It’s never easy to be a woman

‘All the world’s a stage’. This is how Shakespeare begins the monologue in Act II, Scene IV, in the play “As You Like It”.

‘And all the men and women merely players:

They have their exits and their entrances;’

Shakespeare’s verses came to my mind after the visit to my workplace where I am currently on parental leave. It was a grey and rainy day of Autumn when I couldn’t spend much time with my baby outdoors. So, I figured out I could pay a surprise visit to my work colleagues. When we arrived at the campus, I was the one who was surprised. Most of my colleagues were away. In the department, there was a deadly silence, which was disturbed by the squeaking of the pram wheels . The only open door was to my boss’ office. He is the best boss I’ve ever had, so with a smile on the face and my baby in the arms, I stepped into his office.

Yet, he wasn’t the usual smiling guy. “Maybe he has a bad day.”, I thought and carried on the discussion, on a cheerful note. He asked if I can get some help with the baby so that I can return to work. (Note to the reader: The law in this country gives to women the freedom to choose to stay at home for the first three years of motherhood, without running the risk of loosing their job. )

“Of course, the problem is that your parents are living abroad. This makes it more difficult for you.” He mused.

The uneasiness became heavier with every minute, so when my baby started whining, I bid farewell and left his office.

I was about to get in the elevator when another colleague stepped out. She is very fond of my baby, therefore, we followed her to her office so she could cuddle with him.

“Can I ask you what are your plans?” She asked at one point.

I replied that I choose to stay home with my baby for one more year.

“You know, over here the competition gets fierce. These people have even higher expectations about publication performance.”

“Well, competition is always good, isn’t it?” I replied.

My head was spinning when I left. My boss wanted me back on the research stage. My colleague set the stage for me, by updating me on the atmosphere at the department.

In his play, “As You Like It”, Shakespeare describes the seven stages of a man’s life: Infancy, Childhood, The lover, The soldier, The justice, Old age, Mental dementia and death. What about the stages of a woman’s life? How many are there? Shakespeare is not addressing this question in his play. To me, it seems that in a woman’s life there are only two stages: Before and After getting married.

‘Before getting married’ stage starts very early when baby girls receive as gifts their first dolls. I received my first doll, the day I was born. My father bought it for me when he heard he is the father of a baby girl. It was my favourite doll until years later when my sister broke its neck. Nowadays, toy manufacturers outdo themselves by producing super dolls, which can be fed and which poo. As girls grow up, they get tips about how to behave when they get a husband, “when you are old enough”. Because a respectful woman should not get married before the proper age.

In the ‘After getting married life’, we are expected to focus on the well-being of the family, on having children and raising them. All these while carrying on with our professional life. There is a certain time window during which a woman is expected to become mother. And unfortunately, the Mother Nature supports the expectations. Nowadays, this time window can be between 25 and 40 years old, depending on the country. I’ll refer to these women as ‘mainstream women’. But since life is not like in the romantic Hollywood movies (I wish it was!), there are many women around the world who should be in this stage, and they are not. And there is very little sensitivity shown to them, these ‘other women’.

Getting 30 is the threshold when people start thinking, “There must be something wrong with her that she is not married!”. I happened to read Melanie Notkin’s article, “Single and Childless Can We Just Move On?”. Melanie Notkin is best known for her bestseller, Savvy Auntie: The Ultimate Guide for Cool Aunts, Great-Aunts, Godmothers, and All Women Who Love Kids. The article above-mentioned was published in Psychology Today, on September 26. Melanie is about 40 and she gets tips from people about what online dating services she should use. No matter what their intention is, most certainly, they invade her inner world. The main idea in her article is that she came to terms with the thought of not being a mother, despite the fact that is wasn’t easy to do so.

What if a woman didn’t want to date any man any longer? What if a woman doesn’t want any children? There are destinies, which are meant to be meaningful in other ways than married, with children. Take as an example, Elizabeth Gilbert, the writer of the bestseller, Eat, Pray, Love and the sequel to it, Committed: A Love Story.

I agree that marrying the right man and becoming the mother of his children gives the meaningful touch to life. You are a lucky woman, in the same way he is a lucky man. This is when your life, the mainstream woman, gets even more challenging. Once becoming a mother, the entire perspective on life changes. The brains start having a brownian motion, higher than before, and you become the master of multitasking. You will never again buy a dress for yourself, without feeling guilty that you should have bought instead something for your kid/kids.

The biggest challenge is to balance between being a mother, a wife, a woman and a career woman. In the first stage of motherhood, national laws stipulate how long a mother has the right to stay at home with her baby. The problem comes in the later stages of motherhood, when the mother returns to work. Out of 24 hours in a day, how much time does a mainstream woman dedicate to her work, to her family and to her baby?

I was given the right to choose my priorities. And yet, I feel the judgement in other people’s eyes when I tell I am a stay at home mother. The ultimate challenge is to be able to silence the voices of other players and connect to the core of your inner being. Over there, there is no role to play, only the authenticity of a meaningful life.

The value of personal belongings

I used to tell to friends that I am not attached to my house, that I can move in another house, in another country, in a heartbeat, so to speak. My home is the people that I love. This is why I did not understand my own grandmother who has been living alone for 16 years, refusing to move out of the house she had built and to move in with her son.

I used to say that I don’t need a big place where to live. A two rooms apartment is perfect, as long as we don’t have to get married with the bank and we can travel around the world. Our family has been gradually growing out of our two rooms apartment, which is very conveniently located downtown. Hence, we started looking for a four rooms flat, slightly farther away. After seeing the first one, I felt claustrophobic at the thought of spending, say, the next ten years in it. “Why not looking for a house?”, we concluded.

We had to extend the search even farther from downtown, since we resent the idea of being too involved with the bank. Now that we embarked on the mission to move house, the excitement of living into a house spices up the dull days of the Autumn. I imagine us playing with the baby in a big living room with fireplace, and my ego is tingling. What? Me, infatuated about living in a house?

When friends were enthralled about their newly acquired houses, I could not share their excitement. I would think, “Anyway we die one day. What will happen then? Will death give us the permission to take anything with us? Will we be able to negotiate at least for the favourite book or dress?” Now, with each visit of a potential new home, I look around to see any neighbours. Maybe we’ll befriend and I’ll live the life of a perfect housewife, sharing recipes with the other mothers in the neighbourhood.

I return to our cosy apartment and I sigh. I will miss this place, where we lived beautiful moments, like the day when we returned with our baby from the hospital. I will miss the enlivened view from the window, which is like a postcard view over the city, at any time of the day and night, all year around. This view has kept me company each night, many times at night, when I have woken up to feed our baby. In this small home, my ego loses ground.

I am reminded that the joy of the soul makes a small home feel huge. At the same time, the reality of moving house reminds me that life is a constant change till we die. The change of home environment is a time of joy. It is a time to open the new chapter in the family life. But most importantly, I think I understand better my grandmother. When living most of your life in only one house, the walls and floors still keep alive the past and the people who used to walk on those floors. At 83 years old, she still hopes that we will move in with her.

I also agree with what Sakyong Mipham writes in his book, “Turning the mind into an ally“: “Understanding the meaning of impermanence makes us less desperate people. It gives us dignity…We see that happiness comes from cultivating the virtues that lead to enlightenment. Ultimately, it comes from wisdom, from understanding the unchanging truth of change.”

As for the inability of sharing the excitement of friends, I pray to God to help me not to be judgemental. A little bit of comfort makes life easier. :)

 

Who knows what God wants?

Some years ago, I was in a romantic relationship, in which a quarrel-free day was enough of a reason for a celebration.

During one of the fights, when he was charging his jealousy at me, I replied, “God is my witness, I am innocent!”

“Stop it! You and your obsession with God! You’re a fanatic!”

His comment was flabbergasting. What started as a jealousy fight, ended up as a fight about my belief in God. The days that followed, when I was talking with my parents or friends from my home country, I started paying close attention to the words they used. I became more aware of what had been taken for granted for all the years. I concluded that I had grown up in an environment, where we are accustomed to pronouncing the word God, in almost every mundane conversation. Whether we express our hopes about the future or the frustrations about the present, at one point we say “May God help us!”. At the same time, I started paying attention to how friends from his culture were talking. They were at the other extreme, never mentioning anything about God. Even those who did believe in God.

Back to the current stage of my life, when reading Jesse Bering’s book, “The God Instinct, The Psychology of Souls, Destiny, and the Meaning of Life“, I found this quote on the mayor of New Orleans, Ray Nagin, who in 2005, publicly declared his theory according to which the hurricane Katrina was caused by God: “Surely God is mad at America. Surely He’s not approving of us being in Iraq under false pretence …”. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Was he serious?!

Reading Mr Nagin’s declaration, I remembered that before the USA’s invasion in Iraq, I happened to watch on TV one of the public speeches about the need of invading Iraq by the president George Bush Jr. Of course, I can’t remember the exact words, but I do recall that the ex-president mentioned something like “in the name of God”.

Does anyone know what God may or may not want? If yes, how can they know? I, Mr Ray Nagin and Mr George Bush Jr had a similar way of thinking: we gave God an active role to whatever happened in our lives. Though, we had our particular ways of doing just that. During my fight with my ex boyfriend, I had given God the role of the moral Witness of my life. Mr Nagin gave God the role of the Judge who disapproved the actions of the American nation, hence he sent the Hurricane Katrina upon America. Mr George Bush Jr, gave God the role of the Arbiter who gave the permission to invade another country.

I try to imagine how this world would be if we tried to let God be what He is. If we did that, then we would need to possess lots of integrity to be responsible for our own actions. If we did that, then we would need a huge amount of inner strength to still believe in God, even when bad things happen to good people.

Is there an afterlife?

This is the question. I know it is a heavy and sensitive topic to discuss in a blog post. I only want to write a few of my fleeting thoughts as they pertain to my previous post “Dreams, poems and soul connection”. In that post, I wrote that at the right time and place, I may find a psychology book that discusses the question “is there a life after death?”.

The right time and place were decided a few days ago by my baby, who discovered the bookshelf. With the excitement of researching a new corner in the house, he took two books out of the shelf. One of them was a book on Computational Complexity, which is my husband’s. I instantly put it back. The other one was Jesse Bering’s “The God Instinct, The Psychology of Souls, Destiny, and the Meaning of Life“. I kept it and left it on the table in the living room to read it, whenever my small dictator would allow me.

When I was pregnant, I had already read the first two chapters after which, I put it back in the bookshelf. I was too emotional to continue reading it. I was provoked by Jesse Bering’s statements that revolved around the main point that God is merely an illusion of our modern minds. Now, when my baby chose it from among the other books on the bookshelf, I decided to continue reading it. This time, I emptied my mind of personal beliefs and read it with genuine interest to pick Jesse Bering’s mind on the topic. Here and there, I found it funny and page by page, I found it very rich in scientific information about the human mind.

I was excited to find the question on afterlife, being discussed from the perspective of a psychological scientist. In the world of a psychological scientist, the main question is not whether there is a life after death but why do human beings, like myself, raise this question. A simple and short answer is that we have the desire to believe that death is not the end. Why do we have such a desire? Here, researchers in psychology have different theories. Social psychologists argue that human beings have a fear of death, hence the belief in afterlife. Yet, other researchers found no correlation between fear of death and belief in the afterlife.

Other researchers who are supporters of the evolution of the theory of mind, such as Jesse Bering, argue that we don’t have the ability to imagine ourselves into a life, where sensations and mental experiences lack altogether. In other words, ever since human beings existed, we have had problems grasping the idea that our minds are mortal. Therefore, we choose to believe that life and death are two great mysteries.

By the time I finished reading the book, I liked it tremendously. I liked that it is replete with psychological research findings. On the one hand, I liked that Jesse Bering challenged maybe the most heartfelt belief that we have, that is the belief in the existence of God. It is a proof that our societies have indeed evolved. On the other hand, Jesse Bering focused on the mind, which my gut feeling tells that it may not offer the answer to whether or not there is an afterlife or a God. In my subjective reality, the mind is hindering the ability to come closer to The truth of life and death.

I don’t believe in any religion. Religions have done nothing but manipulating human beings by others who wanted the power. Religions have done nothing but preventing people from setting their minds and souls free.

I believe partly in science, which provides intellectual satisfaction to understand something of the surrounding world. Yet, I made up my mind. My soul believes that there is a God, or a Being, the way Eckhart Tolle calls God in “The Power of Now“, the “ever-present One Life beyond the myriad forms of life that are subject to birth and death.” I choose to free myself from my mind and embrace the enlightenment. I choose to find my “true nature beyond name and form”.

Is there an afterlife? In the light of my spiritual experiences, I say that there is. We shall find out The truth at the end of the road. Till then, let’s enjoy the journey the best we can, shall we?

When negativity sneaked into my heart

It was the end of one of those days when the little one had been wining all day long. I was in the supermarket, on my mind with the “to buy” list and at the same time, I was trying to entertain our baby who was already getting bored in the shopping cart. Mothers know how it feels! A thought crossed my mind: “Gosh, I badly need half an hour to breathe in peace!”

When my husband finished his day of work, I informed him about my wish. I hoped I could prepare dinner while our baby would spend quality time with his father. What happened was that my husband started doing something else in the kitchen, which was important but maybe not as important. The baby was left alone with his toys. Being mommy’s boy, of course he came crawling to my feet. That was the last drop. I started boiling. He was pulling my pants and wining. You know, that kind of wining that is meant to drive parents nuts.

I looked daggers at my husband who was singing while emptying the dish washer. I looked at the baby’s tears and I sighed, “What is wrong, baby?”. I held him with one hand and with the other, I continued stirring in the sizzling chicken curry. Thanks God, I have two hands. In moments like that, I wished I had three or four. When my arm got tired of holding the baby, I went straight to my husband and … I felt like a bull in a  Spanish arena, starring my husband as the toreador. I started micromanaging him on a low voice. I briefed him on what was needed to be done in order to prepare our baby for bed time. He took the baby and moved to the bathroom singing. I was growling inside!

It was midnight when I was lying awake and feeling the huge irritability inside of me. I could hear the pitter pattering of the rain drops at the window. Under normal circumstances, that sound would put me in a peaceful and dreamy mood. But that night, the sound annoyed me to death. What was wrong with me? I wondered how mothers of more than one child were managing. Compared to their lives, my life must be a walk in the park. :) Luckily, the fatigue came to rescue. I managed to fall asleep despite the irritability being still present.

The next morning, I remembered this article that I came across in the Scientific American, The Joyful Mind. The article discusses the biology of pleasure, how different regions of the brain work together to create pleasure. The path to pleasure is a cause and effect between anticipation, desire, sensation and satisfaction. “Well, good morning!”, I said to myself. That was my problem the night before. This path to pleasure had been broken when my top desire to have half an hour of peace had not been satisfied.

Life is not only white and black. According to Aristotle, a person’s happiness is composed of two elements: pleasure and meaningfulness. I am living the most meaningful time of my life, when I witness the development of our baby each day. Then how can I have these moments of frightening negativity? How could a moment of broken pleasure cloud the happiness of a meaningful life? Back to the article A Joyful Mind, the scientists have not understood yet how the brain creates the perception of a meaningful life. Maybe I missed something that the brain scientists can’t find in the brain either. Something that Eckhart Tolle refers to as the “power of now”.

In these moments when my reality does not unfold as expected and triggers the out of balance, getting in touch with my consciousness is the salvation. Again, easier said than done, but hey it is worth trying! If I succeed, I will be knowing how it feels “To stay present in everyday life”. I will know what it means “to be deeply rooted within yourself; otherwise, the mind, which has incredible momentum will drag you along like a wild river…To always have some of your attention in the inner energy field of your body. To feel the body from within, so to speak”. (Eckhart Tolle, Practising the Power of Now, pp. 51)

Dreams, poems and soul connection

The poem “Across Two Worlds” was inspired by a very special dream I had. The evening before this dream, I watched the movie “The English Patient“. Many years I postponed watching it, without having any particular reason. It was just the feeling that I didn’t want to see it. Until an evening of February 2007, when the man I was dating came to my place and wanted us to watch this movie together. I didn’t want to destroy his enthusiasm, so I made myself comfortable in my Fatboy and shhh! As the film was coming to the end, a feeling of emptiness grew in me. After the movie, I didn’t even want to share impressions. My inner world was in ruins. I went to bed with the feeling that there is no sense in waking up the next day. Scary!! It was the first time in my life, when I experienced that feeling of nothingness of life.

During that night, I had a dream. I dreamt I was visiting my grandparents, where I had spent the first three years of my life. It was a Summer day and I was looking for a shopping bag in the kitchen. I was about to leave for the store when the door opened and my late grandfather entered the room.

“Grandpa! What are you doing here?!” I burst out with joy as he was walking towards me. He had passed away in 1996 and I was fully aware of this in my dream.

“I came to see you!” he replied with a kind smile on his face.

“But I gotta go to the store to buy biscuits. They’ll close soon.”

He hugged me so strongly that I felt I could hardly breathe. I felt a pleasant warmth in my chest. All my organs were smiling and a wonderful peacefulness reigned in my body. Did I really have to tell him that I had to go to the store? Well, I didn’t want to go anywhere. I wanted to stay there in that kitchen and chat with him. I wanted to know how he’d been. I wanted to tell him how I’d been.

“Now, you’d better make it for that store”. He said.

Alas, it was beyond my abilities to  steal more time with him. Before I could say anything else, he walked out of the kitchen door.

The next morning, I woke up as I normally do, feeling sleepy and complaining that I could have slept longer. Ha! Hardly did I know anything about sleep deprivation at that time of my life! The snooze reminded me that I had scheduled a day trip to a ski resort and a friend would come to pick me up. I forgot everything about the emptiness I had felt the previous night. When I was in the car, talking with my friend, I suddenly remembered the dream. The next minute, I fumbled for a piece of paper and a pen in my bag to jot down this poem. It took only few minutes to scribble it down. I read it on and on again till we reached our destination. I was so happy. The happiness was not originated by the poem but by this strong feeling that I had actually met my grandfather and I missed him slightly less after that meeting.

Before and after this dream, I had other dreams in which I met my late grandfather. The same joy recurred in each dream, that kind of joy that I felt my heart is not big enough to hold it. But this dream was the most special of all. He had visited me in my sleep and had brought me to inner balance with his touch. I started reading some books about life after death but I could not find the understanding that I was looking for. Or maybe the books on spirituality are the wrong place to look for interpretations of dreams Iike this one. Maybe books on psychology hold the answer for me. I may look for some at the right time and place in the future. For now, I will just hold onto my simple conviction that there is a life after death and that my late grandfather was my angel for many years after his death. Now, I feel he is in another dimension where he can’t reach  me anymore. His soul has another journey to take. I feel grateful and lucky that he is my grandfather, my role model for a playful and creative mind.

PS In case you wonder what happened with my date with whom I watched “The English Patient“, I didn’t break up with him the day after. I broke up with him some months after and not because of the movie.

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Marriage, more than one to one relationship

There is a saying, which says that when you marry a person, you marry the entire family of that person. It made sense to me but I didn’t really know what it actually means. Untill few days ago when I listened to my father in-laws observations regarding what I should do or shouldn’t do as a mother. The more I listened to the written words of advice, the more I felt an increasing pain in my stomach. My breathing became heavier. I looked at my husband as he was informing me about his father’s observations and I had no clue about how to start discussing with him about this sensitive issue. For the first time, I felt it on my own skin that being married is not only about me and my husband. This time it was also about learning how to tango with the in-laws. Other times have been a lesson of waltz with my own parents.

This time I was hurt by his parents and I didn’t know how to react so that I would not hurt my husband. After all, he only had the role of middle man in this whole issue. Being the fiery person that I am, I was afraid that I would say things that I don’t really mean. It goes without saying that when I opened my mouth, I blurted out. Exactly what I was trying to avoid, it actually happened. My husband got sad. The baby started being cranky and I had to take him out for a walk.

The pain that I felt in my stomach was still there. In addition, it extended in my chest. Luckily, the little one fell asleep in his pram. With each step, I took a deep breath and looked at the sky in search of inspiration for a peaceful solution to this family conflict. Then, out of nowhere, Belinda Carlisle’s song, Live Your Life Be Free, started playing in my mind. In a strange way, this song helped me to put myself together. I  remembered I am the best mother for our baby despite what other persons may think or feel about it. I use all my love, creativity, playfulness, and self-awareness that I am capable of in order to raise our baby.

I took few more steps, few more breaths but my soul was restless. Anger was still residing in me. I invoked God’s help, “How do I show my husband that I love him even in moments of conflict?”

Respect him. What else? “Empathy” this word came from the depth of my being. He had nothing to do with his father’s opinions. The culprit was my father in-law. He ignited my anger.

“Put yourself in his shoes”, my inner being suggested. “For few minutes pretend you are your father in-law”. And so I did. In the end, he only wanted to help his child, who is my husband and his grand-child, who is my son. He expressed his point of view, which is only that: a perspective into our life. A point of view on our life, which will be followed by others. I wiped from my mind the points raised this time. I let them be whispers of a wind that blew shortly on our life. My body felt lighter. No more hard feelings, no more anger. I returned home when our baby woke up. My husband and I hugged.

This conflict made me realize that empathy is crucial for my self-control and the amiable management of the family relationships. I found enriching the exercise of imagining I am my father in-laws for few minutes. I am relieved that next time when I look in his eyes, I’ll do it with serenity.

After this experienxe, I got curious on this issue of empathy and family relationships and I did a little bit of research, to the extent that my baby allowed me. I found a book worth taking my time, Emotional Intelligence: 10th Anniversary Edition; Why It Can Matter More Than IQ,by Daniel Goleman. I picked up on one underlying idea that it is human to experience emotions such as anger as long as we express them with self-awareness, self-control and empathy. I loved the quote from Aristotle: “Anyone can become angry – that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not easy”. Daniel Goleman uses scientific research into emotions to explore how intelligence can be incorporated into emotions to result in more caring societies. For me as a mother, wife and human being striving for becoming better,I discovered in this book a source of acquired wisdom.

 

The Voice that whispered “you are pregnant”

The unforgettable day when I found out I was pregnant, I took a day off from work. I was feeling quite sick. It was the end of January when viruses are invading human bodies and have a party over there for one to two weeks. I thought my body was the host of such a party. I was lying in bed and thinking that the flu has never taken so much of my energy. I tried to move my feet but I felt paralyzed. My muscles would not listen to the brains to move. Suddenly another voice than my own said “Get off the bed. You are pregnant.” No, it wasn’t my husband nor my doctor. It was another voice which came from the depth of my being.

My feet decided to cooperate, I put some clothes on and went to buy a pregnancy test. “Pregnant. So fast?” I thought to myself on the way to the pharmacy. I came back home and stormed into the bathroom. I wished I hadn’t been home alone. When the result showed positive, I thought “now what?”. Few months later, in the second trimester of pregnancy, I found myself giggling. It was not my giggle, but the baby’s. I felt as if his soul was wrapping around my body and he was happy. I was in ecstasy. Our souls had been introduced to each other.

I do not have an explanation for this experience. Most certainly, a skeptical mind can find arguments to show that my story is but an illusion of the mind. Another kind of mind, which believes that there is more to life than what our eye can see, may come with other explanations. For example, such a mind is Lorna Byrne who in her book, Angels in My Hair, writes that “your angels are there to help you, and as you start to acknowledge that they may exist, you will start to feel their touch in your life.” I would like to believe that it was my angel who whispered to my ear that there is a new life growing inside of me. To me, the way our son announced his arrival in this life is the most miraculous and sublime experience. Nowadays when he is laughing, I remember that giggle and I tell him, “Indeed, it was you who giggled in me before you were born”.

Bye bye comfort

We are having dinner in a posh restaurant downtown. A friends couple invited us to celebrate their marriage. I participate in discussions on and off. When I am able to have a conversation, the baby is sitting in my lap and chews on a slice of bread. When he gets bored, he wants mommy to hold his hands and walk around with him. Luckily, the restaurant is half empty so we have a few tables, chairs and candles to admire without bothering anyone. Never mind that my tomato soup and the fishcake get cold. The baby is happy. I ask my husband to attend the baby so that I can eat the cold food. The table conversation continues.

Our friends share their memories from their honeymoon. My mind travels all the way to Delhi where I contemplate the streets full of life, color, and dirt. The waitress shows up triumphantly with the dessert on the tray. The icecream cocktail winks at me and my mouth is watering. The baby sits in his father’s lap and plays with a teaspoon. When the icecream arrives in front of me, I grab the teaspoon in a hurry and I drop it even faster. The baby just started crying. Our friends look at me. My husband tries to comfort the baby. Persons from the nearby tables look at me stealthily, or I imagine they do. I stare at the baby with a hopeless look. His crying is getting stronger and stronger. I stand up, take him from his father’s arms and wish them to enjoy the dessert. I really mean it! I let them savour the sweet moment while I am taking steps to a remote corner in the restaurant.

I keep on telling to myself that I am the one who can calm him down. So, here I am, sitting on a chair in the remote and dim corner, like a punished school girl. I dream of the taste of the icecream while my baby is drinking milk  greedily. :) After a few minutes, he falls asleep in my arms. By the time when we return to the table, the icecream is almost melted.

This is not the first time when my dinner is interrupted. When it happens, I get furios with the world, with myself, with my husband and with our baby for not having the chance to finish my food. Then, I get angry with myself for getting angry with the baby. Argh! A loop of exponential anger which makes me even more angry. I want to put an end to it. But how? Anger is a feeling which can’t be too controlled, especially when being sleep deprived. “How about rationalizing and prioritizing my choices?” I think to myself. First choice, baby’s needs go first. Second choice, I want to have inner peacefulness when I hold him in my arms. Easier said than done especially when he chooses to cry for attention when I am about to have few minutes of gourmet joy.  I’ll mumble to my chin, I’ll smile to the baby and I’ll give him a kiss as he is crying his lungs out. And, I look at the bright side: at least I stay fit. I also wonder how other mothers handle similar situations. Maybe they don’t mind at all having their lunch or dinner interrupted. But if they do, how do they react? What inner mechanism do they have which keeps them in balance at such moments of trial? As for myself, I will keep on practising my own coping mechanism: mumble, smile and kiss good bye the moment of joy.