A few weeks ago my hubby travelled to his home town to visit his parents, our two children in tow. This is only the second time that this has happened (ever) and the first time that I have had had a few consecutive days to myself in a row. In the space that was left after they departed I breathed a massive sigh of relief. Although I had a day full of teaching and workshop commitments that Friday, over the days that followed I could feel the built up tension that resided in my being begin to drain away with this opportunity to simply settle into my own company. Yes, of course I missed them, but in honesty when Sunday came around and it was time for them to begin their journey home I realised I had only scratched the surface to reveal what my soul actually needed.
You see, I am at heart pretty damn introvert, more then happy to miss out on many social occasions (generally I have to really push myself to go to them). I am however a mother who runs a small business teaching prenatal and mums & bubs yoga. Both mothering and teaching require a fair amount to outward energy, there is also the reality that in these modern times running a business means being present on social media (which for me equates to another big chunk of outward energy). The mental load with each of these 'jobs' is truly massive and as any mother will tell you, parenting requires one to be 'on' at all times. You only really get to be 'off', at least partially off, when the kids are asleep or completely in the care of another (think school or daycare). For a vast majority of us these opportunities for 'off' time from our children are now filled with 'on' time for our careers/jobs.
Some of us fair better than others in these circumstances, i'm afraid my personal tolerance for stress has always been on the low side. Fortunately I was blessed enough to find the embracing study of yoga to help support me along this journey. Its grounding directional philosophy and practice keeps drawing me back to centre and awareness as my mind and body attempt to flee the scene. The experience of this weekend to myself however, shone a bright light on a gapping hole in my self care regime. Some of us require more alone time than others, and I function best when I have good chunks of regular alone time. How does one find consistent time and space for oneself in the modern era of family, especially for those who do not necessarily have much extended family support close by? I am already blessed and eternally grateful to have a partner who takes his fair share in the responsibilities of parenting.
This modern situation is certainly one I am still feeling my way through, but I am beginning to understand the true importance of putting on your own oxygen mask before you assist others with theirs.
Sending love to all you mamma's out there also navigating the ups and downs of parenthood!
Prenatal and Postnatal Yoga Teacher
Classes in Murwillumbah and Cabarita Beach