Baby is Boss

It’s been over a year since I’ve written a blog post and to say I’ve been busy is an understatement. Since then, I’ve become a mother to a beautiful baby girl who will be three months on Friday 26th May, I’ve moved to another home and I’ve been lecturing in a Masters programme at the University while keeping my full time job.

My daughter was born on Sunday 26th February 2017 and it was an experience like no other. No description anyone can give can truly express what carrying a child for 9 months and giving birth feels like and how it changes you. Your spouse can try to understand what you’re going through and how you’re feeling but there is honestly no description that can make him fully grasp the essence of carrying life and birthing life. I constantly felt as if my body was not my own but I was still responsible for taking such great care of it and prioritizing its needs. My pregnancy had its ups and downs but for the most part it was great. Of course I gained weight, more weight than I ever expected but right now I’m about 5 to 10 pounds shy of my pre-pregnancy weight.

I will always remember the first glance at my daughter and my first thought towards her…”Wow I have a daughter and she has my nose”. My daughter was past her due date and was taken away from me as soon as she was born due to medical complications. About 5 hours later I held her for the first time. I wish I could say it was what I expected but at that moment I simply felt hugely responsible yet blessed. I felt that it’s no longer about me and that I was responsible for providing for and taking care of another human being for as long as she couldn’t provide for and take care of herself. I also felt extremely blessed that God would entrust one of his children to my care and raising her in his ways was of most importance. I constantly remind myself that I’m taking care of one of God’s children.

The Cosmic has aligned things in such a way that my contract for my full time job ends tomorrow and I am only lecturing part time. This would allow me to spend more time with my baby girl. I do miss the work hustle a bit but “Baby is Boss”. Being home with her has allowed me to give her a night time routine that ensures she is in bed by 8PM and this works for everyone in the household, especially her. Her evening routine usually starts with a walk around 5PM, either by me, her dad, or both of us. We get in around 6:30PM and she relaxes for at least 15 minutes. She is given a bath between 6:45PM and 7:15PM, then a feeding in her room with dimmed lights, which lasts as long as she would like it to. Then it’s off to bed…on her own. I learned quite a lot from my grandmother about taking care of babies, so I knew early on that rocking and singing would not be part of her bed time routine. It’s important to let babies figure out how to fall asleep on their own. Once singing and rocking are associated with sleep, it’s hard to break that habit. I also learned that a night time routine will help to provide cues for her that are associated with sleep. Babies thrive on routine because it helps to avoid chaos and it insulates the baby from huge, unexpected changes. “They’re a necessary part of socialization,” says Larry Shapiro, PhD, author of The Secret Language of Children: How to Understand What Your Kids Are Really Saying (Sourcebooks, 2003). “When a child learns that it’s time to go to bed, not play, she’s beginning to understand that she has to follow rules.”

Her morning routine is also coming in quite nicely. She usually gets up between 6AM and 7AM, gets a bath about an hour to an hour and a half later, gets her feed in a dimly lit room and she is off to bed for at least 3 wonderful hours. This is the time I try to make the most of. I’ll get work done, chores done and anything that requires my complete focus and attention. Her day time routine from 11AM to 5PM is still a work in progress but I’m observing her to figure out what works best for her. I have always been an advocate of keeping a daily routine as an adult so it’s wonderful to pass that on to my daughter. While my daily routine in the past would have been mainly focused on my goals, I now prioritize my daughter and structure my daily routine around her.

 

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God First

My both grandmothers always said that God is a jealous God. I didn’t quite understand what they meant growing up but as I experience more of life, that statement means more to me. It’s tempting to put so many things before God, like our jobs, our possessions, our relationships, our spouses, our friends, our children even our debt. Once we begin to do that we can eventually find problems in those areas of our lives. Set your mind, your heart and your everything on God and all else will fall into place. If there is a problem, focus on God and the solution will come, focusing on the problem does nothing to alleviate it. I’ve been reminded of this lesson so many times in life and for some strange and yet stupid reason I am yet to understand, I keep making the same mistake over and over by focusing on the problem.

I focus on God, I pray, I fast, I meditate, I give of myself to others, I drown myself in the Lord and when I’m blessed with that thing I so desire, I focus so much on it and it becomes so important to me that I lose focus on the God who blessed me with it. Over the past year a lot has changed in my life. Unfortunately, so has the time I would spend praying, fasting, meditating and devoting to God. I’m more concerned with my relationships and work that God’s importance in my life has dwindled. It’s quite evident with the challenges I’m currently facing that my priorities are not in order. I’m not proud of this and I’ve been making changes towards correcting it. I hope the measures I’ve decided to take will help me get back on track and keep progressing in the direction where I’m putting GOD FIRST in my life. Where attention goes, energy flows and things grow.

 

Shattered Relations

I think most of us can name at least one person throughout our lifetime who we’ve struggled to maintain peaceful relations with. For some of us it may be our parents, our siblings, cousins, close friends or work colleagues. For part of my life, I’ve struggled to maintain peaceful relations with one family member.  Most of the time we’ve been good but ever so often something happens that strains the relationship. I remember discussing the issue with a close friend who addressed it from an astrological perspective. He said that because of our individual signs, it was difficult to get along most of the time. We have shattered relations for reasons deeper than what we initially think. We are incarnated in this lifetime accepting that we will endure struggles in the relationship with this person. The spiritual side of us understands the deeper purpose in this while the physical side of us will only see the issues and the drama. An article on http://www.mindbodygreen.com explained why our relationships lead to spiritual growth. The author mentioned her relationship with her father and how it was pretty miserable. She thought he was opinionated, judgmental and stubborn but all of the things that infuriated her about her father were all the traits in herself that she didn’t want to own at that time. Once she recognized and healed the most judgmental parts of herself, his judgments either went away or no longer bothered her. Now her interactions with him are lighter, sweeter and much more authentic. Her father — and more specifically, her relationship with him, and its evolution — taught her that the things that bother us the most in others are actually the traits in us that we’re not ready to acknowledge and heal within ourselves.

Unspoken Communication

Since I’ve been dating Martin, we’ve experienced many instances where we’ve said the same thing at the same time or said what the other was thinking. Now I’ve known Martin for about 6 years now and I’m sure we’ve had times in the past throughout our friendship, where this type of connection has happened but as we’re spending more time together, these coincidences started to occur several times throughout the day. Sometimes we would randomly message each other throughout the day about something, at the time the other is thinking about the same thing. I love having this type of connection with someone as this is not something that can be easily faked and it’s beautiful when we can experience ourselves tuned-in to one another on a shared wavelength. This leads me to wonder about Telepathy between couples, does it exist, if it doesn’t exist, can it be cultivated and if it does exist, how can you strengthen it. Telepathy is the communication between two minds, separated over a distance, without the use of the five known senses.

While researching the topic online, I’ve read theories on soul mates and twin flames and many other reasons why this sort of coincidence can happen. According to http://www.twinflamesoulmates.com, the terms ‘soul mate’ and ‘twin soul’ are often used synonymously and there is much confusion betweem the two. A soul mate and a twin soul (twinflame) are two different concepts. Throughout a lifetime one has many soulmates, but throughout eternity, one has only one twinsoul or ‘twinflame’. A soulmate relationship can take many different forms such as that of a good friend, a family member, a romantic partner, or even a co-worker. Brief encounters with strangers who inspire us or help us in some way can also be soulmates who we are meant to cross paths with. Twin flames, also called twin souls and twin rays, is ‘one soul’ that was split into two souls. Twinflames are often referred to as being the other half of one’s own soul. This does not imply that each twin is only half of a soul on earth, for each individual soul is already whole. What a Twin Flame does imply is that at one time, the two individual souls were one.

I’m not quite sure of the reason behind this so called “Telepathic Connection” between Martin and myself but I do know that having a spiritual connection with someone I’m in a relationship with, is of great importance to me. A spiritual connection would mean different things for different people but what is most important, is the spiritual fulfillment both parties derive from being in a relationship with each other.

The Softer Side

About a month ago, I was having a conversation with one of my friends who is currently in a relationship with one woman and seeing another woman at the same time. While I don’t accept this type of situation, he is free to do as he chooses. He explained that one of his reasons for seeing two women at once was that his main girlfriend was too busy with work and other engagements for him and when he does see her, it feels like business. He said that some professional women attract really great men because of their qualities but struggle to keep those men around for long because they bring their work personality into the relationship. A few days later, while chatting with my friend Richard, he inquired about my dating experience so far with Martin. He also reminded me to show my softer side. As a professional woman, spending most of my day working, it can be easy to stay in work mode when entering the home or interacting with my partner.

I recently read an article online that talked about the woman who has a good job, works hard and earns a good salary. She went to college, she got her master’s degree and she is intelligent. She is personable, articulate, well read, interested in everybody and everything. Yet, she’s single. What the author found was that the skills that make one successful in the workplace are not the skills that make one successful in a relationship. Linear thinking, self-reliance, structured goals and direct action assist one in accomplishing tasks or in positioning oneself for a raise, but relationship-building requires different skills. It requires making decisions that not only gratify you, but satisfy others. It means doing things that will keep the peace rather than achieve the goal, and sometimes it means creating the peace in the first place. You may even have to stoop to conquer or yield to win.

It is important as women, that we learn to collaborate with our men, to substitute our assertiveness and aggressive energy with softness and serenity and therefore get in touch with our feminine side and subsequently, in touch with our men.

The Way We Disagree

I recently watched a young couple on the University campus involved in a small disagreement and it reminded me of something I said was very important to me years ago. I am very fortunate that two of my best relationships were with people I considered my best friends and it was really easy to deal with misunderstandings as we knew each other pretty well before deciding to be in a relationship. This isn’t necessarily the case most times. I remember dating someone a few years ago who loved dragging out conflict over a few days. I’ve always had a philosophy that I should not go to bed angry with my partner but it’s tough when someone else does not share that philosophy. You have one person in the situation who wants to clean up the mess immediately and another who enjoys the fight. I’m not trying to label either as right or wrong but it made me realise the importance of understanding how someone deals with conflict before totally committing myself to them. For another person, that approach of extending the conflict would suit them perfectly but for someone like me who prefers to deal with the issue immediately, it may not work so well. Sometimes we need to ask ourselves which is more important…The Desire to Make it Work or The Desire to Win. Usually “The Desire to Win” indicates a greater involvement of the ego and in some cases that person may feel the need to punish his or her partner by withdrawing love or being disrespectful. In relationships there will always be disagreements but “how” we handle those conflicts is what is most important. Conflict can be seen as an opportunity for growth. When you’re able to resolve conflict in a relationship, it builds trust and you can feel comfortable knowing your relationship can withstand challenges.

“The purpose of disagreement is not victory or defeat, it is progress”…Teal Swan

Choose your love

Last week during a conversation with one of my best girlfriends, she highlighted all these amazing qualities she wanted in a partner. Her list of requirements are quite typical…spiritually grounded, educated, a great sense of humor, speaks well, dresses well, has a great job, good conversation skills, a positive outlook on life and someone who puts family first. I listened to her and then I asked, so what are you willing to compromise. She initially responded by saying nothing, then after I said really, she chose everything except spirituality and family. Sometimes I wonder if the requirements we have for a mate are based on ideals society has put out there for us or do we truly try to find out what works for us and choose someone based on that. Quite often I also hear men list all these requirements for a wife and I start to feel a bit overwhelmed. I can’t help but question…are all these qualities really important to them, are they a reflection of their ego or is it some image of a perfect wife society has created. How often do we take the time to consider what would really work for us, what qualities in someone else would bring out the best in us or are we so consumed by the desire for perfection that we choose all these amazing qualities for a mate that we cannot even match up to sometimes.

Women want the tall, super fit, six pack having, God-fearing, successful corporate guy, with the 2 or 3 degrees, great family background, six or seven figure annual income, his own home, no kids and the list goes on and on. How often do we sit and ask ourselves if we are best suited for that type of person, would that person bring out the best in us and would all of that really make us feel happy or would it make us more insecure about ourselves. Men also ask for a lot. They would like someone who can cook and maintain a home like their mother or grandmothers, have the 2 or 3 degrees, be in exceptional physical shape, have a corporate job with a six or seven figure annual income, look as close to a Ms. Universe contestant as possible and it would be great if she can achieve all this by at least age 28 so she would still be at an ideal child-bearing age by the time he decides he is ready to get married.

We are all entitled to choose our love but it’s important that what we desire in a partner brings out the best in both parties. Don’t choose someone with a long list of admirable qualities if you know you’re incapable of contributing positively to that person’s life. It’s always good to ask yourself, “Am I the type of person, that the type of person I want, would want to be with or is best suited for“.