I am a single mother by choice, and have given birth to two beautiful boys; non-identical twins, separated by 22 months on ice. Yes, I choose to have invitro-fertilisation on my own and become a single mother, and I made this choice because it became the most important choice to my life. My eldest is almost two and my second son is 13 weeks old. I can say that as strong as I am, this is hard, and sometimes I struggle. One of the peace-making exercises I have found - and have to keep finding, because with baby-brain fog and the whirlwind lifestyle of a single working mother having two children under two, I forget many things, often, – is letting go of ‘I want’. When one of the babies wants me for his ‘bo’ (bottle) some attention, or to be cuddled to sleep, and I just want to clean the pasta sauce that he so expressively sprayed on the carpet, put the washing on, hang the washing out, do some work, or just make a cup of tea, my ‘I want’ creates stress, because I feel unable to get what I want, because my babies need me. When I take a breath and tell myself to ‘Let go of I want’ I am able to move into the present, to be with my babies, supporting their needs, nothing else, and with the choice to be present with them, I am reminded of a greater deeper truth; my choice to be a mother, a loving mother and with all this means, and this comes before instant gratification. My choice to be there for them is what I want more, and reminding myself of my own truth calms the inner storm. The choice to let go and sacrifice our wants is the choice of an empowered parent, it is a choice of love and it breeds peace.
I am not suggesting we give ourselves up for our children, I am offering that we give ourselves up in moments, for our children, so that we can live our deeper heart-centred truths, and in doing so, move into a little more love.
When both babies want me at the same time; when one is crying because he wants my milk and the other is in the bath demanding attention, and I physically cannot play with the ducks while breast feeding safely, I am met with a whole new level of surrender: ‘I want’ to be a good mother and ‘I want’ to give both boys all my love and attention when they want it, and I often feel guilty when I don’t, because I can’t.
Here it is; I cannot do what I want and my ego doesn’t like it!
When I surrender ‘I want’, take a breath, and look at my children, I am able to see that my reality is that I have a choice to make. I picked up my 13-week-old to feed him and distracted my almost two-year old by holding up a towel with my free hand and playing ‘boo’, until his laughter led him to forget about the darling ducks.
I choose to move forward on the path to peace, rather than reacting from not getting what ‘I want’; I choose heart-centred mindfulness over ego-centred reactivity, and I moved one step forward on the path to love.
On reflection, I realise I’m being a good mother; I’m not giving the boys what they want in the moment and I am surrendering my momentary wants, because allowing ego to rule is not healthy; rather to tame it, and guide it to living in love, in alignment with the heart, is the choice I want to make, try to make, and am learning to get better at making.
I realise at this stage that I am not going to be teaching my boys how-to live-in love, but that we are going to be learning together.
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