“Mummy. Your bum…” says Molly as she comes up behind me and places her hands on my hips. “It’s soooo big.” In despair, I turn to the husband. “Don’t worry about it,” he says, patting the derriere in question. “After all, you are nearly 8 months pregnant, it’s bound to be a little bigger.” Not exactly the reassurance I was looking for. Sigh. It has been one of those weeks.
Yes, it hasn’t been the most yogic of weeks. It has been a week in which Molly dropped the ‘F’ bomb. Twice. I’d like to say she learned the expletive from some unsavoury child at nursery, but instead I have to take full responsibility, having uttered it myself on at least three occasions that I can recall. Personally, I blame the raging hormones of the third trimester for making my fuse a little shorter.
Yes, it has been one of those weeks. A week where patience has been in even shorter supply. I always remember my mum saying: “Patience is a virtue, possess it if you can. Seldom in a woman and never in a man.” Well, now I realise the last part of that should read: “…never in a pregnant woman.” From getting my daughter ready in the morning to despairing over her lack of broccoli consumption, patience has definitely not been my strongest virtue!
It has also been one of those weeks where thoughts of the future have bombarded me, probing whether or not I will have the ability to cope with what it will bring. Can you roll with the sleep depravation all over again? Are you ready for that first contraction? Will you be able to handle a feisty toddler as well as a helpless newborn? And most of all, will you be better at it the second time around?
In truth, it has been a week in which I’ve felt a little unzipped. Like the pressure gauge might suddenly hit melting point. While I realise that so much of this pressure is self-inflicted, it can be a vicious cycle. From the pressure we place on ourselves to be the best – whether it is perfecting a yoga pose, having a better body, eating a healthier diet or being a model parent.
With all these self-imposed stresses, it is no wonder we often teeter close to the edge. That very pressure also often turns to guilt – for not spending ‘enough’ time on our mats, for wanting to escape parenting for a bit more ‘me’ time, for feeding our children fish fingers for the third time in a week. Yes, life is full of moments that make us feel like the thread we are hanging by is slowly unravelling!
This week the little time I’ve spent on my mat has really tested this theory. With my 34-week pregnant body even larger, more cumbersome and less energetic than ever before, I’ve struggled with an ego that tells me I should be doing more. An ego that reminds me of what I could once achieve. More than ever before, it has been a practice of acceptance, of showing up for the present, no matter how raw things feel.
Yes, sometimes all it takes is a simple moment of quietly turning inwards to be able to short circuit a negative cycle. A few deep breaths to realise that patience begins right here with us. So here’s to cutting ourselves some slack, with a few extra smiles and laughter thrown in at the craziness of this whole journey. Yes, that – and not perfection – is my goal for the coming weeks. Are you in?
If life was easy, where would all the adventures be?