I was talking to someone about this upcoming mother circle that I'm running, and got to thinking about connection and communication and the value of honesty in how we're are all coping with life. My mind strayed back to going to yoga classes when I was a new mum and how thirsty I was for real connection with the other mums, but how we always seemed to stop short of sharing the bigger stuff. Maybe it was just me? Or maybe many people were thirsty for that conversation but didn't know where to begin. Anyhow, it was something I could have done with, and I'm really happy to be offering it now. And below is where my musings on the yoga classes went to...
At the mum and baby yoga
A baby (not mine, never mine) is sleeping in its carseat at the end of the hall
And the mother, breathes and stretches luxuriously and taunts me with this accomplishment
Of having a baby who sleeps without the warmth of a human enveloping them.
Across from me a mother with a teeny tiny one in arms, she radiates love and shock
And I wonder are things as perfect and lovely as her words tell us they are?
Her eyes wide, unblinking, tell a different story.
Over and back, up and down the hall I pace with my baby. He let me get a stretch or two in at the start but then yoga for me is over, he announces with a wail.
And truth is, I’m not here for the yoga
But to get out of the house
To discover a world that lives and breathes beyond the feed-to-feed and nap-to-oh-so-short-nap of my existence.
I want to say
“ Are you drowning? I feel like I’m drowning sometimes”
I want to know, is it just me - my baby - who refuses a routine and hates pick up put down and is it just me who feels sometimes like everything they’re doing is wrong?
They told us to fly on instinct, but I can’t find my instinct in the dark of night , hour upon hour of not enough sleep.
I find my husband, or he finds me, sitting on the sofa while the city sleeps
My own tears, wishing, willing the baby’s tear to stop
B's instincts seem better sometimes.
He appears less concerned with the question of whether he is doing a good job
and just gets on with the job
But as well as the job of the mothering, I am worried about my appearance of mothering.
Do I look competent?
Do I seem happy, appropriately grateful and blessed?
Do I look like I’m giving enough, doing enough ?
For this soul whose eyes I melt into and lose myself
Along with the hours and days lost to this new place called motherhood.
Dazed I wander its streets, occasionally stopping in front of a new opportunity for connection
Another new mother who knows – or I hope she knows?
And I want to say:
"I’m confused and lost in this love and can we be confused and lost together?"
Thirsty for more than a quick hello and how old's your baby and yep the sleep, the lack of sleep! or I’m lucky the sleep is fine.
(but dear god the stitches or the nipples, the milk that wouldn’t come, the advice I don’t want wrapped in the help I need. The alien strangeness of my body, leaking and sore and not belonging to me anymore.)
Instead we say
Everything is great.
Grand, sure, to be expected sure.
Isn’t it amazing?