Sunday, April 5, 2009


It’s always a delight when Lucas sleeps in. Is that a terrible thing for a mother to say? I don’t care. I’m starting to let go of the idea that mothers can't have one negative thought about their children. I'm slowly figuring out that it is the institution of motherhood that has set up these ridiculous expectations of mothers. I'm finally deciding to try and make peace with who I am, which is much more than "just" a mother. Ha, take that, Patriarchy!

I wake up, read a little, put on some tea. Still no squeaks coming through the monitor, I pull out my yoga mat, do my newly acquired sun salutations. Besides my cats head-butting me while I’m in downward-dog, I’m enjoying the peace. I move into triangle pose, side stretch, proud warrior. Something about proud warrior is strongly connected to my motherhood. Something about the fact I never considered myself a warrior until I became a mother.

Because as a mother, I am always fighting. Fighting for time, for money, for my own sanity. Fighting over bedtime, tooth-brushing, and no more cookies. Fighting what society says a mother should do or be, fighting my own internal acceptance of those ideas. Fighting my guilt and my ambitions, the guilt people say I shouldn’t put on myself, and the ambitions people whisper I shouldn’t have. Fighting the idea we can find balance in any of this.

I hold proud warrior longer than I have before, thinking about this. It’s still hardly any time compared to what they make you do in the DVD or in classes. But this time I’m learning yoga, I’m taking it slow. I’m staying true to myself, listening to my body, and only doing what feels right. I’m resisting going to classes and having anyone tell me what to do. I think maybe I am applying this philosophy to motherhood too.

Lucas’ door opens and I hear a cheery, “Hi Mamma”! It’s my inclination to run to him, hug him, change him, fulfill his needs. But my newfound peace reminds me that’s not always necessary. I return to mountain pose, put my hands together and say Namaste. “Can you wait a minute while Mamma finishes yoga?” I ask him. “Mamma yoga” he says, and runs into his room to grab his stuffed animals. When I finish taking my moment, I go to him, and he kindly gives me one of his cows, so we can start our day together.

Later, I look up exactly what Namaste means. “The light within me honors the light within you.” In yoga class, it is what the instructor and students say to each other. I think maybe it's not too far a stretch for mother and son to say to each other too.


Christie said...

Love this Liesl.

Namaste :)

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