Saturday, 8 October 2016

It's who you parent with that makes the difference

Our daughter is almost one, I've learned many things this past year but one thing that stands out is that it is who you parent with that makes all the difference. When I was pregnant, so many people told me how hard it would be, to have a baby around. From what I was hearing I imagined parenting would be like going on a really, really, really long bushwalk in the most extreme conditions. I've found that at times it can seem a bit like I am in some sort of event that is a cross between a wild goose chase and a marathon, but for the most part it is easy.

Yes, our daughter is a wonderful little girl an 'easy baby'. Yes, we live in paradise and yes we are both healthy and happy. But why is she 'easy' and why do we live in paradise and why are we healthy and happy? I've given all this some sort (and many other things too) as I sit there for a few hours at a time spotting her as she learns to stand. It's largely to do with whom I parent with, and this (more than) theory also applies to who you work with, live with, own pets with and are friends with.

Could our baby be 'easy' because we (her parents) know who we are and are relaxed? We respect each other and we are there for each other. We meditate daily and we eat really good whole foods (vegan) and we do many things each day, for each other. Maybe our little daughter feels safe around us?  Maybe she can feel that we back each other up and we support each other and we support her, together.  Maybe she can feel that we live in a wonderful little community where most people know her and que up to hold her?

We didn't just end up in this paradise, we created it (to an extent). We are building and bringing to life the prettiest vision of self-reliance and we take the time to enjoy what we already have. This afternoon for instance we sat for quite some time, on the veranda, watching chooks and the way the sunlight shone through the newly emerged leaves on our newly planted fruit and nut trees. We watched the bees entering their hive for the night and we spotted our daughter's standing attempts.

Paradise is partly what is, and it is partly what you notice. Parenting with someone, working with someone, living with someone who can notice the paradise around is a blessing and it makes things easy.

We choose to be healthy and happy, we are careful regarding our diets and we are careful as to how we conduct ourselves. It is almost automatic now, but it took practise to get to this point of self control. Of being peaceful within and without.

I think that any job, parenting included (perhaps especially?) is easy when it is done with someone who makes it easy. I save so much energy and have so much joy in my life because of who I share my life with. I don't think that parenting is hard, or working or digging a hole of cooking a meal... it's only hard when who you are doing it with makes it hard.

You will have people in your life that make things easier and you will have people in your life who make things harder for you. Choose to parent, to work, to play with those people who make life easy just because of who they are and the affect they have on you.

Theresa Daley is a Mindfulness Mentor and Spiritual Counsellor and Writer. 

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