9 March, 2015
Having children is a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week job. Unless you're fabulously wealthy and then I suppose you could employ a nanny or two.
But even then, in my experience of being a nanny, the buck still stops with the parents (mostly the mum!).
Growing up my mum would often remind me to enjoy my single, not a care in the world life, that when the time came for me to have my own brats, I would learn the true meaning of self sacrifice.
In the weeks up to having my first son, I relish the memories of just popping out to the cinema on a whim, or spending over an hour in a dress shop trying things on or enjoying a two hour yoga and meditation session.
During the first days of his delicate little life, struggling through the hormonal upheaval as my body recalibrated after labour, birth, drugs, breastfeeding, no sleep, I’m ashamed to say I rang my mum and tearing up complained; ‘I’ve ruined my beautiful life’.
The ego had struck a major blow. The concept of ‘me time’ seemed to slip completely out of the known universe.
Raising babies is not something that we are directly prepared for during our 16 year plus primary, secondary or university education. Most of the knowledge you glean from your own childhood and perhaps if you’re a gen Xer like me, re runs of Full House episodes.
I don’t think it’s ironic that during the first weeks of raising Theo a very renound yogic text ‘An Autobiography of a Yogi’ written by Paramahansa Yogananda made it’s way to my bed side table. Paramahansa Yogananda was a famous Indian guru who first shared knowledge of Kriya Yoga with the West.
It was good for me to get another illustration of someone who viewed their life as their yoga ~ not just the sum of their spiritual practices.
On the journey of the first year of Theo’s life there has naturally been many wonderments and many challenges. I remind myself weekly that he is now the heart of my yoga practice.
Although as new parents we are quick to view parenthood as a forfeit of our old lives, it will also be our Greatest Creative Project. It is the perfect playground for us to utilise mindfulness. For when the going gets tough, isn’t it lovely to have the tools to be able to hit pause and experience the moment? As fascinating, tedious, demanding or insanely beautiful as it may be.
Making the choice to be present for your children, while totally accepting your non perfection is a nice place to arrive to and one I’ll be practising for many years to come.