Sometimes being a Mum is hard! By hard, I mean relentless, exhausting and thankless, and that’s on the good days before the teething, dirty nappies and tantrums.
Equanimity is a state of mind that is balanced and calm regardless of the circumstances around you. I first discovered the term reading Buddhism for Mothers by Sarah Napthali, and it really struck me as something today’s society doesn’t seem to hold much stock in. Perhaps the modern day phrase is emotional intelligence, however equanimity covers one’s entire life and is more a spiritual or religious term about your state of mind rather than a business catch phrase about the way we do or don’t process emotions.
I’ve been thinking of the term a lot lately. I can’t say I’ve been blessed with easy babies. Healthy, adorable, loving, a big resounding yes. But easy, no! Dylan is now 7 months and I’m still up twice a night for feeds and he’s rarely content just to lay or sit on a mat and play as I see so many other babies do. I’ve largely come to terms with it. It’s not my fault, or his fault, or the universe getting back at me for spraying that ants nest with mortein… (even the heavy duty stuff) it just is. He cries a lot, and by a lot I mean each feed, play, sleep cycle he’s inconsolable at some stage, and it’s very draining to listen to.
Sometimes I get caught up in my head about why me, and stuck on how stressful listening to crying is, I go over and over what I could do different and I end up just getting more upset about it. I came up with another option after revisiting the book and also doing a course last Saturday. I’m going to embrace equanimity and do my best to be in the moment and as much as possible ride the waves of distress, not dwell on them but focus more on the joy. Because despite the crying periods there is plenty of joy with both Dylan and Laura.
I wanted to simplify the term equanimity and what it means to me right now and to do that I meditated for the words and qualities I needed to aspire to. Three words arose. 1. Present 2. Calm and 3. Positive. In short, these three words are the way I’m trying to shape my head, they are what I try to be, and what I want to give to my children.
I can hardly be the best Mother I can from a place of stress and doubt. I hope that by remembering to be present, calm and positive I can ride the tough times out and enjoy all the beautiful moments there are.