Despite the magic, the joy, the absolute beauty of it all, adapting to life with a newborn baby comes with some unique challenges. One such challenge is finding time for one’s Self. We all need time and space to just be with ourselves. This is of utmost importance to me, if I am to be fully present for myself, and thus for my family. In the life my husband and I have co-created, we take care to ensure each one of us has time and space for ourselves. That means that the division of household and child-rearing duties is split in an equitable way (note, not equal) that suits who we are as individuals, in each unfolding moment. In my universe, this is the natural flow of how things are done.
Yet…two months into becoming a mother, more people than I care to count have already commented on how “lucky” I am that my husband “helps out!“. It appears, in the world that we live in, child rearing, “naturally”, is a responsibility bestowed solely upon women.
In the short time I have been a parent, however, I have learned that nothing is as “natural” as gendered conditioning would have us believe. I am not more “in tune” with my baby than my husband is; I am not more “nurturing” than he is; I am not more “caring” than he is; I am not more “emotional” than he is; I am not more “capable” than he is; and I surely am not more “patient” than he is.
My husband and I both call bulshit on the conventional narrative that women are naturally (fill in the blank) and men are naturally (fill in the blank). We believe child rearing is a communal act (and one impossible to rely on, given the state of global lock-down we are all currently experiencing); and so, when it comes to raising our son, my husband is a partner, not a helper.
The two of us, as partners, have created a life where we are both fully present for our son, to the best of our abilities. We chose to co-create him out of love; we chose to stay at home the first few months to adapt to the new lifestyle; we choose to split the chores and responsibilities equitably; we choose to raise our son together. The evolving practicalities of “how” have fallen into place, because we have chosen to parent this child together. This is who we are, as a couple, as a family.
And so, as partners, because of the choices that we have made together based on who and what we are, we have created a space for ourSelves where we depend on one another but are not co-dependent; we take turns with child-rearing and chores and respect each other’s alone time and space; and most importantly, we create a safe space for each other where we both cherish priceless and unique moments with ourselves, each other and our growing little man.
My intent as a mother is to stay connected to the eternal Signal from Self that I AM so that I model to my son what self-intimacy looks like. By showing him how to stay internally referenced, I trust that our son will grow up with a deep level of self-intimacy, knowing full-well that the choices he makes come from the Signal that animates his physicality, not the downright dangerous conditioning of society that relentlessly tells him boys (fill in the blank). Through the power of modeling, I know our lil guy will learn that we become the experiences that we choose to create.
And so, even as the chaos of the world around me intensifies, I feel a deep gratitude for the magical life that my beloved husband and I have co-created for ourselves, as parents of our precious son and the miraculous gift that he is to us.
In a holographic universe where the whole is contained in the part, my life experience serves as a metaphor for the possibility of the whole world. I know, through lived experience, what is possible for humanity…the only question becomes, will we choose it for ourselves?
Oh, and um, stay home y’all!