The Guilt of Motherhood

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It all starts with one word.

Mama.

Long before it is even spoken by those little lips, already while being knit together, whether in womb or heart.

A piece of you. A part of you. Growing. Shaping to roam and change the world.

Without you.

First comes the joy and excitement, which if we’re honest, is followed by extreme terror and doubt.

You become responsible for this being that prances around with your heart like it’ll never stop beating and can endure all things.

When in reality, after week one, it starts dragging never to fully catch up again.

Sleep is but a vague memory. Clean floors. Dirty dishes. Laundry piles. Dusting – who still does that anyway? It never ends.

Yet, very few of us hold only the prestigious mama title. One that really is enough to consume every ounce of sanity and energy one human is capable of producing.

So we push through day after day as a full-time mama, in a full-time career, as a full-time cleaner, as a never ending cook and a 24-7 first responder…. I haven’t even touched on comparisons and the dos and don’ts that attempt to choke us at every turn.

These little people are everywhere and they need us every minute of the day, even after they start pretending they don’t.

Mamas we will never be done. We are in this forever. All of us.

Feeling alone? Exhausted? Like you’re the only one that just fed their kids Kraft Dinner three days in a row? Like it’s only your child that throws a tantrum in the check out line every. single. time. And the famous words I HATE YOU…. you must be the only parent to have ever heard that.

Because all the other mamas feed their children only organic food with 80% vegetables, 10% protein and 10% carbs. All the other mamas know how to hold their temper, even behind closed doors. They get promotions at work and their homes are spotless. Their children are in ballet, gymnastics, soccer and well every fricking thing under the sun. Oh and their husbands? Well, they are clearly living happily ever after.

Insanity right? How do we keep it together?

We don’t. Each of us marching to the beat of a different drum in the same band. Alone.

Mamas we need each other. We need to do this together.

We need to be able to extend and share our bruised, dragging hearts in all aspects of motherhood. On the street, in the market, at the park and in our homes.

Together with so much grace, love and respect for each other that all those moments of guilt, fear and doubt are replaced and filled with assurance, support and love. Oh so much love.

Because despite all of it, at the end of the day, we love our little beings so much, that we wouldn’t change it for anything.

And there is only one way we can remain sane on this crazy adventure of motherhood…..

Together. Hand in hand. Heart to heart.

You with me mama?

 

Until next time,
Eva

 

 

Photo credit – DanaWall Photography

Plenty of Tea and Hands To Hold

DAPPER ESSENTIALS

It’s a bit like turning the heat up on a pot of frogs. Which, come to think of it, is a silly idea really.

You can be in that state of mind only for so long. Push you way past any limits you ever dared to think you had and then some.

In time the water will get so hot, that even though you have trained your mind to a mental state of resistance, your body will eventually tap out.

When that tap out happens, may the strength of your mind be enough to land you in the shade with plenty of tea and hands to hold.

We like to think it’s smooth sailing after the landing, if only that were the case.

The reality of the situation will only come to be as the breeze blows over you and your wounds get attended to.

Not just some quick miracle healing. No, that would shell shock the system and dismiss the beauty in forming and shaping of each scar individually.

As your hands get held and your wounds begin to seal, the taste of the tea becomes sweet, and you begin to acknowledge the shade not just as a dark cloud keeping you from the sun, but as a protection from more heat.

In that place, people may come and people may go, some bringing salve and others tearing the band-aid off carelessly. Revealing those never ending scars.

In time, that will matter less.

As the feelings start to return, so will your strength. Emotional, mental and physical.

Enough so, that you may come to a place of recognizing that many of those scars won’t be going anywhere for years to come. But you are able to look at them no longer as to what happened in that pot, but as to what happened under that tree.

And oh the beauty of you sitting under that tree, grasping the hands of so many hot pot frogs to follow.

There you will let your ever faded scars shine bright on the ever gaping wounds of those in your presence.

How sweet the tea will be!

Until next time,
Eva

The Voices

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I remember a time when there was only one. It was peaceful.

Then there were two and a constant battle.

The one dreams big and believes in all things, the other slowly chews it up and spits it out. Scattered everywhere. As if to say, try that again and see what I will make of it.

People used to tell me about it and I lacked even the slightest bit of sympathy. You just block it out, pray it out, knock it out. Whatever you need to do, deal with it.

I actually probably never believed it to be real. Because, the world was my oyster and no one could stop me.

Maybe because it was absent for so long, it now feels the need to work over time, make up for lost time you know.

It took me awhile to recognize it when it first came around. It sort of just sneaks in all sly like, as if it’s always been there. It becomes apparent only after it dominates every decision you make and you actually no longer hear the other.

It thrives as the unknown, the unnamed.

We’ve met now though. Face to face. The way I like to be with everything occupying space in my presence. On a first name basis.

I call it the voice of lies.

I greet it, acknowledge it, sit with it for a bit, then I go full blown battle on it.

With the voice of truth.

Because the voice of truth enables us to be bold and beautiful. Even a little bit crazy. It comes in joy, sincerity, peace and hope.

Hope in big dreams, hope in beautiful growth. Hope to be one hundred percent you!

Because being our beautiful whole self is the most courageous thing we’ll ever do, and it really only has room for one voice.

The voice of truth.

 

Until next time,

Eva

 

Living From the Heart

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Remember when I wrote that blog about going on this trip and taking my anxiety with me? I had thought the trip was going to be a great idea and then the first couple of days I didn’t know if I would survive? Yeah, I that one!

Well, it really was the best thing EVER! Not as in the best holiday I have ever had, but the best thing for my heart.

My sidekick and I spent some time in Buenos Aires and then made our way into the cold windy plains of El Calafate. This is where the magic happened!

When we got to our cabin in El Calafate, I immediately asked for the Wi-Fi password because let’s be honest, the necessity of wifi is right up there with food. I was greeted with a ‘no hay wifi.’ Mmmm, come again?! I had booked to stay at a place for 7 days with no Wi-Fi??? Oh dear me.

The thing here is I’m not OCD about having Wi-Fi all the time (ok maybe I am), but especially when I’m away from home and don’t have a good international phone plan.

Ever since our family tragedy in 2009, which happened when I was in Israel, I panic at the thought of my people back home not being able to contact me.

So yes I went straight into, ‘Eva what the heck mode,’ meanwhile smiling and assuring my host that it was totally fine… When in life do we learn to feel one thing and say the other?!

But you guys, after I processed my panic, shock and fear it ended up being okay. Actually, it was the best thing that could have happened on that trip.

The next 7 days Alayna and I saw the most beautiful scenery ever, but better than that was my Wi-Fi free time.

I kept Alayna on her routine of going to bed at 7pm, which meant I now had hours to myself with NO INTERNET. At first I would literally just find myself sitting by the window staring into space for hours.

I would go to a place of peace in my heart that felt so good, I couldn’t move.

In that peace my heart would begin bubbling over with inexpressible hope and joy. I had not felt the extent of that in years, if ever! It was so good I wanted to hold onto it. So my staring turned into writing which turned into listening which turned into dreaming BIG!

It’s amazing what the heart holds when we stop long enough to dig way down.

The challenge here is holding onto that which we discover in those heart moments, especially once you get back to every day life.

I’ve tried to pause long enough every day since being back, to get a glimpse into those moments again.

Because even a breath in that space is enough to keep me dreaming big and believing big. And when we start dreaming and believing big, we start living from the heart.

And living from the heart really is the only way you guys.

 

Until next time,

Eva

 

Photo: Our no Wi-Fi cabin where magic happens 😉

How to handle anxiety… Or not!

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So what’s the best thing to do when anxiety is gnawing away at your being? You book a flight to a place you’ve never been, a place where you don’t know a single soul.

Initially it’ll seem like a really good idea….. It’ll be an adventure!

That is, until you get to Houston and they ask you for the visa you never got.

First comes denial. This is no big deal, you’ll handle this. It’s only a 24 hour delay. Why the heck is the attendant staring at you?! Oh shit, reality. You’re not handling this. You’re crying! Like a freaking ugly cry is about to go down.

But wait, not only did you take your anxiety on this trip, you decided it would be so much better if you brought the kid too! Who is now, full blown ugly crying right beside you.

Thank you gate E20!

But like really, you push through it. Because you’re going on this adventure and it’s going to be great! It’s actually going to make the world right again.

Then you get to the city of 3 million people, where you decided to get an apartment right in heart of downtown. Because getting a hotel like a normal tourist would have been too easy.

Once you finally get into your apartment, (after frantically searching for the intercom for 30 minutes, that was right in front of your face), you’ll realize that although you are exhausted from flying, there are a few things you need right away. Simple things like, to charge your cell…. but the outlets are different and you need an adapter, which you of course, don’t have.

Okay, things to get…. Adapter, food. Oh, but you haven’t gotten any local currency yet and the little shops downtown don’t take American dollars (not even without Trump’s face on it).

You read online, that to get the best rate for your dollar, you need to go to a guy on the street to exchange it. Going to an official exchange vendor, would again, be too easy. So you walk the streets until you hear a guy yell, “dollas, dollas, I help you, dollas.” Good, he will help and you can be on your way! But wait, you’re supposed to follow him somewhere… Into a dark building and then into a metal rod elevator.

You realize this would make a great movie scene and that your holding onto your kid’s hand as if you’re about to die.

Then you remember you took a 90 minute self defence class a couple weeks ago and you do a re-run of the eye poke move in your head. It gives you enough confidence, that you keep following this guy. Who in the end, really does just exchange your money and not kill you or your kid. (Phew!)

By the time you get the money, food and adapter and crash in your middle-of-who-knows-where apartment, you will literally feel like a super hero! Because you did it, not only did you do all that, but you did it while reminding yourself to breath every second of the day, and carrying the weight of the entire world on your shoulders.

You even managed to take a picture and post it on Instagram to make it look like you were actually surviving.

All this will remind you of what you’re really made of. It’ll remind you to never stop fighting for what is right for your heart. It’ll remind you to keep dreaming and making those dreams come true!

It’ll give you hope to keep pushing through life with everything you got, because dammit, through you big things will come to be!!

Until next time,
Eva

P.S If you are struggling with anxiety and you didn’t make it off the couch today, that is okay too. Trust me, I too have days like that. It’s important though to not let those days turn into weeks, to not let them define us. Because anxiety is not who we are,  it’s a battle we are fighting and win we will!

P.P.S If you have never had anxiety and you’re thinking, she just needs to pray more or she doesn’t need to carry all that around. That’s not how it works, you really won’t know until you’ve been there. And if you’re thinking, oh gosh, she needs professional help, you are right. I am working with a team of professionals, its just a long, freaking hard process.