Having A Baby During A Global Pandemic

Copy of Untitled

The nappy bag sits in the car, untouched from when I put it together in the late stages of pregnancy. I remember sitting in the nursery surrounded by baby paraphernalia and envisioning what essential items had to be in the bag. What would I need for the numerous play dates, mothers group and other baby related activities? I had to be prepared for anything that could happen while away from the house. That time seems like a different life where I dreamt about introducing my new baby to family and friends. Where I assumed I would have leisurely coffee dates on preschool days, acquainting myself with another mum of a newborn and we would discuss all things feeding, sleeping and everything in between. Time spent away from the home was a freedom I took for granted.

There was an indication my grand social plans were not going to go as I assumed, when a few days from giving birth the hospital rang to inform me no visitors were allowed outside my husband. I understood, yet I was upset and grieved when I realised I was about to be forced apart from my first born for the longest period of our lives together. As it turns out, aside from my two boys not meeting each other shortly after giving birth, having no visitors while in maternity was lovely. I slept when baby slept and there were no distractions outside the needs of my baby and frankly I’d recommend it to all new mothers.

When we came home the world was quickly changing. Toilet paper had turned into gold and I sent Hubby on a mercy trip to the shops to purchase the raw ingredients needed for hand sanitiser. Suddenly there was no touching and we were instructed to keep our distance. I had a newborn that everyone wanted to meet and to cuddle and to brush their nostrils across the top of his head and inhale the intoxicating smell of youth. A gathering of friends at my baby sprinkle only a month before and now no one was allowed to visit. 

Staying home was frustrating at first, cabin fever quickly set in and I was mourning for what I was missing; mothers group, music, story time, getting out and about. But then a strange thing happened, a metaphorical corner was turned and it wasn’t so bad. The grieving was over and acceptance stepped in. I discovered a new freedom, the freedom that comes from not rushing out the door and having somewhere to go, the freedom to just be. My boys and I are operating at a pace of life I have never experienced before, and I like it. 

Sometimes you don’t realise what you need until it is handed to you. There are so many things outside my control and all I can control is my outlook to the world as it stands right now and my situation within in. I know I will never have time like this again. Time with my boys, where every moment is spent in the present. Where we take each day as it comes and simply see how the day naturally unfolds. Many are lamenting on what they are missing, yet I am appreciating all I am gaining. This situation is a gift, I can see that now. Of course it will not last, like everything it is temporary. The plans I had will come to fruition and when they do I will blow the layer of dust off the nappy bag, hop out of the car, pull out the pram and surround myself with people. And until then, I’m putting my feet back up on the lounge and holding my boys in my lap, we have nowhere else to be.

Sunday Meditation – Obstacles

Obstacles cause us to fall into two groups. Those who will from those who wish. Those of us that only wish will abort our pursuit at the first obstacle. Those of us that will know before the first step that we will come across many hurdles on the way. We expect them so when they appear it is not a surprise. Some of these obstacles require us to climb over them. Others require us to find a way around them. Then occasionally, some challenges command us to stop right where we are and force us to wait. These calls for inaction are the hardest to overcome. All we can do is wait, rest, take stock, applause the terrain we have covered so far and remind ourselves of why we are doing this. With reflection and the strength of patience, these obstacles end up removing themselves, clearing the path before us and ensuring we are ready to go again.

Sunday Meditation – Thank You

It is disheartening to bear witness to the current destruction that is happening across our beautiful country. Yet the power of humanity we are seeing provides that glimmer of hope. While it is difficult to watch we can help and there are many initiatives we can get involved in. There is also gratitude. We can give thanks, to those on the front line who are battling for us day in and day out. To those who are assisting in the affected communities. To those who are reaching out to our wildlife. We see you and we acknowledge everything you have done and are continuing to do. Thank you for being the heros in this tragedy. Thank you for your unending efforts and your ability to keep going. And thank you for reminding us all how fortunate we are to live in the best place in the world.

Becoming A Writer

type

I always wanted to be a writer. I’d been studying my whole life as a reader, but it wasn’t enough. There are many more readers than writers out there. I needed to do more so I began to read about writing, took a short course, listened to podcasts. I bombard myself with writing knowledge but learning only the theory of the craft would take me so far. Sitting down and writing, not once, not occasionally, but every single day took me into the realm of artist where I gained the invaluable practical knowledge. 

Writing and showing up each day to write is when my craft grew exponentially. The snippets of information I had gleamed in my initial studies would pop into my head and they began to shape my art. I tried techniques suggested, those that worked stayed and those that didn’t were filled away as do not use. As I continued on, through the days I longed to sit at my desk and write and those days when I didn’t want to, but did anyway (and those days always produced the best work and left me feeling glad I showed up) I realised that the biggest teacher of all was the art itself. I had proven myself a willing student, had managed to close the door on those swirling voices telling me I was not good enough, that I was wasting my time, that it was all a load of crap. I pushed through and kept going and then, the art began to teach me. 

The creativity, which was so sparse I question if it was even there in the beginning, began to grow. It grew to the point where I entered the magical state of flow. I would sit for hours, churning out material and unaware of the time that had passed. But it wasn’t just at my desk. I would be in the shower early in the morning and run out, dripping water all over the floor, reaching for pen and paper to scribble down the idea that burst into my head; the next storyline or conversation or character development. Those came to me at the most unusual times but they were the diamonds and I was not going to miss a single one. 

Beginning was the most difficult part of all. Continuing on was tough, but as I continued there was a spark that lit up and soon enough burned into a raging fire that would not let me stop. The idea has caught me and it was not letting go until the job was done. Yet that burning passion came later. All I had in the beginning was one thought. Enough of this wanting to be a writer, they only way it’s going to happen is to stop wishing and start doing. That was all I had. I sat down and I typed. The next day I sat down and I typed and the day after that and so on. I didn’t even know what the story was in these early days. I had a vague idea of something with no idea of an ending or even a middle and I went along. Once I’d proven my commitment, the muse showed up and guided me along the way, taking my story into places I would never have conceived at the start. 

I continued to study. Reading, listening, talking with others. The study was much easier now that I had the ability to apply it to something. Then came that moment where I reached the end. The manuscript was finished. I rested it (just one of the thousands on invaluable tips I had gained) and came back to it. Yes it was in need of an enormous amount of work, but I knew I had tapped into something. The passion was burning and it fuels me still, to keep going. Because I am an artist now, a professional, I know my craft inside out and I know the standard I want to achieve and I am working on that standard each day. Like all good things worth accomplishing, it is taking longer than I ever anticipated, but I know it is worth every amount of energy I put into it. I know I am crafting my masterpiece that I will be proud to attach my name to. There will be others after it, however, like the first time of anything, there will always be something special about this one, the piece that taught me how to be a writer.