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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Parenting- a mix of zen and unzen

I have been reading a book over break all about finding your center, being zen, blah blah blah.  So I woke up this morning ready to live a very zen life. 

I was zen until...6:22 when my first child busted in the bathroom while I was trying to pee.  I have officially meditated for 35 seconds.  I screamed at my youngest and told her that I would drop her off at the nearest orphanage if she didn't stop sticking her tongue out at me.  In fact, I have counted five interruptions since I have started writing this blog.  Yeah, I got this zen thing down. 

Now, in trying to be "zen" I am trying not to be critical and judgemental of my failures to be zen.  I have enough of that from family, friends, and random strangers at the grocery store.  As if my own self-criticism weren't harsh enough, parents have to deal with parenting tips from others and my two favorite statements:

"I would NEVER let MY kid do that" and "MY kids NEVER did that."

When I encounter these statements I have come up with very peaceful, zen replies:
"Everyone parents differently" and "Wow.  That's really amazing. You should hold a parenting seminar."   (My unzen thoughts are usually "Bullshit and go fuck yourself.")

Parenting is the most challenging thing that I have ever done.  It is physically and emotionally draining.  It makes you question every single decision you make.  It makes you hate your partner, hate your children, hate your family/friends/that bitch at the grocery store, and hate yourself (usually momentarily, sometimes for weeks at a time).   But for every unzen moment I have had today, I have had moments of holding my child and eye gazing with her.  I got to talk a friend through a tough parenting moment where she just needed to be listened to and not criticized.  And I know that later tonight I will watch my husband with my children and feel completely whole for 35 seconds before the fighting starts over who gets to cuddle where. 

I am a parent 100% of the time.  There is not a lot of down time for meditation. And just when you relax for the night, someone coughs or pukes.  I am hoping to to be zen for 10% of the day tomorrow and I'm pretty sure my best chance to meditate is when I take a shower.  Although that is never a guarantee, I am going to keep trying.



  1. I'm right there with you! Especially this week while the kids are off from school and going crazy from the lack of their normal day-to-day structure. I love them, they drive me nuts, I love them, I wish they were old enough to go on vacation alone, I love them, I weighted 43lbs less before I had them, I love them, STOP WHINING, etc....

    It's a daily struggle, and while I absolutely do enjoy time away to just be me (like my trips to Ireland), I'd never trade the experience as a whole for anything.

    But holy f--- what I wouldn't give to be able to afford a part time nanny and a soundproof room!!! ;-)

  2. I'm so glad to read that everyone has moments like mine in my house. I can honestly say, that my voice is calm in the house most of the time, only because I'm just too exhausted to yell. But I feel the same way, on many occasions as the both of you...and am also on a personal journey to find zen moments in my life. Hopefully I see a glimpse of one sometime soon!

  3. Thanks for honesty girls! I love the moms who are real and don't say that everything is daisies and roses. I am mentally planning trips alone almost EVERY DAY. So glad to hear I am not the only one! I think the lack of alone time is the hardest part for me. I am really, really independent and it is still a daily challenge to have two people so completely dependent on me. You'd think I'd be used to it by now!

  4. ditto, ditto, ditto!!!! Now try it with 6 kids...it hasn't gotten any easier, but at the end of the day, i'm grateful. I've never been happier and more at peace than right now in the middle of this crazy chaos called my life. Love ya J!!