Tag Archives: Communication

Living away from family

My father too has been missing my mother intensly and we have shared how different music is so evocative. Over the phone.

I miss him terribly and feel the pain of our distance so accutely. And I wish it were not so.

I live in fear of hearing of my fathers death and us never having shared quality time together, with him in his role as grandfather. I dread this.

To that end I keep trying to figure out a way to make it work so that we are all together, and everyone is happy and has what they need. But it just can’t be like that. There is no perfect solution. Right now it is not viable for us to be in South Africa, it is not viable for him to be here. We can visit each other. And this wrenches my heart like little esle. I have to make peace with the fact that my life is far away from my family. It is not like I would have chosen *not* to marry my husband if I had known that my mother would die when she did and I would not be able to be with my father. I am happily married and love my husband deeply. I cannot imagine having given up on our relationship so that I could be close to my family. And we started out life together in Israel, not South Africa. That is just the reality of it.

Anyway, I am tyring to find a way to be at peace with not being near my father at this time. I know there is nothing we can do for each other, other than be together and share meals, music and walks together. Just be together. And for now, my best contact is the phone. We have not skyped since the day before my mother died. The last time I chatted with her and that we chatted as a family.

While I would never want to give up on having met my husband and marrying him, it would be much simpler if I have fallen in love with a local boy and lived in driving distance of my family. Although, the local boys really were not all that enticing. DH really is a gem.

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Life is full or surprises

I have two mother in laws. And both of them have played an important role in how I have developed as a mother. Until recently I was mostly defending myself to them. And yet, I have come to appreciate both of them in different was and for different reasons.

One of them has just been diagnosed with cancer. Hence my absense from the blog. It has been an emotionally draining time as we waited for news and results from tests. It is looking good. It looks like she will not even need chemo now after the surgery. And this is the MIL with whom I have a strained relationship to say the least. And yet we were able to talk honestly and openly about life and about me loosing my mother and her being diagnosed with cancer. It is a cliche, but such life changing experiences really do put things into perspective. And I have gotten over my anger that my SIL did not have to deal with loosing her mother unexpectedly. The reality of loosing my mother was brought home to me when I saw the panic around me with my SIL thinking she *might* loose her mother.

My 2nd MIL is a woman with whom I have had my differences with regards to parenting choices. Yet, essentially she has tried to be supportive, even when she has called me extreme.

And it is this MIL who took the time to tell me how admiring she is of how I have chosen to mother my son. How I inform myself on the importance of nutrition, preventative measures for health, discipline that empowers my son, not belittles him etc. She really spoke from the heart about how much she admires me for doing what I feel is best for my family. We also spoke about my relationship with her son. And how much DH and I have learned and grown from each other and from being parents together. She respects our relationship so much and appreciates me in a way that I did not know. It felt so good to know that I am so appreciated and respected.

In turn I could be more open with her and explain why I am concered about plastic in my sons environment and that I am still trying to decide where ‘the line’ is that will inform me on decisions regarding having plastic in his life. And to share a bit more about why I chose organic foods where possible. We actually had a non threatening conversation on such charged issues.

Today is Yom Kippur. I still have not decided how I want to observe Yom Kippur. I’ll get there. This year is not the year for me to honestly consider what this day means for me.

But I did want to share my experience of a softening in relations between myself and two women who are significant in my life, even if we don’t see eye to eye.

I look forward to posting more frequently again. I am sewing a wonder box and look forward to posting pics and experiences.

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Yikes

I am officially in the process of becoming a LLL leader.

Today I started a course on communication and understanding what is being said. It is fantastic and I have so much to learn from women who have many many years experience of listening to mothers. One of the women is the mother of more than 10 children herself.  5 of the 8 women are very religious. As in orthodox religious.

I am the only new mum. And the only person with I guess what could be called a liberal view on life and politics.

I was left feeling rather weird after one of the exercises. Basically the co-ordinator had put together a couple of controversial statements for us to analyse and figure out how to respond to in a respecful way that would encourage further dialogue. Essentially try and understand the emotional tone of what was being said and respond to that.

The weird part is that I got the impression that she designed the statements for a group of women who would have very right wing conservative opinions – essentially to create a strong emotional response in the listeners (us) as a further exersise in trying to understand the emotional tone of what is being said when we ourselves have our own strong contrasting opions.

However, the statements she used could very easily have been something that I would say, and I saw just how upsetting this was to the other women – how completley disprespectful they were of the opinion expressed.

It was very weird.

Here I am a passionate breastfeeding mum and I found myself surrounded by women who I have not very much in common with other than the fact that we are passionate about breastfeeding. In pretty much every other way we are very very different. I never would have met any of these women in any other way.

Which got me thinking. In a way it is quite exciting to be meeting women whom I otherwise would never meet. It is very exciting to see just how similar we are in how we mother. I just can’t shake the  distress at having had my political opinions used as an example in how to listen without your own emotion clouding what you hear.

Well, two more meetings. And the course is definitly very well done and I am happy to be there. Just feel very much the odd one out (this is in no way new)

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