Bellies & siblings

As many of you know, I am currently pregnant with my third boy, who is going to be born approximately from the last week of January.

Since now, this has been one of my best pregnancies. I had the chance to be active and energetic during all these months behind me and I have been amused by the fact I didn’t actually feel so many hormonal roller coasters during all this period.

But…there is always a but…., during these last two months I am confronting with one of the most powerful challenges as a parent: the jealousy and the rage of my (soon to be) middle son.

He is now 5 years old and he has, by nature, a vigorous and stubborn temper.
As my belly is growing, so is growing his intolerance towards this new situation.
We usually cuddle each other very much, we share a natural physical love full of kisses, hugs and laughs. He likes my new growing body very much and he is amused by the bigger shape of my breast. But at the same time I see a certain look in his eyes, a look that makes me sometimes cry inside of me, a look that seems to show me as if he was really conscious about the fact that this body would be soon no longer his domain.

I remember when this happened to my first boy.
It has been a very hard period when we, as a family, began to understand deeply how life had been changing with the arrival of the second child. The first seemed happy and apparently kind with his new brother, but we knew how much he missed his time alone with us parents. And, beneath all, we missed it too.

My 5 years son is now aggressively pretending to behave as he was still a toddler, especially when we are at home, alone. He pretends with screams and cries my full attention during bedtime and he also proposed me to homeschool him instead of bringing him to childcare. He suffers to know me at home, now that I no longer go to work while he is at school and he is beginning to refuse his judo practice crying and adducing several pains all around his body.

He prefers now to stay at home instead of going out, even if he is scared by being left alone in a room and pretends to be led hand by hand with me if he needs to go to the bathroom or in his bedroom.
At the same time, when he is at school, he likes the companion of his most active schoolmates more than ever and in many public occasions, he has begun to front us parents,with a sort of bully-mode he had rarely showed before with such consistency.

Most of all, he is behaving aggressively with his older brother, beating him and insulting him, while doing the same with me when I refuse to be prone to his tantrums. Then, after been scolded by his father or by me for his unacceptable beating, his overreactions induce him to cry longer than usual and to feel offended and left out for his bad behavior. He calls himself “bad boy” or “wrong child” and he assures nobody won’t love him again and we will leave him alone in a trashcan at the side of the street.

Last evening, while I was lying with him in his bed, taking his hand in mine, he asked me what will happen to our bedtime ritual after the baby brother will be here. “Will this ever happen again, mom?” He asked me, looking deeply in my eyes.
I felt a crack in my heart while I was hastily reassuring him that everything will be ok and that mummy will be there for him whenever he will need me.
I told him I love him so much and that mom’s and dad’s love isn’t meant to be divided by the number of siblings in our house, but somehow, it has the magic ability to be empowered by the arrival of the new baby.
He then got asleep easily and quietly and I felt relieved my reassurances seemed to find enough space into his little heart.

But now, I know that they weren’t the more appropriate things to say, because in a way, I denied his fears of being left out. I’d have been better validating his feelings, acknowledging and putting his fears into words, instead of lavishing unnecessary and unclear pearls of wisdom.

Maybe I should have been honest and sincere with him, giving him words to live guiltless in fantasy what he wouldn’t be able to have in reality, anymore or, at least presumably, in the first days after baby’s arrival: as, for instance, telling him that he doesn’t like to be left out by the new baby and to share mom with him, too. And that it’s ok to feel this and sometimes even wishing baby won’t come home, anymore.

I know, deeply inside of me, that validating children feelings and giving them enough attention, is the only way to make them able to move on shortly, without excessive inner pain.
They, if they feel their emotions acknowledged, are naturally capable of coming to terms with reality and learning from it. They need us parents to be there and testify their struggle with love and acceptance, avoiding to deny it and to add drama to their feelings.

Only if feelings are felt deeply and without filters, guilt or other interferences, we can observe them while passing through and moving out from ourselves. Children, especially younger ones, need us to give a name to what they are feeling inside and to know that actually these are “just” feelings that won’t compromise their integrity as individuals.

I am perfectly aware I made really bad mistakes with my children.
Most of them, have been suffered in silence. Or in the solitude of not being heard.

I realize now that, most of the times, they occurred me when I didn’t listen deeply to my inner nature and when I didn’t separate myself from the vision I have of myself, from the ghosts of my past and from my parents’ behavioral patterns.

As Naomi Aldort suggests in her ispiring book Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves: Transforming Parent-child Relationships from Reaction And Struggle to Freedom, Power And Joy, the most important step to heal a child is to listen deeply to him, to empathize with his feelings and give him our proper and full attention. But this won’t happen until we won’t take gently distance from our internal speech and from our particular emotional background.

I can’t erase my past and my mistakes as a parent.
But what I can actually do now is, first of all, avoiding those mistakes to stand in the way, compromising a sincere attention to my children.

I need to trust my children feelings and their ability to move on when their emotional validated struggle is over. Listening deeply without interfering. Being empathic and kind.

And I am sure that this approach, based on love, respect and trust in my children’s emotional abilities, will give them and myself the permission to move forward together, when the right time will come.
Together, towards this this new, challenging but surely beautiful phase of our family life.

If you are interested in purchasing Naomi Aldort’s book, you can do it from this affiliate link:

The present moment

After a period of consistency and motivation in pursuing personal goals and projects, a period of great discovering and vivid enthusiasm, an unexpected stomach flu (mine and of my entire family!) has obliged me to take a pause from regular living.

And this sort of surprising roller coaster has forced me to see things differently.

Sometimes physical weakness helps people to focus more on the essential of life and I guess it’s what has happened to me this time, too.

photo credit

I have discovered that is actually difficult for me to get back on track soon until I focused on a next, new, spicy challenge.

And I have realized that it’s so still damned easy for me to live my life without being mindful about my real purposes. Moreover, that it takes still to me a lot of determination and strength to remain following my own path.

I can say that this third pregnancy (I am currently on the 31st week) it has been mostly all about the challenge – and, actually, the real struggle – of establishing a daily routine of things and projects I need to get done : I have written pages and pages of to do lists, vision statements, missions, priorities lists, plans, goals charts and so on, but every time something seems to get in the way.

That’s because life, inevitably, happens – and, hopefully, will happen again!

I am discovering that, every time more, my aim is becoming to overcome the distance between my challenge and no-challenge state of mind.

What I mean is I would like to come more easily in a place of stillness where I could manage a simple and effective behavior of personal good sense where I wouldn’t experiment the stress and the loss of energies due to opposite reactions (action: bad day/reaction: good day and reverse).

And every time more, I really find myself needing more new challenges to confront with.
And needing them so much – even if I think it’s actually a signal of self-love and self-confidence – it is not still a signal of the interior balance I would like to have.

I am now aware that I continuously feed expectations from my actions and behaviors, when maybe it’s just a simple matter of simplifying and just breath and listen to my real inner being.

I am somehow getting stressed by my needs of being productive and goal-oriented all day long, because I am realizing that – even if in this manner I have a clear vision of what I need to do – I am often focused on future events and on results and I am not still enjoying the awareness of present moment.

And I would wish for myself a more peaceful and mindful state of being where needs are no longer needs, wishes are no longer wishes, desires are no longer desires, necessities are no longer necessities, but actions are simply actions, moment by moment, in line with the flown of my consciousness and my real inner self nature.

I really need to be patient and compassionate with myself in learning to be less focused on reaching and on productivity and more on simple, quiet, peaceful awareness and mindfulness in my own self and in the world I live in, as a particular, unique, human being.

I think that it could be named my personal goal for the next year: finding a sort of quiet balance between me and my dares.

In that manner, for instance, I wouldn’t need anymore to work-out daily because I know it is healthy and I feel tons and tons better while and after having done it: I would simply work out, period.
Because when I do it, I simply am in line with my inner nature, with my own particular wisdom.

The same can be applied to writing, motherhood, pregnancy, respectful partnership, eating right, doing chores and household, loyal friendship and social connections in general and so on.

I only hope to be fine with myself in this period and accept it as it is, without feeling guilty and, mostly, doing what I need to do, one step at a time.

Sometimes, it’s more easy to be aware of what it needs to be done than thinking about what it needs to do… and when I do it, time seems to expand!

I wish for me a place where I no longer desire something, but just be.

Where there is no more struggle, motivation, determination, strength and dare to be, but JUST mindful respect of the present moment.

My personal challenge

I am a domestic animal. That’s why, as a child, when I thought about my future, I didn’t really have a clear vision of me as a human being, working outside the home. Instead, I had a vivid image of myself as a grown-up: I would have become a mother.

I have always loved learning and, since childhood, I have been fond of writing. Essays, more than fiction.
I have grown up in a house full of books, so I was naturally attracted by reading.

Even though I purchased with passion a degree in Dramatic Arts, I had never had the real intention of doing it for a living. Moreover, I have never been focused on finding a professional job.

For some years, absolutely too many, I simply did what I was expected to do: I got into the labour market, infused with a diligent spirit of cooperation and grateful feelings towards my family.

Matteo and I got married with tons of joy: more full of the enthusiastic idea of building soon a family, than thinking about some real long term projects.
Being a wife and becoming a mother are both choices I made, for the first time in my life, looking deeply at my interior being, instead of obeying to my old bulky social self.

I preserve all three of my positive pregnancy tests. They are lasting signs of a physical and psychological revolution. Of a rush into a just born future, of a way back to my inner self and to my childhood memories and of a re-discovering path towards my true nature.

My children have shown me, sometimes with never-ending sweetness, sometimes with strong determination, to reckon with myself, forcing me to face many skeletons in the closet. And stimulated me to live mindfully and intentionally my secret childhood vision.
From those moments on, nothing has never been the same, anymore.

Surely, it’s not always bread and roses: being a parent is not usually simple and not always exciting. especially when children make us so angry, avid of crumbs of free time without minors nearby, stressed by frantic lifestyle and longing for some moments together as a couple…but..let’s admit…couple who?
And I think so many women are so right when they face themselves honestly and confront with other moms on their parenting and motherhood “dark sides”.

Anyway, becoming a mother doesn’t really mean to live an absolute state precluded to happiness and personal achievement. Undoubtedly, every mother brings within a different story.
In my experience, motherhood has made me a widely happier person and opened me the path to a personal growth that sometimes may still be difficult and painful, but it’s always exciting and fascinating.

And then, here they are, my children.
The funniest human beings of the entire universe!
Thanks to them, I have discovered my most instinctive laugh.

When I became a mother, I didn’t know anything about babies, and excepting for my nephew, I haven’t really taken anyone in my arms.
I felt as there was an unwritten (and maybe untold) law and according to it, mothers will know “naturally” what to do with their newborn babies.
Even though I attach great value to intuition and instinctive wisdom of mothers, I surely know that my experience would have been easier and sometimes less stressful, if I only would have known some little strategies or practical advices to help me out through daily living with children.

One step at a time, through blogs and books, I have come to know different motherhood realities, from all over the world. Meanwhile, every experience has so much in common with the others, so it helped me so much in solving lots of doubts and in stimulating in me and my family new and exciting horizons.

I do believe that every mom needs to equip herself with practical tools to allow her to express herself at her best with children, helping them in becoming stronger and coming over their weaknesses.
As someone wisely says, we pretend professional attitude in every compartment of our lives, why should our children receive less?
Our children deserve us at our own best: enthusiastic, determined and competent mothers.
And I didn’t mean perfect: I have meant at our own best.

Children, with their spontaneity and innocence, bring us in front of new challenges everyday. And I believe this is a great incentive for me.
I often make mistakes and I feel tremendously inadequate, but I do know this is a path I want to walk in with joy and mindfulness, doing my best every day to keep on with enthusiasm and with a serene and stimulating family living.