Yogi Mommy


With a dance background, the physical aspects of yoga have come quite easily to me.  Although I am not quite as flexible as I was before the birth of O, I maintain a level of flexibility that is well above average.  I stretch every day, knowing that one day, if I don’t use it, I’ll lose it. Which leads me to the reason I began taking yoga class.  It’s funny, I started going to yoga because I wanted to feel more in shape.  But it has done more for my mindset and psyche than anything else.  And strangely, it helps me to be a better Mom.  That hour of time that is “just for me” pays off ten fold in every other area of my life.

More than anything else I do for myself in any given week (which, let’s face it, isn’t a lot these days) this one special hour is personal and parenting gold.  It fuels me with positivity and calm.  It lets me, unapologetically, breathe for myself.  For a whole hour.  Before I had O, I would not have understood the importance of that.  I guess I took the idea of “breathing for myself” for granted.  Before O, extreme self care was instinctual.  But becoming a mother has changed all my instincts.  My first thought these days is to take care of O.  What can I provide for him? Are his needs being met? But what I have learned, 21 months into this parenting journey, is that caring for myself is equally important.   Now, I understand the concept of “breathing for myself,” not just in the context of being a mother, or a woman, but of being human.  It is not a luxury.  It is a necessity.

Oh it sounds so La Dee Da, Organic Crunchy Granola.  So be it.  I don’t care.  It works.  I don’t need all the massages, manicures and pedicures I once indulged in.  I don’t need the vapid shopping sprees or endless “me” time.  I need an hour. An hour of mindful meditative physical commitment.

It’s simple once I get there.  It’s just that sometimes the “getting there” isn’t so easy.  Working it around my husband’s work day, getting dinner started, feeding the baby, etc.  It can be a bit of an obstacle course just getting out of the house.  But they are hoops I’m happy to jump through to get to my slice of positive pie.  In truth, it isn’t that tough, we just don’t have it down yet.  It disturbs our regular routine, so it seems like a whirlwind when I leave, but it will soon become part of our rhythm.

As I see and feel the benefits of this magic hour, I now realize I don’t just want it.  I need it. I swear, it gives me a sense of peace and strength to get through the week.  It gets me right in the head.  It aligns my body.  It wakes up parts of my body (and soul) that I have been neglecting.  I have more patience.  I am more creative.  I have more to give both my son AND my husband.  I am a better mom,  a better wife and, dare I say, a better person.  All because of yoga! It makes me laugh, because it sounds so silly, but anyone who practices yoga knows the serious life benefits it possesses.

To be honest, I’m sure it doesn’t have to be Yoga.  You could meditate.  You could hike.  You could cycle. Whatever floats your boat.  For me, yoga is a perfect fit.  I would never turn down a solo nature hike, but I just can’t make that work on a weekly basis with our schedules.  So yoga it is.  And I could not be happier. I guess if there was one thing I would want to share with a new mother it would be the idea that self care is not selfish.  It seems obvious.  But to a new mother, it isn’t.  It just isn’t.

I’ll leave you with something my yoga teacher says at the end of class.  I wish you peace in your thoughts, peace in your words, and peace in your heart.  Until next time, be good to yourself, and remember, behind every great kid is a mom who is pretty sure she is messing it up.  Thanks for reading.  Namaste! Xo

Touching Hearts


“The passion of touch warms the heart.”

My yoga teacher said that last night in class and it stuck with me.  It made me think about how we, as humans, need to be touched.  It isn’t learned.  It is instinctual.  And it isn’t a sexual thing.  Sometimes we just need to be hugged, rubbed, or caressed.  Simple as that.

I see it with my little O. He can be playing, happy as a clam, and he will walk over to me, come in for a hug and then go about his business.  It’s like a vitamin for him.  I believe that I can’t hug and kiss him enough.  Especially at this age, when he still wants me to.  He needs it.  It’s clear.  It makes him happy and secure.

I don’t know if that need evaporates when we get older, but the context of touch certainly changes.  It becomes something we are super aware of.  If we mistakenly touch a stranger, we are embarrassed and apologetic.  We are taught that touch is something we only do with people we are close to…and then it changes to something romantic and becomes gender related.  Women can hug other women, or a man.   Men generally only hug women they are romantic with (or related to) and tend to shake the hand of another male.  Shaking the hand of someone, while technically touching, doesn’t quite have the warming effect a hug provides.  Do men really need less “contact” or is that just what society tells them?  Whatever the case is, physical contact, human to human is pretty limited these days.  It’s strange and sad, really.

When was the last time you hugged someone? I mean really hugged? Not a polite hug.  That, to me,  is a glorified handshake. It’s like the “air kiss.”  Pointless.   Well, not pointless, but you know what I mean.  I’m talking about a true full body, 4-8 second hug?  My Aunt Ellie always gave me great hugs.  She would say, “touching hearts” while we were in a full embrace.  She’s been gone almost five years now and I can still feel the warmth of her touch.  Granted, we were very close.  But I would venture to say she made many other people feel just as special as she always made me feel.  I’d like to be more like my Aunt Ellie.

I’d like to teach our little O the value of the human touch. I want him to know the power of a hug and the profound meaning a simple hand on one’s shoulder can have when someone needs support.  I’d like him to seek contact with people, rather than communicate via virtual means.  And yet again, the only thing I can do is be an example.  He will choose his own way doing what he is comfortable with.  I guess, as parents, our job is show him the possibilities.  Our house is a home of affection.  We not only shower O with hugs and kisses, but we are always showing each other affection.  Touch is good.  Touch is important.  It lets us know we are loved and alive.  That our life matters to someone else.  It makes us feel safe and secure.  What was that Diana Ross song? “Reach out and touch….somebody’s hand…make this world a better place…if you can.”  Totally throwback time and totally corny…but so true! In yoga class it was more hip…..but the sentiment remains.

So until next time, go on a mission to touch someone (and yourself, if the spirit moves you but THAT’S a whole other post) and remember, behind every great kid is a mom who is pretty sure she is screwing it up.  Namaste! Xo

Mommy vs Trump


As I look out the window, there are snow flurries falling. The existing snow is peaceful and reverent, reminding me that there are, indeed, four distinct beautiful seasons where we live. We are so fortunate. My bowl of wasabi peas and taro chips helps my mind crunch around today’s topic. I wanted to avoid being political. Lord knows, my husband wishes I would. Poor guy.  Invariably, our dinner conversation turns to the latest debate (or circus act) or, as of last night, primary results. I take in so much information every day and have no one but my 20 month old to discuss it with. So obviously, my husband walks through the door and is usually bombarded with my thoughts on the presidential race. Sexy, right?

Alas, I cannot abstain from a somewhat political post this week. Who am I kidding, it’s full on politico. It consumes my thoughts at the moment, and the best way to alleviate that is to write about it. So….warning: You may not agree with me. And that is fine. But I need to ask some serious questions of people. Because WHO becomes president of our United States DOES matter. Not just to us who are old enough to vote, but to our children and our grandchildren. It matters a great deal.

Yesterday, the state of New Hampshire gave the Republican primary win to the most severely unqualified (not to mention uncouth, and unkind) candidate on the ballot. Am I shocked? I suppose I am. Am I dismayed? Absolutely.  Am I sort of sickened? Well, yes, I am. What does this say about us as a country? I mean, holy cow, this is for REAL, people. What does it say to our children when the brash, bigoted, foul mouthed bully rises?

I make no secret that I consider myself a liberal democrat. But if I happened to be a republican, how could I vote for the likes of a Donald Trump? He isn’t really a republican. In fact, he is pretty much killing the party and everything being a true republican stood for. He, of course, wouldn’t know the difference, because he hasn’t educated himself with the history of the party, nor does he seem to care about it. But if you are a republican, how do you vote for a candidate with no content to his character and no actual plan to “make America great again” whatever that means? The demagogue/buffoon has no place as the leader of the free world. This isn’t for entertainment. It puts in jeopardy people’s lives and the credibility of our nation.

People want to blame President Obama for their hardships, but it’s those same American people who elected a Republican controlled Congress who would not work across the aisle. And they are angry? At what? Their lack of foresight? Did they not think this political gridlock would become the norm? It seems to me that Trump’s appeal is based on anger and fear. His entitled, thug-like bullish behavior somehow resonates in people who are seeking a quick fix to their problems but who don’t want to shoulder any responsibility or take any part in being part of the solution. In my opinion, Mr. Trump embodies everything dark and dirty in the cliche of the Ugly American.

You really failed, New Hampshire. I’m just grateful my O isn’t old enough to ask questions about this election. The election process was always something I was proud of, as an American.  I remember watching the inaugural ceremony when President Obama was sworn in the first time. I remember my father being so moved, he wept. I remember thinking, “Wow, we’ve come a long way!” I remember feeling proud to be an American. Not today, New Hampshire. Not today.

Until next time, when I swear I’ll talk about lotion making or fluff sandwiches, keep fighting the good fight, and remember, behind every great kid is a mom who is pretty sure she is screwing it up. Thanks for reading. Xo

Top 10 Occupational Hazards of a SAHM


I have been realizing more and more, there are several alarmingly real, and often truly gross, occupational hazards of being a Stay At Home Mom.  I am sure as my boy gets older, the list will evolve and grow, as he does.  But the list for the parent of a toddler is pretty robust, to say the least.  I have said it before and I’ll say it again, this is the toughest job in the world….and not for the faint of heart.  I’m sure everyone’s  list has variations…but here’s my top 10.

# 1.  You will get sick.  Be it the cold your LO got from this week’s play date or the stomach bug that flew through the entire story time group….you will come down with whatever your LO gets.  It’s just the way it goes.

# 2.  You will wear your toddler’s food on occasion.  Whether it splatters by mistake or your LO decides it would look better on your shirt than on his spoon…you will wear it.

# 3.  You will become disconnected from your friends without children.  It doesn’t mean it’s forever.  But it just happens.   When you find yourself with a free moment, you’ll realize that you couldn’t possibly call them right now, as it’s only 5 am where they live.

# 4.  You will be tired.  You will fall in love with bed.  Sleep becomes the highest priority after taking care of your LO.  You will dream of sleep while you are sleeping.

# 5.   You will get thrown up on.  It’s not pretty.  Nor does it smell nice.

# 6.   You will get poop on some part of you or your apparel. Whether it be a leaky diaper, or a diaper change gone wrong, it will happen.  If you are lucky enough to have a boy….you will, at least once, get pee in your face.  Again, not pretty nor fresh smelling.

# 7.   Your nice things will not remain nice.  Your brand new carpet will get soiled and your $4000 couch will become a Kleenex for your toddler’s runny nose.  It’s just stuff.  Get a good protection plan.

# 8.   Everything you say will be repeated.  Everything.  Choose your words carefully.  Oh, shit!

# 9.    You will feel like you are failing.  Often.  Rest assured,  if you care that you are, then you most likely are not.

#10.   You will not be prepared for the amount of love you possess for your child.  Nor will you imagine how it keeps growing exponentially.    It often takes your breath away.  Get an inhaler.

Until next time, keep smiling, keep fighting the good fight, and remember, behind every great kid is a mom who is pretty sure she is screwing it up.  Thanks for reading! Xo