Together yet Alone

selfie movies cinema parenting mother leilazamoramoreno

This is me at the movies for the first time in about three years, Gian’s treat. Becoming a mother definitely turned my life upside down, Gian’s assisting in reminding me to not take motherhood too serious, to remind myself that it’s okay to relax and let go. With babies/young toddlers who require a lot of care and attention – you are initially forced to give up much of your individual self, and stand as a humble servant to another. But as time goes by and they grow up and develop their independence, so can you grow in your individuality once more.

#motherhood #relax #movies #cinema #parentingjourney #babies #toddlers

The Miracle of Life

newborn-1328454_640

When someone announces they are pregnant, it’s happy news. You are going to be so happy when you see that little baby of yours, it’s truly a miracle. And it is – holding that small, innocent life in your hands – whoa; it’s quite something.

One day, I was walking with my husband through the mall, holding my son in my arms. As we are walking he says “Isn’t it funny, all these people here, were all babies once, just like our son. We were once a baby, just like our son”.

I look at all the people walking and shopping by. I notice the expression on their faces, mostly sad, zoned out – just going through the motions. I wonder what lives they live, what struggles they face. I notice their clothes and what shops they enter, which gives an inkling of their economic status. Some must struggle more than others. As we drive back we drive through parts of town with nice houses, we also drive past a township. I notice the people, the children. I remember all the people from the mall. I imagine all the people we’ve encountered today as little babies. All equally, cute, innocent and precious as my own son.

I become really sad and ask myself: God, what have we done?

Each of these people were little miracles. Once they all had the same joyful, trusting expression my son exhibits. That gaze that claims that only good can come their way. That the world is full of fun and possibilities, and they can’t wait to explore it.

And for most of these little miracles, the opposite happened. How could it have gone any other way?

We live in a world of conditionality. We don’t just live, we have to earn our living. While the adults go and earn their living – the children take a backseat. Schools, a place we are told we go to, to develop our utmost potential in life, turns out to be a babysitting factory where we each day get numbed and dumbed down a little more. While the material you get fed seems to rather go in the one ear and out the other once we’ve ‘passed the test’; what really sticks is the conformation, the peer pressure, the obedience towards those in positions of authority, the desire to meet your parents’ expectations, the labels that were thrown at you. Then school is over, and so is your childhood. Now, you too must go and earn your living.

I remember all the people we encountered again. How some were having disputes about their relationships. Parents struggling to get to things in time whilst children wanted to do anything but go where the whole family was headed. The threats, the shouting, the insulting of one another.

Even those earning their living, are not really living. Every day is just another struggle to get to the next, and the next, and the next. We hope for the best, even when our world shows us it’s one of very few winners and many losers drawing the short end of the stick. We keep doing what we’re doing, how we have been doing it – hoping, that somehow maybe things will be different for us or for our children.

This all reminds me of the Divergent movie series. Where everyone lives according to a system, a way of life as ‘how things have been’, and keep doing and living the same thing over, thinking it ‘must be the right thing’ – if it’s what we have been doing for such a long time, surely this is how things are supposed to be.

But then it turns out their entire society, their entire way of living, was just an experiment. It was never absolute, it was never a “law” that things must continue as they are. In fact, the experimenters were waiting for someone to change the whole thing. While the majority of the people saw themselves as good citizens, within living within the predetermined lines of the system, thinking and believing that ‘that must be its purpose’ – the purpose was exactly the opposite.

What if life on Earth, our way of living was just an experiment. What if the whole purpose of how we live, is not to continue living this way, but to step beyond it – to transcend it. To start colouring outside of the lines. Why do we insist on living li(v)es where every single person – every one of these single people having been a miracle at birth – end up living an undignified life? End up getting less than what every single person deserves; regardless of birthplace, race, or economic status?

I’d say we have experimented enough, and that the results of our experiment are pretty conclusive: this isn’t going anywhere good.

Let’s come up with something new. If not for us, do it for the children to come.

 

 

The Only Constant is Change

toddler sleeping parenting change

Cesar started skipping naps the last few days, being up from early morning and going to sleep early evening. He’s becoming less and less baby, more and more a boy.

When he was a small baby, it took a great deal to let go of myself to be able stand absolutely in meeting all his needs, which were many and frequent.
Now that he is growing up and moving to independence, I have to once more let go of the role I took on and adjust to a different set of needs.

The moment you settle in a particular routine/way of interacting with one another – new developments take place and you have to recalibrate your approach all over again.

As much as you raise a child, you constantly erase and raise yourself along.

#toddler #baby #parenting #motherhood #journey #sleeping

Horse Antics

toddler horses farmlife leilazamoramoreno

Cesar filling up the water bath for the horses. First Quizzy the little Welsh pony came along to drink from the little water that Cesar had already filled in the bath. Then Sagon came along and decided to chase Quizzy away from the water so he could have the bath all for himself. Even though Quizzy already moved and was waiting his turn, Sagon would throw ugly faces at him and pull his ears back at him. Each time Sagon got snappy Cesar would lift the nozzle of the water hose and spray some water in Sagon’s face who would get all confuzzled and then mind his own business again. I find it fascinating to see him play with these animals several times there size and having no fear when it comes to pushing their buttons. Sometimes I wonder who’s parenting who

#toddler #baby #horses #bath #water #drinking #continuumconcept #consciousparenting #animals #nature @destenifarm #farmlife #herd #dominance

The Scariest Part of Parenting

baby bed parenting leilazamoramoreno

The scariest part of parenting is not having a child to look after. The scariest part is seeing yourself and who you have become as a person. Before having a child, I could seek comfort in knowing myself through various aspects of my life. I was able to define myself according to ‘what I do’, as the ‘job’ or ‘career’ I assigned to myself. I could experience a sense of worth and value in what I was doing. I could define myself according to my self-image, being happy with ‘how I looked’ and that I generally fit in what is deemed as ‘normal’ within society. I could define myself according to the relationships in my life, the amount of time and activities I spent with other people. From that, I experienced a sense of belonging and acceptance.

When I got my son, this all changed. Suddenly, all my time was spent breastfeeding, nappy changing and scrambling for sleep. Who am I without my work to provide me with a sense of value and worth?

My body was still stretched out from pregnancy with stretchmarks displaying deep fiery red colours as my body’s limits got reached towards the end of pregnancy. Who am I when I cannot find solace in what I look like, knowing that I don’t fit ‘the norm’ anymore?

Interactions with others were reduced to glimpses, and whatever activity or interaction which did occur – swiftly ended by the call of the little one requiring attention. Who am I when I am disconnected from those I depended on for a sense of belonging and acceptance?

I love my baby with all my heart, yet these inner frustrations and irritations keep nagging inside myself. I must do more, I must do something else, why can’t I just sit down and have dinner with everyone else, why is my body still out of shape, why do I cringe each time he wakes or needs me?

It’s not like he is actually, physically torturing me. All he asks is a lot of my time – my physical needs are met. Then why do I want to run away? I do not want to run away from my baby – this is clear. Whenever I meet him and look into his eyes, I just see innocence. He is here, simply expressing his needs as they come along. What I want to run away from then?

Myself

Although my child is dependent on me for his physical survival, I encountered his superiority every day, in many ways. He was able to move, slowly but surely, taking the longest time – to start crawling from one side of the room to the other. One – tiny – little – shuffle – at – a time.

He could sit for an hour, moving the same object around, in absolute peacefulness.

He does not know of work, friends, body image – yet he lives in total self-acceptance.

It’s frightening to see and encounter. So busy have I been my entire life, to find all the things for myself that he lives to readily. So simply.

All my achievements and successes I cherished, seemed pale in comparison to what I was witnessing daily, in a child simply living, being here.

But – it cannot be, right? I mean, he’s a child, a baby. How can a child – POSSIBLY – hold the answers to Life. Children are wild, irrational, savage creatures. They know NOTHING! How could this child possibly have anything for me to learn. It’s tough to lay aside your ego and admit you’ve been on a wild goose chase. That a babe is more strongly connected to itself and its life force than you are. That while you are the responsible one, you are also the most ignorant.

So what to do with all of this? So much inner conflict. Yet only one thing was certain: I know that I do not know.

Humbleness is the only option.

Fortune flows from Misfortune

bath toddler play leilazamoramoreno

Cesar taking a bath past 23.00, is not an unusual sight in our house. His sleeping pattern is still erratic, and from our experience – interrupting or intervening in his sleeping would only make things even more unpredictable, and he’d become very shifty in his behaviour. It’s not always easy to go with his flow, especially when there’s a sudden change and we haven’t been able to ‘prep’ ourselves for it (read: not having had enough sleep to match his upcoming sleeping pattern). What I found very valuable in such situations is to not get caught up in the misfortune of the situation, but to instead find creative ways of passing the time that is both enjoyable for me and him. Here for instance, I was already out of the bath but was bathing with him before, where we added Epsom salts and essential oils to enjoy a good nice soak. We still have a few hours to go tonight – it’s a challenge as most people and animals have gone to sleep and so we must make the most of our room for the coming hours. It’s in these unfortunate moments and situations that you find little gems, moments of inspiration and creativity, to make the best of every moment despite of the odds.

#parenting #toddler #baby #bath #sleepingpattern #nighttime #creativity #inspiration #makethebest #focusonsolutions #motherhood #beattheodds

 

From Anger to Integrity | Parenting & Emotional Turmoil

anger and integrity

Anger is one of the emotions I faced a lot within my personal journey, and one I made a priority to deal with. Becoming angry and acting out in anger – would only lead to guilt and regret. Anger, was a real (d)anger.

Let’s look at a simple scenario to place how anger can play out and what we can learn from it.

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Say, you’ve had a long day (as is every day when you are parenting a young baby/toddler) and you’ve finally found a moment to sit down and catch up on your emails. Your baby is crawling around by itself, and you pray to god that he will continue entertaining himself. As you’re clicking and reading away, you realise that your baby found your cell phone and seems quite fascinated by the lights and movements it makes as he swipes on it. You cringe inside yourself, because you know your baby doesn’t have the concept of what a phone is, how easily phones break these days and the type of financial investment they are. You really don’t want him to play with it.

But… on the other hand… you are finally having some sweet time to yourself. If you intervene and remove the phone, baby might get fussy and then it’s bye-bye me time. You weigh your options and decide to take the risk of letting baby play with the phone.

Click, click, click….Scroll, scroll, scroll. You realise how long you’ve been reading your emails and you check up on what your baby’s up to.

Oh My God!!

Did he just SLOBBER all over the phone?? Are those BITEMARKS???

You get up, rip the phone out of baby’s hands and start shouting that he must NOT PLAY WITH THE PHONE!!

Baby started crying the moment you stood up energetically and ripped the phone away. Now he’s REAL FUSSY. You see the devastating look on his face, how he has no idea what just happened. You realise the look on your own face, piercing through his heart. You regret what you did immediately, you soften up and try to comfort him.

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So let’s have a look what we can learn from anger in such scenarios.

First thing I realised, is that whenever I get angry at my son, I am not actually angry at him – I’m angry at myself.

I’m upset with myself without even realising it, and instead of listening to myself and directing myself – I project the issue unto my son as if he is to blame for my experience.

Second thing I realised, is that when I get angry, it’s already too late. Why is that? Anger in itself, is a statement of ‘this is unacceptable’ – a boundary or line has been crossed. In the example above, we can see that the boundary or line was crossed the moment we decided to forgo our own common sense. The common sense being: I don’t want, and can’t afford to get my phone ruined – baby should not have access to my phone.  Instead, we decided to *hope* that by some miracle the phone would be alright (which who knows, could have happened – but you don’t have any control over that) and so gave away our power to direct the situation from the get to and leave the outcome up to ‘fate’.

Then, when fate turns against us – now we get emotionally charged and angry at our baby. But why? Didn’t we make the decision to not intervene? Didn’t we leave the outcome up to chance? And now suddenly the baby has to pay for it?

This brings me to the solution of dealing with anger, which is Integrity.

What does integrity mean? Integrity means to live and uphold your principles. As within, so without.
Furthermore, integrity is linked to wholeness through its root in the word ‘intact’. Within being whole with yourself, you are living and standing undivided. Yet, the moment you uphold principles within yourself but not live/act upon them – you stand divided within yourself and so ‘cross your own boundary’. You get angry, at yourself.

Within this I realised, that the essence of anger is essentially hypocrisy, something I didn’t like seeing or realising – but cut straight to the point, and allowed me to see my adult tantrums for what they were.

So whenever I get angry or get the slightest irritation or frustration boil up inside me – I stop – and I ask myself: where am I not being true to myself? Where did I make a decision to ‘slack’ and not live up to my principles, and my utmost potential that I know I can live by? Where, and how could I have done something differently? Where am I being divided, split inside myself?

Through working and developing your own personal integrity, we can avoid these situation where we burst out and have an outcome we regret. These rash emotions and feelings which rise up, they are not here to be ‘acted out’ – they are part of our biofeedback system, pointing at a message we have yet to embrace.

Whenever you get angry, remind yourself of the word Integrity. There are two sides of the same coin, we just need the courage the flip the coin over and hear the message we require to learn.

Why does Emotional and Feeling Turmoil Exist?| Parenting & Emotional Turmoil

becoming-aware-of-the-mind

In my previous blog I gave an example of how the beliefs we hold inside ourselves as ‘truth’ and ‘fact’ determine our perception and so the actions we take in response to what we perceive is happening.

So how do emotions and feelings as emotional turmoil fit into this picture?

What I’ve noticed with myself, is that whenever I hold a belief inside myself through which I perceive and act through – some form of emotion or feeling energy will emerge inside myself.

In the beginning of the series I had shared how I was going through a lot of emotional turmoil inside myself in the beginning phases of my parenting journey. When I finally had ‘enough’ of this hectic experience inside myself, it wasn’t that I was telling the emotional turmoil to just ‘stop it’; rather; I dropped the beliefs which I was holding on to which were creating emotional turmoil inside myself.

When I noticed this, I started to be more aware of the slightest movements inside myself – to challenge myself to see whether what I was experiencing was a reflection of the ‘reality I was in’; or whether the experience was there because I was holding on to an inaccurate view of reality and myself. Throughout time, this conclusion was affirmed time and time again.

When I would say be angry at my child, the situation wasn’t demanding of me to be angry – rather, I was perceiving reality in such a way that I believed anger was the appropriate response. The anger didn’t emerge and rise inside myself for me to act out on; the anger emerged to say ‘Hello, there’s a misalignment in how you’re perceiving your reality – you need to check what belief you are holding on to which is causing you to think and act inappropriately’.

I noticed that every emotion and feeling, and every single nuance that exists of it, would contain a specific message – a specific door that needed to be opened and for me to look into, a door to myself wherein I could see and assess what ‘guidelines’ as beliefs, ideas and perceptions I had set myself up to act in accordance to; beliefs, ideas and perceptions which would lead to disharmonious outcomes inside myself and my outer reality if I decided to act on them.

Have you ever noticed how uncomfortable fear, anger, anxiety, restlessness, excitement, adrenaline are experienced inside yourself and your body? It’s because they’re within their very nature disharmonious – and arise for us to reflect on ourselves, so we can ask: where we are being disharmonious inside and with ourselves? I’ve been a very emotional person throughout my life, and I never liked it. I don’t like the feeling of having this energy inside myself that I cannot direct and don’t know what to do with. That I can’t see or think past anything but what I am experiencing as the emotion or feeling presiding in that moment. I would avoid so many situations, especially social ones – simply because I knew I would be going through emotional turmoil inside myself, that I would not know what to do with it or how to direct it and so I rather not place myself in those positions at all. I absolutely hated these experiences coming up inside me, and being a slave to them. Not being able to do things that I wanted or with the confidence that I wanted, because so many things would trigger an emotional response inside myself that I decided that it was simply ‘not worth it’.

As a mother I hated it even more. I love my son to bits and I want the best for him – yet, I experience all these conflicting emotions and feelings inside myself. When I act on them I regret it as soon as the moment as past.

Learning that emotions and feelings are not here to limit us, but here to guide us, show us how we decided to diminish ourselves through inaccurate beliefs, ideas and perceptions about ourselves and the world – has been one of the greatest gifts received in my life. I don’t have to fear emotional turmoil. If emotional turmoil comes up in one way or the other, I can simply look at the message behind it, change my attitude and approach from limitation to empowerment: and the turmoil disappears.

All those emotions and feelings you battle with within your day to day living, they don’t really want to be there! They’re coming up to ask you to pleeeasse have a look at how you are living, how you are perceiving yourself and the world around you – and to make a change so they may disappear and you may leave in peace with yourself and your environment.

What’s more – is that as you become attuned to your own emotions and feelings and what they are trying to show you, you will be able to create a more effective and intimate relationship with your child. As a parent you may have noticed that a tantrum doesn’t come in a ‘single package’, but that the way children, toddlers and babies ‘act out’ differs from moment to moment, situation to situation. When we become attuned to how we’ve allowed ourselves to live by a limited version of ourselves, we can assist our children in showing them how they can empower themselves through conflicting experiences. With my own son who is but a toddler, most if not all of his tantrums manifest not because of a disharmonious perception on this side, but where he ‘acts out’ to reflect back to me where I have not been true to my utmost potential, and allowed limiting ideas and beliefs to control me, which also determine how I approach my son.

Besides my own emotional turmoil being there to guide me, I also have my son as an external reference to show me where I am going off path.

So if you can relate and find yourself going through your own experiences of emotional and feeling turmoil – then that’s great! Because guess what? It simply means there’s still a better, more improved version of yourself to be discovered and lived!

 

What you Believe is what you Get | Parenting & Emotional Turmoil

Source: Pixabay

Source: Pixabay

In my previous blog I laid out how many of us have come to accept conflict, strife and struggle as the ‘natural way of being’; the norm of our everyday experience. Since we have been holding on to this belief steadfastly for longest time throughout history, we’ve created a world which reflects our belief of ‘what reality is’ and ‘how reality operates’. This places us in an unfortunate feedback loop, as we inside ourselves believe that ‘life is struggle’ – then with our own eyes and ears observe the world around living in struggle and conflict – using this observation as evidence that = yes, indeed, my belief is accurate = living is constant struggle and conflict; and so there’s no point to further question this premise. Because we create what we hold as truth, it’s hard to even conceptualize and imagine ourselves living in harmony and having an external environment which is harmonious.

What we forget to consider is how our beliefs and all those things we consider to be ‘facts’ and ‘truths’ shape our behaviour, perception and actions to fit and match the belief we hold as truth or fact, and so how we are the ones ‘making it so’.

Let’s take for example the belief that ‘children need to civilised’. With civilised meaning ‘being cooperative and acting according to social standards’.

You hold this to be a truth, a fact of life. Now one day, you visit family with your young baby/toddler who’s recently learnt how to walk and has acquired some very basic motor skills. While you’re catching up and drinking coffee, your little one strolls around and seems to be captivated by all the plants and flowers in pots. Your little one grabs a flower and pulls it off. Then takes another one and pulls it off. It takes you a few moments to realise what your child is up to, that when you look at your child there’s already a bunch of leaves and flowers on the floor and your child is just picking away. A surge of energy runs through your body and you shout out ‘Bad Lily!’ (Or whatever your child’s name might be). ‘Stop it!’ and you grab the baby away who in the meantime has a look of petrification and confusion on its face as she’s still trying to figure out what just happened and why she’s so bad. You put her in a corner and tell her to ‘stay there’ to teach her lesson. Picking flowers and leaves is bad, you are killing the plant and you are destroying our host’s decoration. Bad, bad bad!
You go sit down sighing, thinking why your child is always doing these inappropriate things, like she’s out to get you and never give you an easy time. You think about how it’s just going to take more time to discipline her and have her learn her place and that this won’t go on forever.

Within this example, the parent had already made up its mind that children are inherently naughty and a disturbance, requiring to go through a training or disciplining process to have them ‘behave correctly’.

When my little one started pulling off flowers and leaves for the first time, I also got a fright. I immediately assumed I had to stop and intervene, that this was ‘bad’. I noticed the surge of energy inside myself, and instead decided to take a deep breath and really look at the situation. He kept pulling off flowers, and then he would pick them up and try to ‘put them back’. Yet they’d just dwindle down to the ground. He tried a few more times and went ‘Oh’.
He didn’t go to the plants and flowers with the intention inside himself of ‘I am going to kill this plant and destroy this pretty garden gna gna gna’. He just kind of looked at the plants, the flowers, got curious about what they’re all about. Without knowing why he started picking at the flowers, checking what happens. He tries to put them back. Hmm, they fall back off. That’s interesting. So once they are off, they’re off.

He was going through a genuine learning experience, figuring out how things work. What happens if I do this? What happens if I do that?

So I joined him and I talked to him about the plants and how if you pick a flower, the flower cannot be put back. How the flower will not have access to water from the plant and its root system and eventually wilt and die. Now he learnt something about plants.

If we go back to the example of shunning and reprimanding your child, where you assume they are being bad because you’ve already decided that they are inherently bad and act on negative impulses – then you end up with a child in the corner who looks like they are bad. You end up with what you believed about the child because your perceptions and actions were guided by the belief which you held as ‘fact’ and ‘truth’. Was the child really bad? No, they were just exploring. They did not intend to ruin your day or upset you, that’ something you did. You decided to react and believe that all these ‘bad and terrible things’ are happening to you. The child didn’t intend to kill the plant or destroy household decoration. They don’t even have a concept of what that means or entails.

If this is a repetitive behaviour on the parent’s side, the child will learn that it is not safe to explore and be curious in the presence of the parents, and start doing things in secret in hiding. It will start doing and playing with things when you’re not around and where you are unable to guide them or prevent harm because they believe there is no other way that they can express their curiosity without your intervention and reprimanding. Now you find your child has been breaking things after the fact. Oh my god, I have such a bad child. Not seeing and realising that we pushed the child in that position where we are not guiding them through learning experiences to come to a point of understanding, but merely wanting them to behave ‘good’ without explaining or substantiating what that actually means.

This type of disharmonious behaviour becomes the result and consequence of holding to beliefs which are disharmonious to the true nature of reality, as the utmost potential of what Life on Earth can be.

I know finished my previous blog stating I would go further into why emotional conflict and turmoil exists, though for this blog I found it necessary to illustrate how what we believe and hold as ‘truth’ and ‘fact’ does not have to be in fact so, so that we can learn to be open to alternative possibilities and that our experience of how ‘the way things are’ doesn’t have to be an unchangeable reality, but is something that we create in every moment of our day to day living.

See you in the next blog!

 

 

Parenting as a Dialogue

Toddler sleeping parenting leilazamoramoreno

When I was pregnant, I was very worried about what was ahead of me. About how I was going to be responsible for this child, how I would influence him. Little did I know, that I wasn’t so much influencing and changing him, as he was changing and influencing me for the most part. This reminded me again of the importance of words and definitions, wherein my definition of ‘being a mother’ constituted an aspect of ‘monologue’ where I assumed it was about me ‘instructing’ and ‘educating’ my child, instead of realising that it’s a two way dialogue and that he ended up having to teach me more than I did to him!

#parenting #toddler #baby #motherhood #parenthood #lifelessons #expecttheunexpected