural…like above nature…as in….Hashem! Right! This wasn’t just some evening gone bad with too much proverbial icing on the cake. This was Hashem showing me the presence of the supernatural – aka Himself – in my life. I decided at that moment that rather than stare at the bug on the floor, I would Look Up – cause it was all just Someone who loves me giving me something that I, by virtue of being given it, could deal with.
Wait, but how did you get rid of it?!
And Rivki — b’shaah tova!
Gosh, I don’t remember. I think he was so imposing that I left the room hoping he would find other lodgings and he did.
Thanks, Tali! And lol Yiska. I’m glad he left!
Beautifully put! I will try to remember that the next time I am feeling overwhelmed!