This weeks post comes from my friend Jo, I first came across Jo's blog when she was pregnant with Mersina and was instantly drawn in by her honest and interesting writing style. Reading her blog throughout her pregnancy was an compelling read, navigating pregnancy (and now motherhood) as a single woman I only have the upmost respect for. Since Mersina was born Jo and I have become friends in the 'real world' and it is wonderful to see what an amazing job she is doing raising her daughter. Thanks for sharing Jo! xoxoI was standing in front of the fridge with the baby in my arms, the other day. She loves it in there. There is stuff everywhere and it's colourful and strange and textured. I hadn't slept properly in days and I couldn't find the tomato sauce. I usually put it in the fridge door but housemate has no sense of order of anything so he moves stuff around. I got annoyed that it wasn't in the door and then I got angry and snapped at him - yelling at the other room about putting the tomato sauce in the wrong place. Mersina looked on unperturbed. She didn't even flinch. Why would she? For her that was just the way people communicated, when they couldn't find something they yelled. It was just a moment but I felt like the most horrible person ever. What kind of role model was I? I wait for the green man at traffic lights. I don't swear. I do my best to avoid judgements and try to behave the way I want her to behave. Lots of love and acceptance and all the wonderful things that make people feel good. I love the idea of Buddhism's teachings of loving kindness, equanimity, compassion and sympathetic joy and what I have found out since having a baby is that it's not as easy as I thought it would be. I still get annoyed at silly things. Her father and I still have trouble communicating. My housemate and I have pretty much the same issues as we used to have.I don't think people change as much as they think they will. Nothing gets magically better. I thought it would, for a while. I thought that my little love story, born on Valentine's Day, would make everything ok, would make everything better. I was wrong. She didn't change anything that already existed. Instead, she brought us a lot of new love, happiness and joy. My housemate, (her godfather) and I have started a bit of a tradition where at the end of the day we talk about all the amazing things she does. How she points with both fingers and goes AAAAAAAH! How she hooks a finger into your lip and pulls. How she slaps both hands over and over on your face while screaming with joy. She loves the recycling, the dvds and her toy box. She picks out each item individually, looks at it, places it down next to her and then picks out the next item. She plows through her toy box taking everything out. For a while she became enraged with the yellow Frasier DVD box set for season six and I would have to take it away from her as soon as she started crying. She has started hiding behind jumpers and jackets and gets excited when we find her as soon as she lowers the clothes again. She loves bouncing, she likes exploring and crawls everywhere trying to find new things. She has woken with a smile on her face since she was able to smile. She giggles and laughs and loves computers. She loves people and especially other babies. When she wants something she tries to grab it and when she doesn't get it she lets us know. She is happy and bright and wonderful and cuddly and so full of joy that she is one huge motivation for living the way I want to live and said I would live. It's not easy because people don't stop being how they've always been. It feels strange saying that it's difficult to choose happiness over anger and annoyance but it's true. Sometimes the toughest thing is to not sweat the small stuff. I am watching Children in Need as I write this and it puts things into perspective as do all the stories in the newspapers about children being hurt in any way. She makes me very grateful and very determined. Those are my biggest lessons since becoming a mother, I always have something about which I can be grateful and I have a lot more determination.