Saturday morning I went to yoga. I always have high hopes for the laziness of a Saturday morning with my kids, but – as sometimes happens – this morning had failed to meet my expectations. The lack of structure, so glorious in theory, had somehow turned to chaos and conflict. It had been a rough, rough morning.
The teacher asked us to choose an intention for the class. What is it we needed right now? Was there a part of our body that needed care and attention? Our emotional self? Something on our minds? Was it our soul that needed nourishing?
I wasn’t sure what I needed. Just grace. The grace to forgive myself for my parenting imperfections. The grace to let go of a disappointing morning and begin again. I practiced with my eyes closed and took deep breaths. Lots of really, really deep breaths.
Somewhere along the way it occurred to me: Motherhood is a lot like yoga.
Sometimes we find our limits tested. We are just trying to hold it together and keep our balance.
|Photo by Lisa Picard|
Sometimes we feel better when we open our hearts and make room – for forgiveness, for imperfection, for love and grace, for a laugh, for a beautiful moment – for whatever the universe is sending our way. This openness invigorates and strengthens us.
|Photo by Matthew Ragan|
Sometimes we just need to put our heads down, close our eyes, take a deep breath and let go. We need a moment to stop exerting and stretching ourselves and to just be.
|Photo by Anne Wu, modified by Musing Momma|
Sometimes we need to remember the importance of the basics, those things that ground us and that we keep coming back to time and again. In our home, that is a bedtime story, a meal together, a hug and an I love you. We can’t underestimate just how valuable these are, the thread that weaves through our days.
|Photo by Texas A&M University – Commerce Marketing Communications Photography|
And sometimes we amaze ourselves. We accomplish things we never thought we could. We see the beautiful, amazing in our parenting: The way we love our children so deeply, accept them so unconditionally, nurture them so passionately. The way we brave the un-braveable and do the un-doable.
|Photo by Dave Rosenblum|
Parenthood, like yoga, is not any one of these things. It is all of these things. We move between them gracefully, sometimes, and awkwardly, sometimes. We all have our strengths. We all have our limits. As yoga teaches us (in my non-yogi words), we find peace when we stop comparing ourselves to others or worrying about what we “should” do and instead focus on accepting and loving ourselves, imperfections and all. There is something sacred and worthwhile in all of us.
All above photos in this post are via Creative Commons. Some rights reserved; please click on caption link for more information.