Saturday, November 15, 2014

Day 61: Why Won’t you Help Me? | Parenting & Fairness

This is a continuation to: Day 60: Being a Mother is not like Being a Father | Parenting & Fairness
In my previous blog I explained how I initially would become quite reactive towards my partner, within comparing my situation with his – where I would stay at home and take care of the baby while he would spend most of the day and evening at work, leaving little space and time for him to help out with the baby.

This reactive state and inner-conflict I would experience was very unpleasant, and not something I wanted to keep up with. So I gave myself a moment to look at my experience, the reactions that I was having and the nature of my thoughts.

One point which I’ve gotten pretty used to in my process, is that whenever I have experiences, reactions and thoughts which keep moving away from myself towards another – where my focus and fixation is on another person being ‘the problem’, being ‘at issue’ – I know that I am dealing with a very serious case of denial lol.

So here what I did for myself, was to first remove my partner from the whole equation. Who would I be and how would I experience myself if my partner was not here at all – so I would have nothing to compare to, no-one to point fingers at. I realised, that I would still be unhappy and would find something or someone else to complain about. I also realised that, within removing the element of ‘hope’, where I would ‘hope’ my partner to help out / help out more – I saw that I would move myself to run things more efficient, and that if I put my will behind it – I would make the situation work for myself = because I would have to.

So this gave me my first clue. That I could be doing things differently, that there was room for change, for improvement coming from my side only - but that I had created a relationship of dependency to/towards my partner within the ‘hope’ that he would help out to make things easier for me – instead of me stepping things up for myself, and pushing beyond some of my own limitations to come to a satisfactory outcome.

Then, I also imagined the opposite – where I would place myself in the ‘ideal situation’ which I had been whining and complaining about inside myself, as the ideal I was hoping for / expecting. And again I realised = I would still be unhappy. It may not be about practical helping out points that would make life with a baby more manageable / less intensive – but would emerge under a different picture, a different play-out – but I could sense inside myself that the dissatisfaction would still remain.

In a way this makes sense, because when looking at the worst-case-scenario: I am forced to move myself, I am forced to step it up – to level my living to what I know I can potentially live and be.

Within the worst-case-scenario my dependency and so postponement of me fully taking charge of myself and my life was revealed and it was clear that the only way to have things be different, is if I do things / live things differently – there was no space to seek for someone else to fix things for me.
In the best-case-scenario – I ‘get what I want’ as having an easier life and my point of weakness is covered/compensated for with someone else standing as a point of support for me that ‘I can count on’, and that I am actually holding back, postponing and not living to my full potential is being obscured / not as easy to see and identify, because I am now ‘contained’ and ‘in my comfort zone’ where I do not get wrought up and where nothing’s prodding me, nothing’s stimulating to question my experience/my situation and so I settle for this limited version of myself and compromised living.

Yet, this experience of comfort would only last for so long, and some new outlet, some new point that one could be unhappy about would soon emerge – until that one gets satisfied, and then a new point of dissatisfaction would pop up – where the ‘problem’ jumps from being one point to another – and another. And because the ‘problem’ keeps being out there, keeps being something else, one will remain convinced that the problem is real, that each problem is a ‘different problem on its own’ – while they are merely different outlets for the same problem, a problem which resides within self that that self does not want to look at / tackle.

So – after looking at all of these dimensions, all of these points inside myself I decided to take on that which I was postponing, that which I was resisting inside myself. To be okay with the challenging situation that I was finding myself in and to find ways to make it work, within and without myself.

I communicated with my partner, to make sure that we are on the same page – that we help each other out according to our own ability, which we realise is variable. We realised that we can’t always know 100% if we are helping out as much as we can, if we couldn’t really do more and that we would never be able to know 100% if the other is helping out as much as they could – and that this would not matter. What mattered was that each of us individually was doing the best we can. Then, comparison falls away because you are your own reference point to judge whether or not something could improve. What another can or can’t do becomes irrelevant – even if it so happens that they are ‘doing less than’ what they actually could be doing, you can never know for sure; and this would be their own process point to walk and one can only stand as example. Within this, you then also ensure that you direct your own self-movement, and that your movement is not dependent on what another is or isn’t doing.

So we decided that we each work with our own self-honesty, assess our own individual situations and take into consideration the other – and accordingly make a decision to help out or not help out. So that, we first and foremost respond to our own individual needs of our respective lives, and know that the other is okay walking/responding to their own individual situation, so that we are not dependent on one another. This doesn’t mean that we don’t assist and support one another and that we live ‘completely separate lives’ – but that this assistance and support comes and goes. It is welcomed, it is appreciated but when it is no longer there, it is also not an issue. So that we each are stable within our own realities, and when we can through assistance and support: enhance each other’s’ lives.

I also realised that ‘being a mother’ is a very specific role; and even in terms of your relationship with your child, it will be different than the relationship between the child and the father. It does not have ‘more’ or ‘less’ value – it is just different by design/through the circumstances each one finds oneself in and having to partake in different responsibilities. And unless we find a way to swap bodies – we will always have ‘incomplete information’ about another’s circumstances; which is why it’s a bad idea to make decisions / base your own movement on your interpretation of another person’s reality.

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