Family (Re)union 2.0

Tue, 21 March 2017

Dear Baby Liam,

the time has come to meet your Daddy! He received his visa for family reunion last week, and is coming in two days. What a journey these past 6 years have been for your parents – we were waiting for miracles, trying to reunite your mother and father – with all of our attempts ending up with me flying back to Rwanda, because I could. Often times I felt like standing against a system that is profoundly racist, standing against visa regulations that were impossible to fulfill for someone like your father: an artist without stable income, without the so called “Rückkehrergrund”- a reason to return to his country Rwanda. We would sit together in our neighborhood in Kigali thinking through all the possibilities that we had to finally settle together: with me still in my studies, I could not permanently move to Rwanda, and for him to receive a Schengen-visa was unthinkable under the conditions I mentioned. As I returned almost every time I could, and stayed for as long as I could, Rwanda became home to me.

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The Tao of Parenting – or of Being in the World

02 March 2017

Dear Baby Liam,

as the first weeks with you are passing by, well-meant advice, nursing and parenting tools have already been shared with me by a wide variety of people:

•“You should control him, make him tired so that he can sleep well”

•“You should let him scream when he is hungry so that he eats only every 3 hours”,

•“It’s wrong to carry him so often”…

•“let him learn how to be alone”….

•“You should clean him with milk”…

•“Give him yoghurt for digestive problems”,

are just some of the examples I get to hear from experienced mothers, and some who wish to be one. It seems like everyone knows best what is good for you, and would like to see their methods applied, believing that what worked for them will work for you too. While these are just seemingly irrelevant little aspects of parenting, I started to reflect upon why I am so strongly resisting the idea that anyone knows better what is good for you than you and me.

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Control is an Illusion

14 January 2017

Dear Baby Liam,

I have been wondering what to write into my letter for you, as you are exactly 39 weeks old today. My mind has stopped reflecting obsessively and is rather looking forward to the day you are born, encouraged by the aches and limits of my body which longs for the day to come closer. Yet, my soul sits in stillness as both of our souls get ready to disconnect on a physical level. It is an exciting time, enriching, awakening.

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Dream it Alive

29 December 2016

Dear Baby Liam,

we are moving closer to the due date, and with every day that passes, physical activity becomes increasingly difficult. Contractions have started to kick in occasionally, and the skin on my upper belly is burning as it stretches.

I thus spend my days in preparation of your arrival with activities that soothe the pains, calm the mind and challenge the spirit – although most of my night are sleepless, and the days are less speedy than they used to be. It happens that I wake up in the middle of the night and struggle to fall asleep again, so I grab my notebook and watch some films or play music to relax.

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Re-Channeling my Energy

13 December 2016

Dear Baby Liam,

as your 35th week progresses, space has become scarce in my belly, and your kicks and movements are gaining intensity. Now I have entered maternity leave and feel the relief of not having to spend 7-hour days in a chair looking at a screen and talking to people. In September, I have started working in a call center with the task to sell television packages to pay-tv customers. You are smiling my sunshine, because you know this has little to do with what Mom wants to do in her life!

Looking back, however, I have gained quite some experience, responsibility, strength and even some peacebuilding skills on the way – if that is not too much of a lesson to draw. In Germany, we have some laws on maternity protection that prevent pregnant women from being fired. That said, I didn’t get under pressure for selling according to quotas and I spent my days calling these people, listening to their sorrows and anger, sometimes being able to give them advice or guidance, at other times not.

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Unconditionally

8 December 2016

Dear Sunshine Liam,

I have been in confusion about the next weeks and months of our little family life for quite some time. For weeks, I have been chanting and asked the universe for guidance. The confusion and the anxiety got worse, while I painfully rejected the reality of what actually was. I rejected the truth in that your father didn’t want to put effort in being there for me, neither physically nor emotionally, and thus contributed my part to an intractable situation. I rejected the idea of giving birth to you alone. I rejected being a single mother. Today, I got a sign from the universe which couldn’t be misinterpreted. I finally understood that holding on to the idea of someone being your father, or of the ideal family, cannot help me in giving you the best welcome to this Earth that I can give you. Just like I once told you, letting go is a process that happens over and over again. One day at a time.

Once, not too long ago, I watched some documentary about grown up men who had spend their whole life without ever getting to know their fathers. They were visibly suffering by the absence of their parent, drowning in low self-esteem and the unbearable pain of having their father chose every single day to not be in their life.

I know, because I have been there too. One day, my father just left and remained a shadow of what I had known of him during my childhood. Not that I am anticipating this to happen, or that I am anticipating anything, I just let life happen to us, the way it flows, the way it wants.

The way we chose it, when our souls chose this particular life on Earth to learn the crucial lessons they were interested in – courage, love, letting go, resilience – whatever it is that is waiting for our human earth experience as spirits.

My love, please know that – whatever happens now or in the future – that you are loved. Know that you are worthy of love, and that whoever is causing you pain doesn’t cause you pain voluntarily. Hurt people hurt people. And you remain loved until the rest of time.

Thank you for choosing me, beautiful soul.

 

Your Mom.

Embracing Feelings As Visitors

22 November 2016

Dear Baby Liam,

welcome to your 32nd week of life. By now you have grown from a little cell to a magical system of cells. I share my days with you, and you often get active in my belly, waking me up in the morning. What a lovely way to start each day!
I feel you and you feel me.
Knowing that you also feel my feelings, I always tend to worry about you when I cry, and when the sensation of pain in my chest resembles a knot that keeps me from properly breathing. I have been declared and categorized as emotional person, and this has apparently increased with the hormone changes of pregnancy. So I cry and I wash out all the grief and the disappointments, all my own childhood wounds that still affect me today.

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How to Parenting: Facing my Shadows.

2 November 2016

Dear Baby Liam,

as motherhood comes closer every day, with all the expectations and ideas of parenting that exist out there, I have been asking myself what else there is I can do to mentally prepare for you.

I write these lines as I am leaning back on the terrace of the Southeastern Turkish Riviera, enjoying the luxury of a local Hotel and Spa and some rays of sun before diving back into the cold and colorful Northern German autumn.

Continue reading “How to Parenting: Facing my Shadows.”

Letting Go.

Thursday, October 06 2016

Dear Baby Liam,

I believe life is a massive lesson in letting go. Not solely, but particularly letting go. When the test stripes said that I was pregnant with you, I had to let go of the accurate plans of my life which I had made up in my mind. When we first saw a gynecologist in Kigali in order to check about you, he talked about early pregnancy failure, because he didn’t see you. He said the diagnosis was to be confirmed in 4 weeks. I was devastated, how should I now let go of this beautiful gift that you were to me already?

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Holding it all together.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Dear Baby,

I do not want you to feel as if you were carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders, just because mom does feel this way. I want to protect you, with my whole being, not make you feel the burdens of my current life situation. Some days,  I have been crying for hours without being able to re-channel my energies onto the present moment.

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