Friday, July 30, 2010

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Moment

Lovely moment captured by Lara

Lopez Adventuring

Fabulous summer adventure to Lopez Island - just what was needed as a family getaway. We spent every day at some beach, eating some delicious bakery treat, having woken up in the gentle energies of the yurt. What a delight.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Friendship Question

Today's considerations...the dynamics of friendship between those who have children and those who are child-free. I have experienced some sensitivities of late feeling like a vast part of who I am today is either invisible to my child-free friends or consciously omitted by me as I relate to them. This omission stems from my concern that I will be perceived as "all-mom" and not "Diana," the once interesting, inquisitive individual who had the mental capacity to think beyond potty training and daycare woes and the physical capacity to stay up past 8:30pm...

And then there is my own envy -- that green-eyed monster that arises when I listen to the stories of world travels, romantic evenings and art shows...the yearning I have at times to run away from this parenting responsibility and enjoy the freedoms my child-free friends have...

Whether it is my friends for whom kids are not really their thing or my own feelings of identity inadequacy, the challenges are real...AND I am hoping they are surmountable.

One friend sent me some links she had found on the subject:

Interesting of course how I had believed this was my issue alone...that I would be the only one who might suffer this relational catastrophe...oy vey

So to overcome this "great divide?"

The first answer seems to be to take it in stride --"optimize reality" as I like to say. To find the spaces where my child-free friends can enjoy interacting with our kids without subjecting them to "kid overload" or even holding them hostage in their own home...(OK, so we recently spent 3 whole days/nights in the home of our dear child-free friends...)

Second is the realization that the challenges we face today raising a 2 & 4 year old will shift over time. That in time, there will be less diaper conversations, as diapers will be a thing of the past. That once regular sleep returns, I may be able to discuss the books I am reading or the recent art film I have fact I may even have completed my certification program in Somatic Coaching...So, time...patience...

Then, compassion. I realize I have gone from one who has been validated throughout my life by external achievement to now relying on more subtle measures of success (and are they even mine?) like how creative our children are or how connected they feel to a stable home environment... How to learn to be compassionate in my own valuation of myself for the acts of care and development and nurturing of our children, despite a lack of time left for pursuit of other more tangible goals...

Next gratitude. How grateful I am to even be considering this dilemma -- to have the loving friends worthy of exploring it with and the most beautiful children in the world whom I love so dearly. Would that jealousy and internal conflicts would give way to openness of heart and wonder of the amazement that surrounds us all.

And lastly, acceptance of change itself -- that friendships themselves will change over time. That experience and context will shift. I love the question at the forefront of it all: What does "friendship" mean as an adult? What is at the foundation of these connections that transcends all of the externals?

So, I am interested in hearing from others about this experience -- both from those with kids and those without. How can we create a mutually-satisfying experience on both sides? How can we serve to support and care for ourselves, each other and our friendships despite (nay, in celebration of) the individual choices we all have made...