Tag Archives: parenting

Shifting

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I felt like I wasn’t taking enough time for nourishment,
so I spent some time in the kitchen yesterday and today,
making myself nourishing soups and salads…what a triumph!
But then I didn’t sew as many masks as I thought I would,
and I just felt tired from standing, chopping, cooking,
and what I really wanted was someone to cook for me.
Last weekend I was productive, making multiple masks a day,
but I didn’t get to my meditation until very late,
and I felt so off from not beginning my day with meditation,
as I have been doing for over eight years now.
The week before that my meditation practice was simply sublime,
but my kitchen was a disaster and I was terribly hungry
and tried to ignore my body’s hunger signs (which is bad, don’t do that)
and gave myself meager rations of whatever
because I didn’t want to bother with cooking.
When my kids are here they drive me crazy with their bickering
and the clumsy way they thunder about the piles of disorganization
and when they’re gone my nervous system goes haywire
because we are hardwired to gather close when times are tough…
I crave space when my home is noisy with my children’s needs,
and I crave their voices when the silence in my house feels too spacious…
How do I find balance when the center is always shifting?

Entitled

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I’m feeling entertained.
What was meant as an insult
has provided endless laughter.
This means progress.
I was told that the body part upon which I sit
is entitled.
I was told to get off this particularly entitled body part
and get a job.
I have two things to say:
1. I have a job. Actually two jobs. Actually three.
I have been mothering for 9 years
and teaching yoga for 14
and it is a full time job being me,
it’s a tough job but someone’s gotta do it
and I’m the most qualified for it—
AND I AM DAMN GOOD AT WHAT I DO,
AND I WILL KEEP DOING IT, THANK YOU.
2. Yes, I am entitled,
and not just the body part on which I sit.
All of me is entitled.
All of me is entitled to:
love
respect
joy
beauty
care
kindness
compassion
understanding
abundance
and gratitude
(among other things, but the list is getting too long, so I’ll stop there. For now).
I am entitled to these things,
because this is what I give out.
Oh wait, there is a third thing I have to say:
3. YOU CAN’T HURT ME ANYMORE.
If you have any questions, comments or concerns,
just talk to the aforementioned entitled body part on which I sit.
I’m sure it will make itself very clear,
in one way or another.

Better

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I wake up
and something’s different.
I see the sun.
I’m glad to be awake.
I have energy.
I’m excited to start the day.
I make berry salad
for our breakfast;
the kids and I enjoy
these colorful jewels
the earth grew
for our nourishment.
I feel so much love
my heart might burst.
My home is peaceful.
After the kids get on the bus
I come back home.
What is this feeling?
What is different?
And then I realize
I know what this is:
I feel better.

Somewhere Around 3am

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I awoke in terror
in the middle of the night.
I tried to sleep,
but eventually got up.
It was 3am.
I sat, breathed,
forced myself to smile.
I read from my daily devotionals
(nine in all),
ate some breakfast,
went back to bed.
It was 5am.
Then my son woke me up.
It was 6:30am.
I asked him
to get himself some cereal.
At 7 years old,
he can do that
(thank God).
I tried to sleep.
I did, for a little while.
Then I got up. Again.
It was 8:42am.
I made it through final preparations
for teaching a yoga class
and leading a training.
The sitter came to watch my kids,
I drove to the studio
and found myself
in front of a room full of students.
It was 11:45 am.
I taught my class,
drove to another studio
and found myself
in front of a room full of teachers.
It was 2pm.
I led a four hour training,
drove back home,
took care of my kids,
got them showered,
settled down here at my desk.
It was 8:51pm.
Now I’m feeling crazy.
It’s 9:08 pm.
I have no idea where my mind is.
Probably wandering
somewhere around 3am.

Made It Through

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Spring was in the air,
so I threw open
all the windows,
rolled up my sleeves,
and got to work.
Load after load of laundry,
sorting through odd bits,
vacuuming,
tidying,
organizing,
cleaning…
so much cleaning.
Kids got home
and we went out,
out to the forest.
We slogged through mud,
over streams
and fallen logs,
slippery stones,
yellow-green moss.
Back home, homework,
dinner, bath,
reading together,
then bed.
I AM SO EXHAUSTED
AND I THINK I MIGHT HATE
SINGLE-PARENTING
THIS IS NOT
WHAT I SIGNED UP FOR
Then I write this
stream of consciousness poem,
and soon I’ll write in my
gratitude journal.
Ahh, I made it through another day.


Always Another Way

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Up half the night with a sick child,
scrubbing puke out of the carpets,
attempting not to resent my ex
for leaving me
to deal with moments like these
on my own.
How can I tweak my mindset
when the moment
is so obviously difficult?
Any way you look at it,
a pukey carpet is smelly and gross.
How do you find spiritual wisdom
in disgusting moments?
Well…I tried.
I tried to tell myself
It is a privilege to clean up my daughter’s throw-up.
Yes I did.
I thought about childless couples
who would’ve paid dearly
many times over
to have a son or daughter of their own,
who would’ve been glad to be in my shoes,
scrubbing mess out of the carpet,
just to know they had a kid to love and raise.
It strikes me now in retrospect,
that it wasn’t so much the content of my mind,
but the act of attempting to shift
from feeling exhausted and overburdened
to the recognition of my blessings—
however disgustingly they were disguised—
that might bear beautiful fruit in the future.
Who knows what can grow
of experiences like these,
when they are met with the awareness
that there is always another way?

Questioning…and Asking For Your Input

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hal elrod value quote

Hi everyone.  I arrived back in Maryland on July 31 after a wonderful trip to Colorado where I was taken care of in every way by a dear friend who knows what I’ve been through this past year.  I felt really good and positive for about a week, but then real life came crashing down on me, and I’ve been dealing with the depression and anxiety again.

As I’ve been paying closer attention to my daily routine—of which this blog has been a part for the last five and a half years—I’ve been asking myself what kind of value my posts here are to others.  If I’m writing my daily poetry and focusing on what is wrong, I believe that I’m contributing to an atmosphere of sadness and anger on planet earth.  This is not what I want for me, you, or for this blog.

So I’ve been really wondering what kind of value I can add to anyone’s life here on Yoga Mom.  Can I focus more on yoga?  Can I share breath work techniques, yoga poses?  Can I talk about mindful parenting?

I’m not sure what shape I want the blog to take at this point, but I’m absolutely open to any ideas that you’d like to send my way.  I started off the blog for myself, as a means to find the self-expression that had felt so hampered in the midst of raising young children and being in what I’ve come to realize was a highly abusive marriage.  I never expected to have people actually following my posts and reading my words, but now with over a thousand followers I feel it is my social obligation to focus on what is good and real and true in life, instead of on what is bringing me down.

If you have any thoughts or ideas about how I can do that here, I’m all ears.

Thanks for reading,

Yoga Mom

More Beauty…from Busy Mockingbird

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My heart was so touched by this…a creative mama encouraging her child’s deep imagination to flourish with wonderfully positive qualities, collaboration, trust, strength, sensitivity. What a beautiful world we live in!

I’ve been drawing and painting our daughter Myla for a long time. I was intimidated at first, but she quickly became my favorite subject. I was looking back at some of my artwork featuring her, and noticed how it’s changed as much as she has over the years. My first of her was this one, […]

via Little Dragon Warrior — busy mockingbird

The Flow of All Things

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I lost my temper again today.
It took a moment,
but I was able to forgive myself
for my outburst
and my son
for his sneakiness.
I had been helping my daughter
with her homework
and my son
–against my wishes–
had taken the iPad*,
sneaked it up into his room.
I felt so frustrated
with his dishonesty
and so responsible somehow,
like it wouldn’t have happened
if I could have kept better track of him…
but how can I be in two places at once?
After I got over myself enough
I took my two children to the park;
it was 66 degrees, in February,
can you believe it?
I watched them ride their bikes
in a loop of sidewalk,
down a hill then up a hill,
watched other children
playing, laughing,
so exuberant, full of energy.
Back home,
instead of slipping into
my default mode of feeling
overburdened by dinner preparation,
I enlisted the aid of my children.
I was amazed to see
how happy they were
to help.
I wondered what else I’ll discover
about my two bright little ones
(and myself)
when I let go of the need
to be in control
and open to this moment,
to them,
to the flow of all things.

*Now, if you’re asking yourself “What’s the big deal?  It’s just a kid being sneaky with an iPad,” let me explain that we’ve had multiple conversations about how spending large amounts of time on the iPad will do nothing for his wonderful mind.  He also has been acting like a big time jerk face after spending too much time on the device–disrespectful, moody, whiny, throwing toys, taking swings at me. I thought it was important to take a break from it today and let him know this; he stomped and shouted and was in general very rude to me in response. So maybe you can see now why it would trigger me that he would go and sneak off with the thing when I was helping my daughter with her homework.  If you’re a parent who never loses your temper, tell me how you do it.

Returning to Sanity

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I kept admonishing myself
for losing it with my kids.
Feeling guilty, ashamed,
a failure as a parent.
And then I realized,
it’s normal to lose it.
Because I’m human,
because sometimes I’m tired,
overworked, overwhelmed,
undernourished…
it just happens.
And as I began to cultivate acceptance
for my own humanness,
it occurred to me
that the goal isn’t
to never lose it with my kids.
The goal is to gradually learn
how to recognize my own insanity
as it arises
and restore myself to sanity
as best I can.
The goal is to acknowledge
the mistakes I have made
and do my best to make amends.
And so I ask for my kids’ forgiveness
when I lose it with them.
And as they forgive me
I start to see that I can forgive me too.