I’m not suffering post natal depression or depression of any kind – I am coping ok with the lack of sleep (and boy is it a LACK), the boys are good alhamdulillah; homework does drag me down and I do become frustrated with the boys and maybe I have a little less patience at times but I cannot say it’s any more than my usual. My patience generally wears thin around 3:30 and it’s really awful timing because that’s the time my boys are home and tired from school and have their own emotional stuff to deal with.
Even then, there is a weight of sadness that comes down on me at random times (hehe – random. I’m such a hipster.) It’s not affecting my daily life in any way other than it’s bloody annoying and I wish it would go away. I am keeping my mind occupied: reading books, entertaining guests, visiting loved ones, enjoying our weekends, cleaning out my cupboards and donating clothes and toys. You know, taking lemons and making lemonade (scones.) Then I wonder if the idea is NOT to occupy my mind. Maybe this melancholy is something that I must feel. Maybe like my Buddhism book says, I am meant to let the feeling come. Feel it and then let it go. Perhaps this is why it’s still here, knocking at my brain at inopportune times. It’s sneaking in through ajar doors and cracks in the walls; staying for short periods of time because it knows it’s not wanted. What it really needs is to be welcomed into the home, sit with me with a cup of tea and some bikkies and just be.
But what if I do that and it never leaves?
I used to love reading Asiya’s blog posts (not sure if she is still blogging but if I find a link, will be sure to post it here) though I hardly ever replied. Her sense of deep introspection and thinking always left me in awe and I imagine if I were ever to reply, all that I could muster would be a clumsy and banal ”WOW. That’s *deep*” And that would be for each and every post.
Recently I’ve been attempting my own journey to self but in a way more awkward and embarrassingly confused bumble than the ideal (in my mind) controlled, self disciplined approach. I had been unhappy for a long time. Not with anything or anyone in particular but it’s made me quiet, withdrawn and maybe even depressed at times. Through examining myself from a distance, my relationships with my friends and with my family for what they truly are, I am feeling better. So much better and I am grateful. Very grateful. I have been reading Buddhism for Mothers and perhaps this was the catalyst to my journey but who knows? My knowledge of Buddhism is pretty limited and in the small amount of reading I’ve done, I can definitely see its appeal. I used to laugh when people would say that one could be a Buddhist Muslim – utterly ridiculous, surely! But there is so much in Buddhism that is compatible with leading a faithful Islamic life that one could quite easily incorporate the two (of course, leaving out all the contradictory bits to Islam and I think I will use this time to digress – all the books on Islamic parenting I have ever read are all about how we must teach them to pray, to hit them if they refuse to pray, to stop them from masturbating or they will be weak minded and their spouses will hate them, make sure our girls are covered, separate the genders so they never interact ever because otherwise if you don’t do this, everyone will be having relations with each other willy nilly. Seriously??? Someone needs to write an Islamic parenting book that isn’t so ..I don’t know SCAREMONGERING??)
As I read through Buddhism for Mothers, I realise it’s taking me AGES, not because the book is particularly difficult to read but because non-fiction is just so HARD for me get into – books for me are meant to be an escape from reality so I’ve always been a purely fiction fan. Also with each chapter comes more and more thinking, more and more reflection on what I’ve been doing, how I can do it better, how I can incorporate the lessons in my own parenting and in my own life and that’s a lot to digest in one sitting. And I haven’t even come to the chapter on meditation yet!
I haven’t yet become the “calmer and happier” mother the back cover claims but God willing I think I am on the way.