After Eloise fell asleep last night, I started this post about surrendering to our children. Appropriately, she woke up again before I had time to write anything other than the following quotes about new parenthood:
“I no longer know where you begin and I end. Days and nights blend into a haze of brilliance and fatigue. I am elastic, rubber, and wax. I bend to your will with no resistance, no boundary, transparent like glass. Even when you aren’t with me, I am with you, imagining you. There is no moment in which I exist separate of you.”
“The transition to parenthood is complex, requiring us to surrender to an irrevocable loss of our identity as we have thus far known it. To create the internal space required to embrace the tending of a new spirit, the pillars of our old lifestyle have to crumble. Who we were before becoming a parent doesn’t and cannot exist with the same ferocity. Once children enter our life, their impact is indelible and we are required to reinvent ourselves in response.”
-Dr. Shefali Tsabary, The Conscious Parent
Maybe it is better this way, just to leave some words to digest. I feel myself both surrendering and reinventing on a daily basis. I always worried about losing myself in the process of becoming a parent. Instead, I feel I have found myself, but I have to be patient for those moments that are my own. Admittedly, I fight this loss of control. Leaving unfinished tasks drives me crazy, but the feeling of surrender is also beautiful.
It is a hard lesson to learn, especially after night upon night of hours spent lying in bed just to keep her asleep. Thank goodness for the glowing words of Dr. Shefali Tsabary on my Kindle. If you haven’t read The Conscious Parent, I highly recommend it.
If you are a parent, what kind of reinvention have you undergone? Have you surrendered? If so, what are your secrets?
If you aren’t a parent, what other parts of your life have forced you to surrender and reinvent?
2 thoughts on “Parenthood: Surrender and Reinvention”
I’m not sure that this is a response to your questions, but I have always described those first few years as a parent as the purest time of my life because they are when I discovered that there is really unconditional love in this universe. And with that as my guide, I let my life be overwhelmed by my kids. Yes, I still made sure I had my me time, but so much of what went on before kids no longer mattered. What mattered was their safety, their comfort, and their happiness. Now that my kids are 19 and 16 I’m looking forward to the other end of the spectrum. When they are on their own and I am free of the responsibility of parenting them. I love my boys and will never, ever regret having them and will always remember so many good things about the last nineteen years, but I am very much ready for the next stage. Parenting is nothing if not a long process of growth and transition. It is a constantly evolving thing.
By the way, I wonder when you will write the post where you agonize over the fact that you no longer remember what your life was like before you became a mother. 😉
Beautiful words about your own experiences as a parent, thank you for sharing. Letting your life be guided by unconditional love seems just about as perfect as anything can get on this planet.
And, I’m already forgetting. Tonight is the first night I have been able to escape the bedtime routine without falling asleep myself. Here’s hoping it lasts long enough to enjoy a little time on my own. I was just thinking the other night about how I used to have hours and hours to myself after work each night. I would not go back for anything, just funny how I didn’t recognize how precious that time was. Now I’m lucky to sit on my computer for more than ten minutes without her needing me. Worth it, just a different season of life!