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.