On May 17, we welcomed our third child: Hazel Rae Kolar into this world - a 6lb 10oz bundle of joy. She was born at home, after a smooth labor, shorter than the first two, no less intense.
So much has shifted in my life since our second child came along four years ago.
My spiritual world has expanded exponentially. Meditation and visualizations are a part of my daily life, a part of the work I teach, a part of my essence.
I am much more in tune with my body - and am the healthiest I’ve ever been.
My space is so much simpler and more intentional. It reflects this deep inner work. It is full of only the things that bring joy - and the constant influx is met with a steady purge that comes naturally.
This simplified space and body and mind makes it abundantly clear what is important and I make time for those things. Life is simple. Our home is simple. Happiness comes easily.
All of these significant shifts occurred after my second child joined our family and I had visions of my deep spiritual connection making my path through labor easeful. That was true for the first part of active labor. It wasn’t nearly so difficult. I was open to the opening. It progressed quickly. I could let go, release, allow.
But towards the end of my labor, it seemed there was little my powers of visualization could do to help me withstand that intense opening that has to happen for new life to come into this world.
When she was born, I looked at my husband and said “Never again.” :)
However, in these first few weeks I can see how people have families with oodles of children.
Labor begins to have a rosy glow.
The experience, in hindsight is incredibly empowering. I did that!
New life is magnetizing. It draws you into the present moment. I could sit and stare at Hazel for hours - and often do.
The interrupted sleep even seems sweet. That part alone doesn’t do me in.
It’s the attempts at patience with my older children that often brings out the exhaustion - navigating sibling relationships in a way that helps them appreciate and be kind to one another - in a loving way. It’s hard to parent consciously, to drop my hard line, my learned behaviors, to soften… on three weeks worth of interrupted sleep - with a few lovely four hour stretches thrown in to help me keep my sanity.
I am incredibly thankful for the work I did beforehand - not only in the parenting and mindset realm, but in the realm of my space.
With a new baby, everything is in transition. Routines are thrown out the window. My early morning meditation is now an all morning nap - interrupted every two hours to nurse this new life into a chubby, healthy being.
My space is a constant cycle of laundry and stuff collecting on all surfaces.
I found it hard at first to really sink into allowing my body to recover, to laying down for a large part of the day - as recommended by my midwife. The mere idea of it made me cry (that and the hormones coursing through my body). I thought I’d been laying low by sitting in the times I wasn’t in bed - but I could feel my body protest.
So I let go. I let go of needing to help with any household chores. I let go of getting up to read to my daughter. I let go of helping my children clean up their things. I let go of picking up for 15 minutes at the end of the day so my space again reflected the peace I wanted in my mind. I let go of helping my husband clean the kitchen and fold the laundry. I let go of it all.
And my husband happily picked up the slack.
Even so, I am incredibly thankful that my space is so easy to maintain to begin with. I don’t know how we did it with our first two children - with so much more STUFF in our space, stuff that we didn’t love and didn’t need. The stuff that inspires frustration. I had enough frustrations bubbling to the surface trying to manage my two big kids - and all of our transitions into a family of five - without being triggered by my surroundings.
Sinking deeply into this release, I found that it’s a good practice to let go so fully at different points in life. It’s like a seasonal detox for your body, this releasing of all the things you thought were important, so that what truly matters comes into focus: health, relationships.
I picked up my first fiction book in years - not a book on parenting or running my own business or spiritual enlightenment - and I’ve since torn through five chunky volumes, happy as a clam.
My space has survived - it looks about the same as it always does. I’m working on letting go in my parenting as well. Life feels simple. Connected. Just right.
Summer is here and we have yet to sign my eight year old up for a single camp. My husband has the summer off from teaching and is getting his hands dirty in our garden. My daughter will keep the rhythm of her amazing days she spends with her friends in the care of my mom and sister. We will spend the summer rebuilding our rhythms as a family, as parents, as siblings, as members of our community.
This simple life - it’s what I live for.
I’ll do my best to share ways to capture that simplicity - the simple home, simple life, simple happiness - and focus on the important things this summer. My posts may be few and far between since I’m focused on those very things at the moment, but keep your eyes open as I share an incredible series I just completed on creating that simple space and maintaining your sanity when you’re living with children.
Be well and soak up the remainder of spring!