Isn’t this the cutest little boy ever? Ok, I am biased, I am his mother so of course I think he is the best. However, from time to he is a pain in the butt. Once you have a little one it is really hard to stick to the things that were very important to you in pre-baby life. Yoga was/is one of those such things to me. Exercise in general, but over the last couple of years the peace and freedom from the anxiety that is my brain have caused me to really cherish yoga in my life. However, I struggle to get to it every day. Recently, I have started practicing 6 days a week which requires that every other day I get up at 5:30 a.m. in order to get through my practice before Walter wakes up (the other days I get to go to the studio and practice while Alex and Walter hang out). The other day my alarm didn’t go off. Alarms have caused me untold anxiety and nightmares in my life by not going off at key points for ridiculous reasons. So instead of waking up at 5:30 a.m., I woke up at 6:30 .m. and realized that it was waaaay too light out for me to still be in bed so I vaulted out of bed (I like to imagine in these circumstances that I gain superhero powers and am able to do a sommersault off my bed and land in a crouched position ready to deal with whatever comes my way), checked my clock and determined that it was 6:30 a.m. Crap! That meant I had about a half an hour before Walter woke up and my practice takes about an hour and a half. I am the kind of person that doesn’t blink an eye about moving cross country, but you fuck with my routine in the morning and all goes to hell. I could just see my day going to pot before my very eyes.
So I got up, got dressed quickly and got on my mat. I started barreling through the primary series, I was going to finish as much as I could before Walter woke up. I just barely made it through the standing postures before Walter woke up and wanted a rescue from his crib. As I put the bottle on for him, I thought to myself, “I am going to finish today, regardless of their being a baby.” So I got Walter up, changed his diaper and brought him back to our spare room where my mat was. I set him down on the floor with his bottle and attempted to keep going. It worked to some degree. I had to keep stopping for Walter to crawl on me (otherwise known as Mommy check-ins, he likes to know I am there, get a hug and go about his business). However, my mind was all over the place and I couldn’t concentrate or even just go with the flow. I was fighting having Walter there and wanting desperately for him not to be there. I finished my practice, but it wasn’t a good practice, it was rushed and my mind felt much less calm and peaceful than before I started. I feel like I really struggle with this with having a baby. I love him very much and when he smiles or laughs, I just melt, but at other times, I just wish to be able to do the things I did before he was born. I miss that quality of life where my every minute wasn’t consumed by baby needs. At times, I desperately don’t want to be the parent whose life is consumed by the child and she is incapable of doing anything else. I want to have a child that we can take out to dinner and take to do the things that we used to do. However, sometimes doing those things that “we used to do” takes extraordinary effort on my part, which seems to (at least in the case of this practice) override the pleasure and peaceful I get from the practice. I feel like this “new normal” of life with baby must constantly be redefined as to what is possible and what I am going to stubbornly do anyway. Perhaps, part of it is that I need to somehow accept what this new normal is and not force myself to continue doing the things I did before, but instead try to relax and enjoy this new phase of life for what it offers and not punish myself for not living up to what I think “should” be done. That is the crux of it, isn’t it -we always have expectations of ourselves and others and most of time, they are unreasonable at best and just plain mean at worst. Time to let go.