It feels longer than nine months. Life has been all about what and how to make the best for Xavier out of the unexpected delay of the time we have in Hong Kong.
I had not realized how much I had missed my ‘Me’ time until when this ‘Golden Week’ surprisingly landed in my lap. It is indeed a golden week for me in every sense of the word. (Having a week all to myself!) It also came at the perfect time, just when I have fallen sick, just when I was craving for the joy of aloneness and solitude. Most importantly, just when I felt it has been far too long since I last nurtured my inner self, along came this precious time.
As mothers, we too often put our children first before ourselves. We think as long as they are well, we are well too. We think when their needs are met, our needs are met too. To some degree, it is true but that is not all. Our children are important but so are we because as their caregivers, our well-being is just as important (if not more) as the well-being of our children. When we fail to attend to our own needs by pushing ourselves aside or ignoring our inner voices, that is when we fail to see the blind spots. That is exactly what happened to me, not only did I not listen to what my body was telling me but I went overboard by exerting myself physically. Last week, I had a slightly sore throat followed by a blocked nose but instead of listening to my body (take a rest), I pushed myself over the limit and now I am suffering painfully. It is time to rest, grateful for this golden week.
I am truly grateful that I had this week to rest and recharge, to reexamine and to reflect. It is through this time of solitude that I regained peace in my mind, body and soul. I needed that peace in me to not only rest and recharge but more importantly to reexamine and to reflect of my role as the caregiver of my children.
We run such busy lives (especially we city people), there is really no time to have a moment of stillness, let alone quality time to reexamine our decisions made or actions taken. We are often being put on the spot to make decisions, big or small on behalf of our children, whether it be which summer camp to choose, which reading book is good for our children or how to deal with our children’s discipline issues. Sometimes, only after we made the decisions did we find out that it wasn’t the right one or there were better ones that could have been made. We need alone and quiet time to revisit how we came to such decisions and it is through this process of reexamination that we can examine our thought process step by step.
Having the time to reflect is like having the time to digest our intake of food. We don’t eat for the sake of eating, we eat for enjoyment, for the experience of the taste of the food. What’s there to life if we only eat or live life for survival?
We need time to reflect on our role as parents so we can better understand what and how to better care for our children. So frequently, the answers and solutions to our questions come to the surface as a result of our process of introspection.
That’s exactly what I have done this week. I rested and now I am recharged. I had also spent a lot of time thinking back to the ways I have been and my treatment of my children including my reaction toward their behaviors, my expectations of them indeed my very attitude toward them. I am again grateful for this solitude time for I had gained insights as a result.
Once again, I was being reminded that I am so very blessed to have my children; I firmly believe it was not just happenstance that they are my particular children, they were meant to be my children. I need to not just love them but to cherish them, I need to not just raise them but raise them with all my heart. I feel a higher calling to treat them in a manner that goes beyond tolerance and parental duties. I need more than anything to give them more respect and trust – respect and trust for being the very individuals that they are.
Following this week’s period of introspection, the one most important message I got was to be patient with my children, know that everything is a process and process takes time. And indeed this process is relevant to me too; for during it, I must grow in faith as to myself, in the way that I have raised them. Have faith that the seeds I have planted are healthily germinating, growing and will blossom one day. I must remind myself to be patient, and that patience is justified by my faith in the children I have raised, as well as faith in myself, for I will have planted nothing but good seeds in them.
Now that I am fully recovered from my terrible flu, I am also feeling refresh and positive to welcome my three children to return home from Cambodia where they (my two older ones!) had spent for 2 months and a week for my young son. I am so looking forward to have them home and to learn everything about their time in Cambodia, how they had changed the lives of the children in the village, especially the six orphans. So proud of them. Stay tune to my next post…..