As a parent, I am continuously confronted with challenges. The decisions I make as a parent seem so BIG. They seem so definite and so important. I mean, for some reason, someone thought I could be responsible for these two little munchkins! I really have to get this one right!

For those of you just tuning in, I had my second beautiful son about 3 months ago. The first 3 months always present new challenges as you are both getting to know each other. It is like a fitting in period between mom, baby and family. While my little John-John is a very easy-going yoga baby, we did have a “moment” around 2 weeks. He had dropped weight right after birth- which was normal; but he took immediately to breastfeeding and was doing great. I felt none of the anxiety or worry I did with my first son. I knew what I was doing this time and things were going great.

About 1 ½ weeks after birth, he still hadn’t gained his birth weight back, but since he was nursing so well, there were no red flags or worries yet. Just about the time my body was fully ready for this nursing journey, little baby John decided to refuse to nurse. He would cry out of hunger and then refuse to eat. I tried everything I could think of, but was at a loss. With all the post-pregnancy hormones and the fear that I could not provide for my baby, I started to lose it! Luckily, the lovely women at CMC-Northeast’s lactation center calmed my nerves and helped me through those hard couple days.

I left the lactation consultants with some new tricks up my sleeve and a little more confidence. With the assurance that John was going to be okay, I gave myself permission to relax. I took a step back, got a little space from the situation, and meditated. The idea that popped into my head was one that is repeated in yoga all the time. I told myself all I could do was show up. The next time John woke up to eat and started crying, I calmly got comfortable in the chair, did my best to make him comfortable, and then just took a breath. I stayed in the moment. I stayed calm. I stayed present. While he cried and rebelled, I just showed up. It still wasn’t a miraculous recovery back to easy nursing. It took a few days, but by staying present, I stayed sane. I let go of what had happened the past couple days. I let go of the idea that I could control or make anything happen. In one big word, I surrendered.

I know that as a parent all I can do each day is show up. That is all I can ask of myself. I have surrendered to the process. I continuously remind myself to find patience in the present. And, I don’t mean just physically being at the house. I mean 100% mind, body, and soul present for my children and my family. I can’t let my mind wander to a place of fear or anger or the past. I can’t spend time with my 4 year old if I am checking my email, writing a shopping list, and thinking about all the other things I have to do. I cannot constructively and effectively teach my children if I hold on to things I have done wrong in the past. I cannot teach them how to love if I don’t give from my heart each day. I have to show up for them every day, and I will not fail. When I show up as a parent, I can see how I shine on the faces of my children.

Every time we step on the mat, we show up for something a little bigger than we may even understand. Every time we step on our mats, we are giving ourselves the opportunity to practice presence and patience. We are giving ourselves the opportunity to shine.

~Jessica

 “…most of success is really about showing up…So, come into the moment, let go of the past, free your body, free your mind, free your heart – and allow grace to happen.”

-Rolf Gates, Meditations from the Mat

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