Having children and "stress"

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Having children and "stress"

Post by tunneldog » Wed Dec 20, 2006 1:15 am

Hello, I'm new here.

I was interested in getting from the group explorations on a topic not often discussed in the writings and dialogues of the prominent enlightened teachers: family life.

My wife and I recently had our first baby. This event has rocked my world, so to speak, pretty hard with both the miracle of this beautiful new being and also the stress radiating from my wife. I guess ET would say her "pain body has awakened" in a big way, with wild mood swings, and I'm feeling really, um, tested by it.

I want our baby to grow up surrounded by openness and a positive charge, rather than fear. But I'm not really in "control" of that. Reactions?

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Post by lakeswimr » Sat Dec 23, 2006 5:59 pm

I found parenthood was surprisingly difficult the first year. I thought it was going to be easy. :lol: I have heard that being a mother means you won't have time for spiritual stuff but I experienced that it brought out every hangup that I didn't even know was there in an intense way.

I don't know that ET would say your wife's painbody awoke. It could be that she has hormone imbalances. I would encourage her to see her obgyn/regular doc to see if she has a post-partum condition such as the baby blues--which should pass on its own but does well with support from loved ones, or something more serious like post partumn depression, post partumn OCD (which I had), or post partumn psychosis. Some of these conditions do require medication (the last especially) and are not something you can snap out of on your own. I don't know from your post what is happening with your wife.

It also could be none of the above and just that she is taking care of a new life that needs almost constant attention and she doesn't have time to "fill her own cup" so has very little left for you.

I don't know how old your baby is. This time is short but when you are in it feels like forever. Your baby will grow and be less needy. You know that, I'm sure.

I think that parenthood-esp times like when you have a new baby can bring out pain body and lots of unconsciousness. How do you react to your wife when she is like this?

Are there things you can do to give your wife some breaks so that she is feeling more positive?

Best wishes and enjoy your precious baby. :)

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Post by eseward » Sat Dec 23, 2006 7:22 pm

Eckhart says the most important thing in every stressful situation is to observe your own reactions/pain-body, etc. Be as conscious as possible, both to enjoy your experience as much as possible as well as to give the best to your family. You can't determine your child's future, but you can be an influence for intelligence/light rather than reactivity/darkness.

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Have few expectations.

Post by Techguy » Sun Dec 24, 2006 5:03 pm

The problem with becoming a parent is all the expectations, societal norms / prejuidices, pressures, old scripting spring into play.

What are your rights as a father? As an individual? What are your wife's rights? What are the baby's rights?

You are now in the cross roads, or rather crosshairs. Welcome.

This is what I have observered:
1) The baby isn't yours. It is property of the state. They are just letting you take care of it until they feel like telling you different. The state will tell you when to take it to school, what it's curfew hours are, what shots it is going to require, how to dress it, what language to teach it, etc... Chances are if your baby is male it has already been sexually mutilated (circumcision).

2) As a man in society, you are a second class citizen with regards to your rights because you are male. You just mind as well accept that prejuidice now. In the current society, you are little more than a slave to pay taxes and and keep the wallet full for the corrupt legal community and the police state. As a man you will expect to live 7 years less than a woman, be subjected to more dangerous work, and almost nobody cares. The number one refugee of America is the rich man. If you make it that far.

3) No matter how moody and unreasonable your wife is, you just need to eat it. Weather you can transmute the pain into more conciousness or not is irrelevant on the level of practical day to day living, although internally it is your only hope for sanity. Plan on forgetting fairness, reasonableness, right and wrong - infact any thing that relates to duality is going to be an emotional set-up for you unless you expect nothing.

My advice is to expect absolutely nothing from the mother with regards to anything, and expect even less from society, because it is broken and will most likely be so throughout your journey here.

Try to not let any external event effect you internally. Don't let the external process effect the internal process. Let nothing knock you off your rock of joy.

To achieve that, I would minimize any expectations and desires in my life. Expectations, and desires automatically contain the seed of disappointment and unhapiness. That is their nature. No desires = no disappointment = enhanced being. In this particular context, children, don't let the outcome of your parental experience determine your inner state.

Expectations I would expect you to have are:
1. The opportunity to raise your child and enjoy a loving relationship with that child. Not likely to happen, or if it does, nothing lasts forever.
2. Fairness in treatment as a Father - sorry, not going to happen. Our present society places extremely little value on Fatherhood.
3. A wife that will be a good role model and mother. Sorry bro - no guarantees here either. If it works out, then great, but don't try to find salvation in it.
4. Happy Christmases, birthdays, health, wealth, etc... Forget it. It all carries a seed of disappointment if it doesn't happen. At least don't set your ego on it or make any of these thing a parameter for your joy. If you do you have set yourself up.

My last piece of advice is to create no more commitments for yourself.

Sorry if I sound like a sour puss, but hey, it is just an opinion. And you know what they say about opinions. They are like a-------, everyone has one and they all stink.

Find your joy in your being and no where else. Best of Luck.

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Thanks for the responses

Post by tunneldog » Tue Dec 26, 2006 4:43 pm

I appreciated aspects of all these responses, particularly the delicate simplicity of eseward's response. After I wrote that initial post, I came home and everything was OK again. Maybe, as lakeswimr inferred, it was because I wasn't trying to take anything from my wife's empty cup, but more likely it was because I was more aware walking into that room and she had left a bit more space for me to be close to her.

I guess what I was hoping for was more dialogue than advice on the matter. As lakeswimr observed, she didn't have all the facts. I must have communicated poorly. I gave only general facts because wasn't really looking for advice. I thought a dialogue on family would be interesting, because it involves more than two players and there's so much at stake for the child.

Techguy, I appreciated some of your thoughts on the undervaluation of fatherhood. Not because I feel undervalued, but because I agree that society undervalues it. So many of the troubled kids in our society live with a single parent (or grandparent) and we talk about every possible solution from the government or social programs but never look at the family situation. When I was a teacher, I observed how important it is for children to have a stable situation at home. Fatherless children typically do not have that. A single mother or grandmother is deeply disadvantaged in child-rearing, and money is the least of the trouble. I suspect a single father would have problems as well, but we don't know since that's pretty doggone rare.

Finally, back to the subject, I don't hear the most penetrating spiritual teachers (like ET, Krishnamurti, etc.) talk much about family life. I suspect it is because they have not had the experience of parenthood (that I know of). It is a singular challenge because it brings out entirely new fears in partners (money; the child's safety) and a very direct sense of responsibility for vulnerable young people. I recently heard ET quoting Krishnamurti in my head: "Do you want to know my secret? I don't mind what happens." And I thought, laughing, Yeah, that's because y'all didn't have kids.

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Post by Brigitta » Thu Jan 25, 2007 10:33 pm

Have you read Deepak Chopra's "The 7 Spiritual laws for Parents"? Also, OSHO does talk a bit about family and children in his book of Understanding. As for you wife, be patient. I remember when I had my first child I felt dissappointed in a way, because I felt that our society "sugar coated" what having a baby is really like. I thought if our society would be more honest about it, there would probably be a lot less post pardum depression...... The same goes for marriage....hehe....Once you have no expectations of how marriage or fatherhood "should" be, you will release a HUGE burden.......Bri

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Re: Thanks for the responses

Post by Ives » Fri Jan 26, 2007 2:56 pm

tunneldog wrote:I don't hear the most penetrating spiritual teachers (like ET, Krishnamurti, etc.) talk much about family life.
On a CD entitled "Living the Liberated Life and Dealing with the Painbody", Eckhart talks at length about children and their painbodies.
It perhaps doesn't apply to newborns, but it sure applies to the terrible twos and upwards. As usual, he is very insightful and compassionate.

In the same discourse he talks about using the painbody triggered in relationships for your spiritual evolution. Highly recommended!

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