HOME
A Radio Resource for Moms
  ABOUT   PODCASTS   ZONE ESSAYS   PROGRAMS   STORE   CONTACT

home : zone archive : 10 may 2007

 
 
Notebook

10 may 2007

Zen and the Art of Mother Maintenance
By Wendi Aarons

I’m trying to go Zen. I want to be a relaxed, at-peace-with-the-cosmos type of mother. A mother who, upon seeing her child throw a frothing tantrum at Ross Dress for Less, doesn’t loudly hiss “THAT’S IT, MISTER, WE’RE LEAVING!” and angrily drag him out of the store by one arm.

Instead, I will be a mother who simply smiles a Mona Lisa smile, gently talks the kid down from the ledge, then happily resumes trying on irregular shoes. A mother who, upon seeing Chex Mix spilled all over the newly vacuumed carpet, doesn’t scream “WHO SPILLED CHEX MIX ALL OVER THE NEWLY VACUUMED CARPET?” but instead gazes reflectively upon said Chex Mix and appreciates its position in the world, before grabbing the Dustbuster and rebalancing the universe.

That type of mother.

My Zen quest isn’t because I’m a Buddhist seeking higher enlightenment. Or because I’m fed up with our shallow, materialistic society.

It’s not even because I’m one of those trendy women who wear yoga togs while scarfing down $1 Double Cheeseburgers in their SUVs.

Nope.

The reason is because I’m the mother of two rather energetic preschool boys.  A few months ago, I started taking evening walks to relax after my chaotic daytime hours with them. But the night I had to stop myself from slinking into the next town, dying my hair in a gas station bathroom, then buying a fake passport from a truck driver named Tiny, I realized I needed something stronger—the power of Zen.  

First, I tried the “two calming breaths” technique, but this made me sleepy.  Next I tried visualizing my happy place. My happy place is my bed. This made me sleepy. Then I tried slow stretches and yoga postures. Again with the sawing logs. Finally, I came up with a mantra.

A short, simple phrase to repeat in my head that will keep me calm and relaxed:

Calm, peaceful mommy….. 

That night my 4 year-old son Sam woke me at midnight and started whining that he was hungry. OK, I thought. Don’t freak out. You’ve got your mantra now. Zen, baby, Zen.

“Mommy! I want a peanut butter sandwich!”

Calm peaceful mommy...

 “I know I should have eaten dinner, but I’m starving!”

Calm peaceful mommy...

“You can’t let me go back to bed hungry!”

Calm peaceful mommy... 

“Thanks! Hey, I don’t like brown bread!”

Calm peaceful mommy...

“Are you asleep again? I want some string cheese.”

Calm peaceful mommy...

Calm peaceful momm...

Calm peaceful...

Calm…pea, oh #I&*# it!

“SAM, GET IN YOUR BED! YOU’LL GET YOUR STRING CHEESE IN 7 HOURS WHEN THE SUN RISES AND THE REST OF THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE GETS THEIR STRING CHEESE!”

“Love you. Good night.”

I tucked Sam in and got back into my bed, heavy with sleep.

Yes, I lost it, but I lost it much later than I would have without my mantra.

I was almost a Zen Master, really. I wondered if the mall had one of those orange monk robes in my size…

I repeated my mantra one last time, closed my eyes, and…lay there, wide awake.

But I didn’t panic. Oh, no. Instead, I called upon my newfound Zen skills.

I took a few deep breaths, visualized my happy place, stretched my arms and then effortlessly, gloriously entered Nirvana.

Wendi Aarons lives in Austin, Texas with her family. She has been a contributor to Freshyarn.com, Mcsweeneys.net and Parentwise: Austin. She’s also done some “humor commentary” for Austin’s public radio, KUT. Check out her blog at www.wendi-aarons.com.

 
 

PAST ZONE ENTRIES

CURRENT ZONE

Art Circle

ABOUT MOMbo | PROGRAMS | RESOURCES | ZONE ARCHIVE | STORE | CONTACT US | SITE MAP
Copyright © 2003-2005 Mombo.org