9 March 2006


Will I ever be ready? Sometimes it feels like I’m still a child myself. Sometimes it feels like I left France and my childhood only a few months ago. (Yet it’s been nearly 11 years, and I’m going to turn thirty soon...) So how can I even contemplate having a baby? At times I’m scared that I’ll have too many tribulations of my own to be able to cope with my child’s – I fear that it will be up to my child to help and support me, not vice versa...

I occasionally think ‘I can’t wait to be a mother!’ and I imagine what the baby, then toddler, then child would be like and how fun it would all be! ... But at other times, all I can think about is the lack of freedom, the lack of time (to write, to read, to see my friends, to go out, to rest, to sleep), the lack of peace, the worry...

I simply can’t imagine a different life – for I know our lives would be completely changed. I have finally reached a point where I’m content with my lot (most of the time), so I really don’t want things to change (or indeed, to change them, active verb, for it would be our decision to change them...). That murky, muddy, troubled water at the bottom of the lake of my life is now far, far down, my roots getting longer and driving me away from it every day, but it’s taken some getting used to – life without the murk, life on the surface, surrounded by clean air, life with joy, on my big green ‘leaf of stability’... Will having a child disturb those dark waters and send some sandy mud up to the surface?

Until recently, it felt like my life was upside down all the time. Now, it’s finally the right way up (though still a bit wonky sometimes) – why would I want to turn my life upside down again (and this time voluntarily)?

On a different note, I am terrified that the day I’m finally ready and really want a child, I’ll be told that I (we) can’t conceive. This morning, I realised I would have had all this worry for nothing.

So back to meditation again – only the present counts. In bed this morning, I shed a few angry tears at the realisation that my life was still and always wonky; that the smallest worry, the tiniest analysing thought sends me right back to instability, that imbalance that I hate so much. But suddenly, I remembered – Only The Present Counts. And as I thought about the present – my warm cosy bed, the roof over my head, the singing birds outside, my fiancé next to me – I realised that in the present, I do feel stable. It was such a relief! ‘I can be stable!’ I wanted to shout! As long as I don’t think about the past and don’t worry about the future, as long as I live in the moment, I feel pretty happy, quite content with my life. It’s as soon as I start reflecting on what was, what could have been, what could be, what should be and what I think will be that I become unhappy.

So – motherhood? Well, I’m sure it’s like marriage. You’re not ready for it for ages, and suddenly that’s all you can think about. Let’s wait for that day – for that moment, that present.

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