Modern motherhood is unique - even within our Mamas Circles we span diverse sets of circumstances. Some moms are living across oceans from their families and others have live-in grandparents. Some are in long-term relationships, separated or divorced, or single moms by choice. These moms stay at home with their children, own their own businesses, and go to jobs they love and hate. We all try to piece together a meaningful and satisfying life - while constantly being judged for all of our choices.
A few years ago, I came across a letter from working mother to a a stay at home mother and vice versa from an Australian blogger and have often shared it with my clients and in our circles. Recently, in our Babies & Toddlers Mamas Circle, we had a deep discussion about the joys and challenges of part-time work. After the session, one of the moms composed the letter below to work out her own feelings about it. She kindly shared it with our group and her words resonated deeply with many of us. She wants to remain anonymous, but I had to (with permission!) share her words -
Dear Part-time working Mom:
I know you're stuck between a rock and a hard place, as they say. On the one hand, you are committed to your work-- either because you have to be or you want to be, maybe both!--but on the other hand you strongly desire to be a meaningful presence in the day-to-day lives of your children. You want to do mommy-and-me classes and bake sales, but you also want to pursue professional goals and support your family. You dream of doing it all with skill and grace, but more often than not you feel like you're failing at everything.
You probably know I have two small children. And a business. You may also know that means life is VERY busy. Which also means I started this post about 7 different times, each time editing out events that already happened or that I missed because I got a terrible stomach flu (which, by the way, was awful and I really missed teaching last week!).
But that's life! And today just before my last class before the holiday break (which I was going to tell you about, had I only been able to get this out before now) I shared some of our current chaos with a friend, and we belly-laughed, and she said "just post it! It's perfect. It's true, it's life!" And here we are. So here we go...
The holiday season with children IS magical. But it is also chaos. Mostly chaos. Even the thought of trying to explain it is exhausting. So here are a few of my favorite moments so far:
We just wrapped up our annual gratitude challenge and coincidentally a dear friend and yoga teacher shared this wonderful quote in her class last week. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
I am grateful for my limits
It's a grateful day! A day for coming together - with your biological family, extended family, or chosen family. Which can be wonderful and amazing! It can also be hard and exhausting.
So in addition to gratitude, I hope you'll find a few minutes today to practice acceptance - toward yourself, toward these conflicting emotions, and toward things not always (or maybe never?) turning out exactly how you had hoped or planned.
As you notice your love, fear, disappointment, joy, and host of other seemingly contradictory emotions, sit with that ambivalence. It may be uncomfortable, but see if you can welcome it in. Witness the complexity of your being, your family, your life.
And from there, be in it. The complex messiness of life. The joy of a shared meal and the deep sadness of a family member no longer with us. Toddler tantrums that test the very limits of our patience and the heartwarming sound of uncontrollable laughter echoing around the house. Sweet snuggles. Tense disagreements. A moment of quiet.
It's all here for us.
I wish you all the things - and hope you'll join us (and invite a friend!) as we wind down the year. I'll be teaching a few more yoga classes, we have one more Mamas Circle, and after that it's into 2020!
With the busy busy of fall in full-swing many of us have this phrase on repeat:
I don't have enough time!
Whether it's staring at a seemingly endless to-do list, trying to catch-up on work, attempting to get anything done while caring for a newborn, or failing to make plans to do something for ourselves, it seems there are never enough hours in the day.
We spend our time on work, family, laundry, reading emails (thanks!!), and so much more. So, how do we make time for all of those things?
We prioritize them.
What we're really saying when we say "I don't have enough time" is "that is not a priority." Which often translates to "I am not a priority."
Sit with it for a minute. See if it holds true.
Last week I took a yoga class and the teacher asked us to think about our practice: Were we looking to integrate or create? To take what we've learned and bring it together, make it more cohesive, and settle in? Or to bring forward something new?
The answer for me was easy - but surprising. I've always been a creator and an entrepreneur, continually seeking, planning, and looking ahead. But in that moment I knew what I needed more than anything was to integrate. To settle in, move and breathe. It was a beautiful practice.
And, of course, the lessons on our yoga mat are also the lessons of our lives.
It's the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and a wonderful time to celebrate growth, abundance, and summer. It's the perfect day to get outside, kick off your shoes, and soak in some of our planet's natural beauty. And since it's also the International Day of Yoga (as declared by the United Nations) maybe sneak in a little yoga practice - or at least a couple of deep breaths.
I always find seasonal shifts to be pretty intense and consistently need to remind myself to simply ENJOY. My to-do list is endless, the house constantly in need of picking up, but there's also always time to get outside and soak it all in or roll out my yoga mat and sneak in a 5-minute practice. Because most of the emails can wait, the toys can stay on the floor, and I know I'll be so much happier returning to it all after a little break.
And since reading e-mails is not the best part of summer, I'll let you go! I hope you'll find ways to make time for the things you really enjoy - and join us for yoga, a mamas circle, or a babywearing play date!
Oh hi there!
I'd like to tell you a little bit about self-care's less sexy but much more important big sister: community care. I struggle with its blah name and hard-to-explain content, but it's what literally keeps me thriving.
I've struggled with the idea of self-care for a while - yes, I love taking a yoga class, reading a good book, and getting out for a walk, but I am suck on this: why do we have to do everything ON OUR OWN? Why do we so greatly value independence over community when it is the very thing that has helped us to thrive as a species for as long as we have existed?
I'm so over independence.
Ok here's the story:
I have a LOT to tell you about what's happening, but I'd also like to tell you about what's not happening.
I'm not putting the toys away.
I'm not answering phone calls, texts and emails all day long.
I'm not launching the new amazing inclusive mama community I've been dreaming about (yet!).
Multiple times a week I find myself saying "as soon as we get the hang of it, everything changes." Often it's in regard to baby nap schedules or a new approach to a yoga pose, but this past week I personally felt it more intensely than usual.
I LOVE the longer days, daffodils, afternoons at the park, and emerging seedlings taking over our windowsills - the very beginning of our summer vegetable garden. And as much promise as that all holds, this seasonal shift has been accompanied by an uneasy feeling - am I really ready to burst forth with new energy? Didn't I just get the whole "taking it a little easier during the winter" thing figured out?