On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I have both kids all day. Yeah, I know, some of you seasoned stay-at-home-parents are thinking, so? But I’m new to this, so be patient with me. The rest of the week, our 3-year-old attends a part-time Montessori program that we LOVE. But on Tuesdays and Thursdays, they’re all mine, all day. By the time 4:00 rolls around (PS WHAT IS WITH 4:00? It is for real the lose-my-mind time of day), I am just exhausted. By then, I have usually read about a thousand books (usually the same 1 or 2 books five hundred times each), played picnic or legos or “house” or some kind of math and literacy games over & over with my sweet girl, nursed the baby every 3-ish hours (unless he’s in a growth spurt and it’s more often, which seems like pretty much always), changed a ton of diapers, made breakfast, lunch, and prepped dinner, done dishes at least once, and tried to avoid TV but probably gave in to an episode of Sofia the First (or 2). You get the picture.
Then, my hubby walks through the door like a white knight, and I’ve literally never been more excited to lay my eyes on another adult. Don’t get me wrong, I love these precious days with my babies, but also, I have to resist the urge to grab the keys, say “adios!”, and go on a solo ice cream run. Okay, I’m probably exaggerating here, but I have had some days where this is 100% true. Lately though, I’ve been going to a yoga class on Tuesdays and a pilates/yoga kind of class on Thursday nights with a good friend. And yes, while it’s great to do some exercise, I’ve come to enjoy these evenings for so many reasons.
One of those reasons is laughter. Let me give you a short breakdown of my first yoga class post baby:
“It’s harder than it looks, people!” the instructor starts out the class. I turn to my friend and give her the biggest eye roll I can muster. C’mon I’ve done CROSSFIT, yoga ain’t hard. Obviously I have not learned from past failures due to over-confidence. To be fair, I have taken some yoga classes before, but it’s been a while. So we go through some of the warm-up. This is okay. I can do this. She tells us to sit back in child’s pose (aka heaven) any time we need a break and tells us to “clear our minds of all problems”. I don’t know about you, but my mom brain literally NEVER stops, so that’s kind of impossible, but I vow to give it a try.
Next, we move through some sun salutations, including a step or jump back to plank, chaturonga to upward facing dog (without touching your knees?! are you people crazy?!) and inevitably, we end up in downward facing dog. Here I look over to my friend, have to stifle my first giggle and utter a silent prayer: ‘”please don’t fall down or make any embarrassing noises.”
Then we somehow get to the warrior poses, 1 and 2, and I feel AMAZING, like I can conquer the world. All I need is my bow and arrow and I’m basically Katniss. But I make the mistake of looking over at my reflection and see my stupid post-baby pooch spilling out over my cute Lululemon leggings. UGH. Luckily it’s time to move to warrior 3, in which I actually do fall partially over and have to scramble to right myself, not able to stifle the giggle this time.
I do okay to keep up (kind of) and we get to a sequence that includes the SPLITS. Hold on. I was unaware that people beyond the age of 7 even attempted these. I glance up and see a girl doing the flying lizard (basically a split in the air but balancing on the elbows- I dunno, Google it), and I’m just like WHAAAAAAT. So my friend and I laugh again as we try to contort our bodies into something that *kinda* looks like the splits. Then we move into the candlestick pose and both of us are pretty much suffocated by our boobs and now cannot stop the laughter (we are those girls who giggle in the dark at sleep-away camp at absolutely nothing but cannot stop to save our lives). I’m sure our fellow “yogis” are over us at this point so we try to keep it together.
By the time we make it to side planks at the end, I’m dripping in sweat and I pretty much just sit down in revolt. I’m not even trying those because I know it will end badly. Finally, it’s over. Sure, I didn’t die, but it wasn’t pretty. We roll up our mats, put our shoes back on, and make plans to come back next Tuesday.
So…yoga’s kind of fun, but in all seriousness, I’m finding more and more in my new role that taking a break, taking a breath, stepping back a minute is absolutely vital to my success. When my 3 year old’s emotions go crazy, which they tend to do from time to time, we have her “take a break” to calm down. She goes into her room, sits in her comfy chair with books or whatever she wants, and we calmly shut the door. Nine times out of ten, she comes out a few minutes later, with tears gone, an apology if needed, and a smile ready to move on to something else. She comes out with a fresh perspective, and all it took was a few short quiet minutes. Since our kiddos clearly benefit from taking a break, doesn’t it make sense that we would benefit as well? We need to make sure we are taking care of ourselves so that we can give the best versions of ourselves to the ones we love. Whether it’s yoga, or wandering the aisles at Target alone, or reading a good book in a hot bath, take some time to just breathe. You will feel amazing and your people will thank you.
Book Review: The Sound of Gravel by Ruth Wariner. Friends, this book. It hurt my heart. I cried hot tears and sat and stared into space unable to move because there were moments in this author’s life growing up in a polygamist colony that are so shocking and so sad you almost don’t believe it’s a true story. That being said, it is astonishingly beautiful as well. It is a story of family and resilience, but also of hope and extraordinary forgiveness. It is a story I’ll likely never forget.
Currently Baking: I made these white chocolate cupcakes with strawberry cream cheese frosting for some friends the other night, and we decided to roll them in graham cracker crumbs and top with a strawberry slice. They were so refreshing and delicious. No recipe today, because, I can’t give away all my secrets! 🙂
Thanks for reading and until next time, peace and love from my household to yours.