Someone asked me in my previous blog about when would one consider to be ready to be a mother? And at first I had no clue of what to respond considering that my decision to be pregnant was definitely not a conscious one, even though I may have been preparing the soil so to speak – which is my body/mind – to it, which I considered I did in a tandem where I focused on a process of healing from some of the most ‘challenging’ aspects of my past that I had been ‘dragging around’, learning to let go and in that, re-directing my focus and attention to myself, my physical and mental wellbeing.
In conversations with my partner and some of our friends, they were pondering how come things seemed to come ‘so easy’ to us as a couple, where we don’t exist in what may be common for most couples like fighting, being in perpetual contempt towards one another and having a hate-love relationship essentially. Perhaps this is not the case for most people reading this, but, I’ve come to find how unfortunately common it is to have the kind of – as they call them -‘toxic relationships’ and how people do embark on – let me say it – daring to have children in that kind of relationship context. Well, back to the question they asked us, the answer I gave is that I had a lot of self-work to do before being able to be in a relationship in the current terms that I am in, that it didn’t come ‘easily’ as it may seem, and that I actually had to go through quite a few trial and error situations where I kept bumping my head against ‘the same wall’ so to speak, where compromising myself and ‘who I am’ would emerge in one way or another over and over again. Of course the problem weren’t ‘others’ but who I was as the starting point of being in a relationship.
The difference this time around is how I approached the person that is now my partner. It didn’t come from a point of desire or need, but more of a genuine getting to know someone that seemed like an interesting person that I wanted to get to know and understand, a curiosity in how ‘he functioned.’ My approach was of providing some support in what he did, which led me to get to know more about him, his life, the kind of ‘wood’ he has through our communication. Another difference is that – because I wasn’t having any particular ‘interest’ or ‘hidden agenda’ towards him – I was totally and completely myself – I didn’t have to pretend or portray or ‘handle’ things in a way to keep things ‘flowing’ – which I noticed he also did, like he does with anyone else.
As things progressed I also got to understand how this was a person with a strong character that would not allow much of my usual ‘ways’ in relationships which may end up looking like ‘I want to support you’- which in reality it meant ‘I want to support you because I want to change you so that you can be the person that I want you to be for me in a relationship’ type of manipulation, which in the end of course is always self-manipulation, nonetheless.
This meant that I stopped trying to ‘change the other person’ or ‘hope they could change this or that in time’ or having things going on that I would just react to and suppress, because! These eventually end up smelling like rotten food that you can’t really ‘overlook’ as time progresses in a relationship – and sometimes, as it’s happened to me, because of not speaking up and letting things continue, one may create an engagement of sorts that then needs to be broken apart for the best of both involved. That’s the kind of situations I’ve had to walk through and learn from in the past. So now being with a person that is mostly upfront and ‘whole’ in himself allowed me to tell my story as is, have no qualms about it and still find an embracing being that didn’t judge me for what I had judged myself for being like ‘multiple’ faulty decisions or mistakes, but instead embraced me completely.
When it comes to considering someone to walk your life with – and perhaps in consideration of that couple or partnership becoming a parenting team – this was certainly something new and a healthy approach to a relationship, having someone let you know that they only want the best for you no matter what I chose or did. And I did the same towards him. Perhaps this is a bit too personal but there is something quite worthy in someone that can tell you ‘I’m completely fine if you decide this is not for you, but if you are up for it, then I’m completely here for you and we can make it work.’ All the ideas and experiences of relationships I have had were created upon a need and dependency, me deciding to be ‘someone’s joy’ for example, creating a deliberate dependency by ‘giving’ or ‘being’ for another something that they weren’t living or expressing themselves yet. That’s where compromise exists and it is basically impossible to create such kind of dependency when you got a person that’s ‘whole’ within themselves, that have never had a desire for a relationship or wished to be ‘liked’ by someone or anything like that. That to me was something entirely new as a starting point in a relationship and seemed like a very supportive stance and person that I could learn from and also grow with.
I consider that even if this point of compromise is something that I still have to continue keeping an eye on, I’ve gotten better at it. I realized that in the context of relationships it’s easy to go into a fear of loss if one decides to do this or that, and when there’s someone that even though they love you with all their being, they let you know that whenever ‘this’ is not working out for ourselves to be the best that we can individually, that it is completely OK to let go and pursue that for ourselves, that, is something that definitely became a new thing for me to appreciate coming from the mouth of a partner, to no longer live in the idea of ‘bondage’ to someone, but to rather first honor myself. And this is precisely – perhaps – why I am getting to the bottom of this whole point in terms of ‘being ready’ for something, being in a supportive relationship, it’s mostly because and related to learning to genuinely CARE for myself and yes learning to LOVE and appreciate myself individually, first of all.
One of the things I appreciate about my partner is that self-love and self-regard he has for himself. Some may see him as conceited because of this – I see it though how it is just ‘awkward’ for most people to learn to love themselves and how that translates not in fluffy positive self-talk, but actual actions, changes of ‘life-plans’, changes in one’s daily routine and in the way one decides to be better at whatever one does, doesn’t matter how seemingly ‘menial’ it is. I hadn’t had such example before to be honest, so to me this attitude ‘rang a bell’ wherein I realized how many times we place ourselves in certain relationships to ‘cover up’ or ‘fill in the holes’ that we believe ‘others have,’ so that there can be some kind of codependence formed. And that’s how each one fears end up leaving or losing each other in the end, because one is not actually ‘whole’ first individually.
Back to the chat we were having with our friends, my partner explained this point that I just got to here, that we were two people that were ‘whole’ and saw the potential of kind of working together, sharing a path together, we saw how we could make each other better with our specific skills and innate abilities, a complementing that becomes more of an example, a guideline, rather than ‘doing’ or ‘being’ something for someone else. The ladies in that conversation asked ‘But how do you get to that??’
My partner has his own specific ways which may seem way too ‘simplistic’ for most – to me it seems like it takes a lot of will, courage, drive and self-motivation to make things work, to adapt, to change one’s plans to also consider another- which are not simple traits to develop from the get go, but also not impossible. I shared how to me it has been a process of many years, many mistakes, many falls, many rather unsupportive relationship contexts that I had to go through in order to get to be where I am now. To learn to be ‘whole’ with myself, to be content with and by myself first and to then see how to enhance that with someone that could be in their own way ‘whole’ as well, someone that I can trust would be ‘okay’ by themselves and that there are no ‘knots needed to be tied’ so to speak.
Well, the last point is now different considering that we are going to have a baby which joins us in this journey together – and frankly really happy about it being with him – and I also consider how somehow we were looking to do this together – or was in the back of our heads – but didn’t really accept it or admit it or thought of it possible. I’m sure it will bring many new challenges to ourselves individually, as a partnership and as a new family, but there’s also a trust in how ‘we’ve gotten ourselves this far’ in a relative short amount of time I’d say and so, we both trust each other that we can do this.
He was mentioning yesterday how it is actually quite the miracle that we can be alive here and today, and not in a fluffy positive way, but more like considering the state of affairs in the world and with life in general, how ruthless it can be, and how we basically can be grateful for what we are, and the opportunity we currently have to be alive and even more so to be preparing to bring another being into the world. I also considered this when I recently had my birthday and I made my Spanish podcast on that day and what emerged to share was gratefulness, gratitude for the life that I currently am, the life that I am bearing, the opportunity we have with our lives even if the world seems to be ‘upside down’, and to keep focusing on how I can ‘give back’ to life that has been given to me unconditionally in every single breath that we take – usually – for granted. This is what has emerged within me, a sense of wonder if you will of what I can get to be, of what we can get to be together as parents and how we can BE the Best of ourselves – as we are continuing to work on doing with ourselves individually and with each other – and for our little one.
Another aspect to share about is the ‘preparation’ that has emerged within this at a physical level in my case as well – well in my partner as well in terms of having better living habits, but that’s his story. As I mentioned in previous blogs, I started this year with the full decision to support myself at a physical level, which I honestly had kind of ‘taken care of’ but hadn’t really linked it to an actual process of healing from the things that were causing continuous deficiencies and sickness in the past year. So, I placed myself in ‘self-creation’ mode. I looked at developing a project based on what I wanted to focus on doing to support other people, then I started getting alternative support for my body like homeopathy and acupuncture, which at the same time led me to start going to Qi Gong classes that have become quite a source of physical support and integration of breath awareness along with physical movements, finally getting to actually be more aware of my body and slowing down, which is something I tried doing only at a mind level, but I was missing the body integration. The progress is definitely something one can notice after several months, but today it was quite enjoyable to do, along with the group of people that go there where we had a nice breakfast reunion after the session. I basically decided to create the time for this and I frankly don’t know why on Earth I was suppressing such desire to explore this kind of ‘exercise’ or more shall I say discipline, so that has been a change as well, to focus on physical support and wellbeing.
I also changed some stuff in my daily nutrition, I stopped taking some ‘mixes’ that I had been using supposedly to get a lot of nutrients from vegetables and fruits, but found out that they were causing a problem in my gut, so I started eating other stuff that I now see as more supportive when it comes to feeding myself. Interestingly enough I also diminished my drinking of coffee – the last ‘stander’ when it comes to my self-defined addictions, up to the point where I just couldn’t stand it at the beginning of the pregnancy and have stopped drinking it ever since. I started taking some vitamins as well which were also something I neglected a lot before to do, so as ‘small’ as this action can be, it became a significant difference for me – and thanks for the support to Ingrid S that also assisted with this. I guess the only constant physical support has always been walking, I wanted to start jogging again, so I also started jogging every now and then but not making it a ‘must’ like it was before, but more like listening more to my body when and as I saw it would be doable and up to the point where I wasn’t hurting my joints and it was genuinely enjoyable while it lasted lol.
The first three months were the hardest I must say. I don’t want to paint a horror show for any lady out there, but in my case I had to really slow down and barely went out of my house and yep that was quite a shock and difficult considering I’ve always been able to just go ‘wherever I want’ and have no limitations in terms of mobility. But it also prompted me to appreciate having more stability and feeling generally ‘well’ after that time to get back to walking, which I started doing bit by bit to see how I would ‘handle’ the situation – up to now that I can walk the usual length without a problem. And then I decided I wanted to swim. My partner gave me a membership to go to swim twice a week as a birthday present, and that was something that brought tears to my eyes, because I really enjoy swimming and this was basically a very supportive kind of gift that I am currently enjoying. I had been ‘desiring’ to get some swimming time for years, but I kept placing ‘money’ as an excuse or time as a constrain, which interestingly enough with the pregnancy, I have kind of ‘given myself permission’ to be more attentive of myself, giving myself the necessary care in many ways and yes, I have been pondering why I hadn’t done this before, for myself?
So, this is also something that I share because basically I see that I could have created this kind of foundation of self-care not only because of being pregnant and preparing my body to be a household for our baby, but because of being that household for myself first of all. I definitely want to pass on an example of self-care and continue with it in whichever measure I can once our child is born, because that’s basically what matters the most, that’s basically the foundation of who we are as individuals as well in this relationship and that’s the kind of message we want to give to our child too.
When sharing with my partner about this question I had gotten in terms of ‘when is one ready?’ he mentioned that it’s essential to be aware of being able to ‘handle’ oneself properly, like taking care of oneself, being able to be whole with oneself, being able to ‘deal’ with oneself effectively. I add to this having that foundation of self-support is essential, because even if what may come is generally uncharted territory, one can certainly stand in self-trust to be able to handle things as they come if one has already been practicing and applying ways to support oneself.
I basically wouldn’t have even understood the gift that becoming a parent can be, I wouldn’t even be probably pregnant because who knows the kind of decisions – probably not very good ones – I would have made in my life, if I had continued that pattern of self-compromise and following certain ‘ideals’ of ‘who I had to be’, which contained ‘zero’ references to settling down or forming a family. The latter only started becoming interesting to me in the past years when I began investigating more of my ‘programming’ in relation to how I would see myself in the future, and how that contained a lot of ‘garbage’ created through the kind of ‘culture’ I thought I wanted to be a part of. Now I’m kind of on the opposite track of that and actually enjoying it, which is something I never thought of doing or becoming, but hey courage is something one has to gather and decide to live, it’s there, just have to pull it through.
In the end, it’s also relevant to say that I wouldn’t have felt ‘ready’ for this – ever – because of the plethora of fears I had created around it and beliefs of ‘not being up for it’ or not being ‘the kind’ of person that’s ‘suited’ to ‘become a mother.’ All of it a bunch of beliefs that I decided to let go of because now it’s the real deal of it and yes, not saying it’s like an instant ‘switch’ where I changed my mind, I explained in my previous blogs about these fears and uncertainties, so here I am sharing mostly how I’ve changed my approach since then. I still get a bit astounded when feeling the first movements inside my belly and realizing wow, this is really REAL! Lol. I’ve also been essentially walking what I proposed myself to do in my last blog, embracing this all as a blank-slate, a blank page, a new point of creation and being aware of not ‘clogging’ it with ideas, expectations, fears and whatnot.
I’m taking it ‘day by day’ essentially and more like enjoying the self-support I can give myself, which I wish every single woman in this world could, because it definitely sucks that the majority are not able to have the time or resources to take proper self-care – physically and mentally – and because of that, well, we have the society that we have where many humans from the womb to the grave live lives of distress, lack, improper education and the list goes on with various deficiencies, which in turn become the society we live in. We definitely have to change that, and I realized that such change started with me, right here and right now, so I’m doing that and getting to enjoy it to be honest.
Now, as a general update, how am I feeling or doing? I’d say quite alright really, sure I am noticing a diminishing in my stamina and that means also being considerate and understanding of why that’s happening, and so to not judge myself for having to take naps or take things ‘easier’ – seeing it as ‘ugh I feel lazy’ – but rather reminding myself: I am creating/baking/growing a new being inside me! How else would I expect to feel? Also embracing the actual ‘shocking’ aspect that it can be to see your body get heavier and grow a belly that augments by the day, lol! That’s definitely something I still can gasp at when looking at myself in the mirror, but then, remind myself why it’s happening and how it is also temporary.
Perhaps one of the things I would change from the first months is pushing myself to move a little bit more around, being less grasped by fear of loss and try some gentle exercises and stretches, because I definitely became idle and that had an impact on me physically and mentally, so it’s been great to move a lot more again – but then again, as I reach the last trimester and baby bump grows, lol, new challenges will emerge in my mobility perhaps and other kind of preparations will take place, but, I’m up for it.
Another thing I would say to anyone that may have been similar to me in terms of being the kind of person that always said ‘no’ to having children or never really openly ‘wished’ to have children, to embrace the opportunity if one decides to go for it, to self forgive and let go of fears or beliefs of ‘not having what it takes’ – and instead replace them with creating or continuing to create and build a strong foundation of self support, so that no matter ‘what’ with the newness of this phase in one’s life, one can have that pillar of support in oneself, in that foundation of self-support – like to me it is Desteni and everyone involved in with whom I have walked with for over a decade – a supportive partner and a supportive family – if they decide to and are willing to be involved. In my case I’m quite grateful to have their support and yes, this is when one gets to realize how important it is to have others’ experience and willingness to help because they have gone through a similar situation. So, this is a learning point for me in terms of being able to ‘be that’ for others whenever I get to be able to do that for others too.
I understand that there may be women that are up for having babies without the father, or without the support of a family – and, well, that’s quite courageous, but I’d say even then, it’s probably preferable to find a network of support. Nowadays you can find lots of groups of people with children or willing to support each other in the absence of a partner or family, or because of work. So, yes there’s a way, perhaps I would be more wary of the point of deliberately choosing to not have a ‘father’ for a child, but that’s another story and I have no direct experience of any of it, so I will simply not go there here. There’s always a way, so this is something that I’ve been keeping in mind ever since deciding to have a baby and yep, embarking myself in total uncharted territory here, but that’s part of life and in my life, I basically have had more of an ‘easy’ life so, I’m looking forward to it, because I am aware how it will become a catalyst for more changes, more challenges and I’m kind of looking forward for that, lol.
So to wrap this up, I guess that there can be a myriad of ‘ideal’ scenarios of ‘when to be ready’ but, ideals rarely come to exist in reality. So, I would rather boil it down to being able to be at a point of stability and having that foundation of self-support – physically and mentally speaking – and as I say ‘stability,’ it may seem elusive for some, but it is not, it does require self-work, and sure one cannot wait to be at a ‘perfect stability’ because that’s more like ideal again, but not necessarily a reality. It’s more about being at a point where you are mostly OK with yourself and not having major ups and downs in life… or who knows perhaps taking such a decision like having a child creates such ‘time-to-pull-up-your-pants’ type of effect where one then gets serious with being the best person that we can, I guess it can work in different ways with as many people as there exist, but these are some of my humble opinions, and who knows? I might be missing out some other essentials or underestimating the whole situation, but, that’s also ok, I will find my way as I go, so that’s the current approach that I have.
This is all also in consideration not only of oneself – one’s life and one’s body – but about the partner that we joined our life with in a very physical manner that means a new being, a new life that’s to come, that’s why I emphasize on the importance of having a solid and supportive relationship as well as preparing one’s body to give the best support one can as a mother to a child – and the supportive relationship. But, I understand how that may not be possible for some, but whatever you can do and handle, make sure you are entirely ‘up for it’ with whichever may come from it all – this is relevant. Otherwise, there might be backtrackings, regrets and so forth – this is totally about learning to be unconditional for another being and that requires full awareness of what that practically entails. I can be preparing myself for that, but it’s only a concept for now, so I’ll see how it goes once baby is finally here J
Ok so, this is it for now. Nothing of what I share do I imply ‘has to be that way’ of course, I can only speak from my current situation and experience and ‘who I had been’ in relation to this topic, and who I am now as my new approach to it.
If there are any other comments, ideas, questions, suggestions, I’m all eyes to them.
Thanks for reading!