I laughed hard when I heard that as it struck such a chord in my own heart and I thought all new mothers should have such a sign.
We hear a lot about the joys and blessings of having a newborn, but how often do we talk about how difficult it can be? How often do we talk about the torture of sleep deprivation or the endless crying or the hormonal dips? Before having children you can never fathom how thin the line really is between the child abuser and the rest of us.
When my toes touched that line it looked something like this: darkened room (the baby WILL go to sleep now), two-year-old crying for attention in the next room, baby crying, me crying, no sign of anything quieting down now or in the next 5 million years. Just as I’m literally ready to do physical damage to the little one, I manage to find that last ounce of strength to drag myself away, run outside and start howling and smashing all the jars I’d been saving in my outside cupboard for making baby food. If you read my last blog – that would be the screaming banshee mom!
I didn’t berate myself for being a terrible parent – I used it as a point of compassion. It is easy to judge another as different or worse or unlike us, but to have true compassion for another being we need to look at our similarities. If we find the place within ourselves where these unspeakable behaviors originate, not only can we begin to change ourselves, but we can also begin to heal all those around us.
Some people do kill the baby, some do go to jail. Our judgment does not fix these wrongs or heal any wounds.
Gandhi once said, “be the change you want to see in the world”. Start by finding compassion for yourself in these darkest moments and then extend this to those whom you think it unthinkable to feel compassion for. At that point you will really start to see the change. Until then, keep the sign over the crib.