#Momlife. I’m writing this while my two boys are playing in the kiddie pool, or more accurately playing around the pool. The younger one is putting pea gravel on the older one, the older one is squawking and then running away to water the small patch of flowers for the 10th time and I am simply feeling thankful that I’ve made it this far. This far in the day. This far in the year. This far in the week (it’s Saturday!!!). But mostly this far in my youngest’s life.
Every developmental milestone with my second has felt like a miracle. Not because he was born unhealthy. Simply because it meant that time was, in reality, progressing. Each new activity signified a step away from my own sleep deprivation, my own hormonal rollercoaster ride, the putting aside of my own needs and desires. My second child brought me face-to-face with my own demons, in particular my oversized and completely unrealistic idea of the perfect mom I should be (I dive into that in this blog post). With my first I felt excited and empowered by the new role of mom. Things weren’t a walk in the park, but the challenges of being a new mom in a new body with a new role in the world were surmountable and often fun. But by week 20 in my second pregnancy I knew something was amiss, with me.
As a yoga teacher and someone with a regular meditation practice I have developed a crucial skill for mental health stability- noticing. I might not always listen to the cues, but I’ve trained my “ear” to notice the when things are off for me. I noticed that I was staying up later and later each night, despite being tired. I noticed that my perception of being judged by others was ticking higher and higher. I noticed that it was getting harder and harder for me to come up with ideas for yoga classes because I was losing interest in something that is a key part of my self. So one day I said it out loud to my husband. “I don’t think the tools are working right now- I feel depressed.” In a way it was a relief to just say it out loud. In another sense it was terrifying, because I knew some hard work was ahead of me. Going to yoga classes and not just teaching them. Seeing a therapist. Trusting other people to watch my son so I could work on getting back to s stable place. Telling people I felt safe with about how I was feeling. All harder to do than sinking deeper into depression.
I am now 2 years postpartum, and about 2.5 years since the day when I broke my silence about how rough things had become. It is hard, hard work having a newborn. It is hard, hard work having two kids just 2 years apart. But everyday with my two boys has brought me closer to this moment. Sitting back, typing, no one crying, no one nursing, not checking my phone frantically to see how soon my husband would be home to relieve me. Just two boys and their mama enjoying spending time together on a sunny afternoon.
If you are struggling with feeling of depression or anxiety and are a mom I invite you to learn more about how yoga can help you notice, release and build your reserves for emotional stability at my upcoming workshop on June 8th from 10am to 12pm- Yoga for Moms: Anxiety and Depression. I am very excited to be teaming up with Jill and Cara of Movement Duets, using their new studio space in Salem.
Also, some great online and local resources: