Mamas, who else feels they need to be a supermom? Where does this come from? Why do we feel that asking for help is a weakness? I really enjoyed a post I read recently by a fellow mom, who's passion is to share experiences and help others know they are not alone in their struggles. With permission, I share with you Karri-ann's real and raw talk with moms.
"It's okay if the only thing you did today was breathe.
I am not sure where the pressure comes from to be productive. Is it something we are taught from a young age? And if so, by who? Family? Parents? Society? Friends? Teachers? Movies? Is it something we think we need to do when we become adults?
I am not sure where it started for me. But I do know somewhere along the way I have internalized this obsessive need to prove my worth every day.
If I just do this and this and this and this, then I can do...this?
Then I have justified my existence. But if I don't do these things, then what?
If I just move something in my house to a different spot in my house. If I just make a phone call. If I make a batch of cookies. If I pay a bill. Then my life makes sense.
Why is that? Why can't I just stare out the window for hours and hours? Does that make me a bad human?
Can't I just ignore my kid's' millionth request for a snack and make them figure it out for themselves? Does that make me a bad mom?
Really, I just want to sit here and breathe. It is all I can do some days.
Some days, I am on fire. Bathrooms cleaned by 9 am. Emails and texts replied to within minutes of receiving them. Beds made. Books read. Dishes done.
And then there are days when I can't do anything other than the bare basic necessities. Like make myself a cup of coffee and make a box of pasta for my kids for lunch.
Those days I just crawl into myself and find peace and rest where I can.
I am learning to trust myself, to be kind and gentle. I roll with the energy when I have it. I am grateful for it. I make the most of it.
And then I am learning to be loving towards myself when it feels like the only thing I can do that day, is breathe."
~ Karri-ann Flater
Art by @moms_vip_club
A few weeks ago I received a comment that cracked me up. It hasn't been the first comment like this but it made me want to write about it. The comment was something along the lines of "yogis just sip tea and do yoga". Well let me tell you, that's not all we do. When I first became a yoga teacher in 2010, I did have the belief that I now had to be "pure" so to speak. I had to be that image of a zen yogi wearing all white on a beach in a yoga pose that most can't do. Believing that I should only have good thoughts, not yell, eat only "good" foods. I'm not sure why or how I came to believe this. I think partly, it is how yoga is seen. By believing this, I was not being true to myself. I was only choosing the "light side" of the polarity. When the day came that I realized I was not being myself, that there is no yoga pedestal and it was okay to be myself (flaws and all) boy did it feel good to stop pretending and be who I am. I am a yogi, I drink tea, I'm kind, I love, but I'm human. I swear, I fail, I lose my patience, I have a beer or glass of wine once in awhile, I yell, I allow the darker emotions to surface, I like to eat chocolate, fries, meat once in awhile, and I feel okay saying that I can't currently do half of the hand balancing poses. This is me. I accept me. The light and the dark.
This raw mom moment is brought to you by one of my dear friends.
"As my kids get older, I feel I have a lot more of those "mom fail" moments. I see how they leave the more dependent stages in their lives and become more independent from my self and my husband. One thing we talk a lot about is kindness and always standing up for yourself and others. I hope they can be caring and kind adults one day. But some days you wondering if I am doing a good enough job. I watch my kids do wonderful kind things all the time and my heart is full!
But then there are moments, where I watch my three children, ages 11, 7 and 4 and how they treat each other sometimes. They can fight like cats and dogs and say the most horrible things to each other. My youngest loves to sing and sing loud and repeat lines over and over again, as most 4 year olds. My 7 year old gets so annoyed with her and lately likes to say things like, "I wish you weren't born!" or "I wish someone would come and kill you!" To me, these words are like knives in my heart and I wonder if I get through to her when I tell her how awful these words are and how she would really feel if her sister was gone forever.
I remind myself that I have siblings that I fought with too. I just hope one day these sibling will appreciate each other and not take for granted this life they are given. It is an ongoing struggle to keep the siblings for strangling each other! But then there are moments that they take my breath away. I know deep down they will always love each other, but hope they will grow up kind!"
Do you ask yourself the same question? "Am I doing a good job raising my kids?", "Am I doing a good job period"? I know I have. All we want is for our children to grow up to be good people. Parenting is tough and I think we have all had those doubts.
When that "negative Nelly" or what my friend Danielle calls "the itty bitty shitty committee" comes a knocking and try's to tell you that you're not good enough or not doing a good job, feel her and then take her down by taking a yin shape. Take a Supported Fish shape to open up your heart. Allow that love energy to flow within you and allow that negative talk to dissipate.
A mamas yin practice: Place a bolster, rolled up blanket or block directly under your shoulders and another prop under your head if needed. Lie back ensuring that your shoulders and chest are open and you feel supported. Find a comfortable position for your arms. Relax your legs—knees can be bent or straight. Find your shape, feel and breathe. Hold for 3-5 minutes. Longer if you like.
This one will make your scalp crawl...
My husband and I noticed that during the night (we co-sleep) our daughter was itching her head a lot. She had a history of minor eczema so I didn't worry to much about it. After the third night I thought that I better take her in, in case she had a rash. The day I was taking her to the doctor, I placed a barrette in her hair. As I moved her hair, I noticed a bug and then another. I tried to keep my cool but was panicking inside. She had lice!! "F**k" I whispered under my breath a few times. I was about 7 months pregnant at the time. So a little emotional. I called my mom crying and panicked. "What do I do, mom?" With her calm reassuring voice, she tells me to go get the shampoo and start washing everything, place things in the freezer that can't be washed and vacuum. So off we went to the pharmacy to pick out that shampoo you use (that's some what safe). I got us home and started to scrub my daughters head like you wouldn't believe. Watching these bugs fall into the water of the tub. I scrubbed and I combed and I combed. When my husband got home he treated his head as well.
I was a little hesitant using the shampoo on myself although the pharmacist did say it would be okay to use when pregnant so instead I decided to cover my head with coconut oil and saran wrap my head for the night. Then there was the cleaning. Sheets after sheets, clothes, stuffies, cushions and pillows in the deep freeze and vacuuming EVERYTHING. I also needed to make that embarrassing call to the day home and to friends. I had thoughts of "There going to think we're dirty". We were all good until about a week later when I started to feel things moving on my head. But I kept thinking it was just in my head. You know how your head feels right now like it's crawling? I was combing my hair daily after we knew about the lice to ensure nothing was in there. And nothing would come out, until one day I noticed the tiniest bug with his legs just a moving in the comb. "F**k" came out of my mouth several more times and tears began to pour out of my eyes as I thought about all the shit I would need to clean. I ended up treating my hair and my husband and I tackled the laundry and the vacuuming. Finally, they were gone. Please never again.
Have you had lice in your household? How did you deal with it?
A mamas yin practice. When your down to your shoulders in lice, take a shape. That's a yin shape. Try this shoulder stretch. This targets the inner lines of the arms and chest and great for the shoulders. Lay on your tummy with your right arm out to the side, palm facing down. With your left hand under your shoulder begin to roll to the left as far as you need to to feel those strong but not painful sensations. Hold for three to five minutes. Feel and breathe. Repeat on other arm. Remember it doesn't matter how you look. FEEL and your doing it!
I was made a mama on April 21, 2013 and then became mom to another beautiful baby on November 30, 2015. It has been the most amazing thing ever. I look at my little ones and happy cry because there is just no love like it. On the other hand parenting brings its challenges, chaos and teaches us so much about ourselves. I’ve learned that I am one strong mama bear, I need to do less controlling with certain situations and to use by breath and yoga practices when times get tough. I single parent most of the time as my hubby works away for 15, home for six. I do not resent him for this as he is supporting us and sacrificing his time away to support us. But this does not stop me from saying “holy shit, single parenting is not easy”. There are days I just want to cry because I’m so exhausted. And that’s healthy for me to say. I’m not going to pretend I’m super mom and everything is okay ALL the time. I think It’s healthy to say “I’m not okay”. It’s healthy to say to your kids and others “no we're not going out today because we’ve been running from four different events everyday all week and mommy just needs to put up her feet (or maybe have a glass of wine).
Chaotic moments don’t only happen to me. I’m sure most mamas out there can relate to this or have stories of their own. Right? That’s why I wanted to start a blog about the real, raw stuff that happens to moms. Sharing my stories as well as others. To know that we’re not alone. It’s okay for these things to happen and to be okay with talking about those uncomfortable, not so proud of moments. Come on, am I the only mom who has let their child watch those YouTube videos of opening up eggs just so I can have a nap?! Here is the first ‘Real and Raw Talk with Moms”. Submitted by my dear friend.
“I once went for a pee sample. I had my two boys with me 1.5 and 3 years. I decided this was totally doable so I went on a Tuesday forgetting that it was after a long weekend and I didn't make an appointment. I figured oh well it will only be an hour. I took my carrier and my iPad and thought I'm set. So we get there and they say it will be an hour and a bit wait. Okay I thought. I get there, register, sit down and give my three year old the iPad. Which within 5 min the batteries die. I'm trying to entertain while trying to get my one and a half year old to fall asleep in the carrier so I am bouncy and reading a book at the same time. Finally and I mean finally my little one falls asleep. Five minutes later I get a call to go do my test.They give me a styrofoam cup and I think, how am I going to pee and keep this sleeping kid in a carrier and prevent the other one from opening the door while my pants are down. I get pee in the cup and as I go to put the cup on the shelf my son opens the door. I say No. I realize I am still holding the cup and it breaks in half and most of the pee falls out onto my hand. I pull up my pants and casually ask the nurse with my small portion of cup left "Is this enough pee?" She looks at me and wonders what has happened. She accepts the cup and I get out of there as soon as I can. Mommy fail on so many levels."
What is your best mama pee story? Let's talk.
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A mamas yin practice. When the chaos gets to you, take a shape. That's a yin shape. Try this version of melting heart using a couch as your prop. This is a nice back bend for the upper and middle back that opens the shoulders and softens the heart. Areas where we carry a lot of tension. On your hands and knees, bring your elbows to the edge of a couch. Palms can touch above you or bring them closer to your back. You choose. As long as you can feel something. Allow your chest to drop towards the floor. Keep your hips above your knees. Hold for three to five minutes. Feel and breathe. Remember it doesn't matter how you look. FEEL and your doing it!