Mindfullness, Perspective, intrusive thoughts, intrusive people, and your changing world. Some of these words we hear more than others. But a trip to the grocery store left me truly pondering these things. And as I went about my day, and all it’s frustrations with teething, snotty, blue berry shit filled twins, I was reminded of these words a few more times.
What is mindfullness? It might be a word you are very familiar with or a word you have never heard before. It’s a very basic idea, it’s simply being aware, or mindfull, of the moment around you. How you feel, how others feel, and how to focus your thoughts on the things you need to focus on. Intrusive thoughts, these are thoughts you don’t particularly want to have, but they pop up, you can’t control them. But you can correct them. After many years of hard ships, when things get hard at home, when I am alone with all three kids I often escape to pee, I sit down and think, “I fucking hate my life.” There is absolutely no problem with this thought, unless I let it build, and for me it is simply a thought of habit. Every time I think this, I stop, I tell myself ,”no you don’t, you chose this life, you love where you live, your home, your kids, and the ability to stay home with them…. it’s just hard in this moment. This moment won’t last, moments are fleeting.” Another thing I often tell myself, is that the babies are not giving me a hard time, they are having a hard time.
Now I realize this sounds slightly crazy, but correcting those intrusive thoughts really does change a lot of what is going on in how I feel every day. Because ultimately, the only thing you can control is the way you think and act, and if things are working out, change the way you view things, change those thoughts into positive ones. But, if you are having trouble, thinking these things a few times every single day, then please go talk to some one. Postpartum depression is any time after you have a baby, even if they are two. Life has changed, and if you are having trouble coping, please seek professional help.
Perspective is a powerful tool in every situation. Trying to understand where your husband is coming from, even though he still has no fucking clue where you are coming from, even though he is trying to. Dealing with the barrage of intrusive people in our lives, while it is frustrating a hell some days, there is a lot more to it if you think about each of those people individually. And on the note of mindfullness, I try and remind myself that one day, all those people dawing over the babies are going to be frustrated that they are screaming and being normal toddlers, so I better make friends with them now!
When I was at the store yesterday a sweet old man stopped me, like normal, to talk about the twins. He had twins thirty years ago. And what’s the first thing he does to me? He asks a potentially judgmental and invasive question, at least for a stranger. “Now are you able to breastfeed them? Because breast milk is so very important.” Now this little old man in a riding shopping cart threw me off so much. I first thought, “seriously what the fuck.” I told him I was. And he lit up. He wanted to give me advice, he asked me if I had figured out how to tandem feed them. They are ten months old, so if I haven’t figured that out yet, then I’m in trouble. We laugh and talk about the trials of trying to nurse two, and he carries on about his wife. It was so sweet. But it was not a normal stranger question. As I was leaving the store, this man who could not walk in the store, pulls over his car next to mine and insisted on unloading my groceries. I absolutely didn’t need or want help. I really didn’t. I wanted to tell him so, because in the end I had to fix every thing after he left. But these moments, while trying to me, mean every thing to them. So I let him help me.
That little old man went home and told his wife he got to help me, he told her that I was able to feed the girls with my milk. That little old lady who took way to much of your time? Chances are it was the high light of her day, and maybe even her week. These moments that are so many to us, might mean every thing to the people talking to us. We are sharing our children. You never know what is going on in their lives, how isolated they might be ect. I’d like to think I have family that doesn’t live close to me who stops and talks to other twin moms and gets the happiness that they can’t show me. And even if they don’t, I know I provide that happiness to other people in those situations.
But another gentleman that tried to help me after I got all the hard shit out of my cart, while trying to load the belt with WIC items. That guy that I said couldn’t help me? He probably felt awkward or sad. I didn’t share any joy with him. I know that one time when I was pregnant with my first I tried to help a little old lady with her groceries. And she was down right offended that I had offered, and hormones be damned, I sobbed in my car after. And in that moment I decided to teach my son to always help. And now he is so helpful to others. He won’t shovel my drive way, but he does go shovel the older neighbors drives. I’m getting off track.
Have you stayed with me this long? Congrats! And thank you for reading my rambling. Mindfullness means a lot of things to a lot of people. For many people, it is simply being aware in the moment. And for many many people who follow or read about zen or buddhism, it is taken a little farther. It’s an attempt to always be in a mindful state, and that is supposed to make you more at peace. Now I fully believe it does, and in my best moments, I feel like I can accomplish this. But I want to do this more often. I want to be mindful of every thing at all times. I feel like it will help me cope with the twins being in their terrible two’s more. But on the flip side, I was very “zen” when my son was little. And my oldest being a toddler threw this mindful state right out the fucking window. It was damn near impossible to maintain this sympathy towards him. And since he was my every thing, it went right out the window.
But in moments, especially with other adults who are frustrating for reasons they don’t understand, being mindfull, and changing perspective doesn’t only help. It makes me feel like I have done a good deed by sharing my time. And that makes me feel like an amazing human being. Even if my contribution is small.
Maybe my picture should be more zen…. but who can pass up a cat flipping the bird?