Monday, July 6, 2009

Yoga is being in the moment with your kids

Gosh it has been ages as usual. I am revising for my exam (will soon be a fully certified yoga teacher hooray) and if I had blogged as well I would definitely have been neglecting the girls. Last weekend I attended a course for teaching kid’s yoga and heard these very reassuring but also quite challenging words: Mothering is yoga. If you can be truly present in each moment you spend with your kids, that is your yoga.

At first this came as a huge relief given that many of my fellow yoga teachers are practising for two hours each morning before dawn while I am still catching up after five years of broken sleep! But when I thought about it more I realised that this is probably my biggest challenge as a mother and in life generally. I am always planning the next thing: tomorrow’s play date; the bath at dinner time; the stories at bath time, thinking about work when I am ‘playing’ with them… These words really helped me to change my approach to the time I spend with the girls and I feel so much better for it.

The first effort I made to strengthen my commitment towards being fully present with my kids was to buy batteries for the watch I forgot I had. At the moment I use my phone as a clock and I end up texting while I am with the girls far too much. Really, I would never do that with friends - well not that much  - because it is blatantly disrespectful, but here I am day after day using my phone when I am supposed to be playing with the girls. From now on I will leave my phone on silent or at home when I am on mother duties. I don’t hesitate to turn it off when teaching after all!

And my second triumph was this afternoon.

“Let’s arrange your dolls house Jemima!”

This is one of my favourite games. I would secretly like to be an interior designer, and/or live in Jemima’s dolls house. It has three floors and a roof you can take off in the sun! Wouldn’t you? You should also know, so that you can truly value the extent of my personal growth that took place this afternoon, that if you asked James ‘Who says what goes where in this house?’ you would know by his heavy sigh that I am a total control freak when it comes to creating the kind of home I want to live in. How else did we end up with a bright pink kitchen (in England)? It was very cool actually, I must dig up a picture before I lose your respect.

Anyway, there I was rubbing my hands together with glee at the thought of arranging the perfect kitchen, a very attachment-parenting style bedroom and a playroom with a dolls house – a mini-one in case you are confused. We will call it a dolls dolls house. (We argue about this one every time – the dolls dolls house is actually a TV according to Jemima and she likes to arrange all the dolls on the bed watching it. This says a great deal for my parenting skills I know!)

Anyway, just as I was getting started I hear: “No Mummy, put the cooker up here next to the double bed!”

Silence. Deep breath. I am serious. Last month I would have been unable to help myself.

“Wouldn’t it be very dangerous and smelly to sleep next to the cooker?”, I would ask, while already restoring order in the bedroom and internally berating myself for my total void of child’s perspective. It’s sad I know. Yes, Monica from Friends does spring to mind.

Not this time. This time I was right there with her. In the moment.

“Brilliant idea! I would love to roll out of bed and make my tea and scrambled eggs without having to move rooms!”

I meant it too. She was delighted and by the time we finished we had put the beds in the sitting room (there was no room in the bedroom after we moved in the kitchen sink) and the tv/dolls dolls house in the bathroom to watch/play with in the bath. And the barbeque next to the baby’s cot. O the balcony. Overlooking the farm. (I guess it is an Estate really.) This was liberating stuff I tell you!

As a result I am awarding myself the prize for “Best mother at living in the moment with my kids” today. And I shall try to win it again tomorrow.

Not that I am planning tomorrow of course.


india abraod said...


Anonymous said...

I completely recognise myself in that description of thinking about the "next thing" rather than being in the moment with the kids (or lots of other times, actually). I will see if I can focus on them a bit better today (one day at a time, after all!)


MorganMoon said...

Wow! I can really relate. And I'm also a Kundalini Yoga teacher (qualified when I was 7 months pregnant ;)) and often compare myself to my yogi friends who do all this 'practice' teacher reminded me that this is my path, this is it now - motherhood. What a spiritual journey it is!

Georgie said...

wow so lovely to hear from someone in such similar life! I will check out your blog now and thanks so much for replying! Look forward to more contact x