As a parent of three children our house is usually... um... chaotic, busy, loud, creative, messy, fun and crazy, did I mention loud. As one can imagine as a yoga teacher and practitioner this is very different from the true nature that I hold dear. My dream day would be spent waking up early to birds chirping, sun over head and nice yoga asana practice, a lovely meditation then breakfast and curling up with a good book. My reality is very far from this.
Yesterday was a very hard day. Aside from my own three children I care for two toddlers. In addition to this my two older children almost always have a friend or two over to play. Our home is a bit of a revolving door and I welcome each guest into our home as if it were there own. However yesterday I did not feel this way. One of the toddler that I care for was having a hard day of his own. I always say that if you want to see violence in action watch a couple of toddlers having it out. They are ruthless and yesterday was no exception. I am going to say he spent most of the day in time out for hitting, pushing, kicking and yelling at the other children. He ate almost none of his lunch, in fact he threw most of it on the floor along with his milk and then barely slept. My own three year old (she'll be three in a week) was also having a day of whining and tugging and a lot of mommy mommy mommy. By the end of the day I had had enough.
This post is about being normal. I am tired of asking people how they are and hearing that they are fine or telling my friends I am fine when really I am so far from it. The thing is that yesterday was a typical day for us. Not much was different. Maybe a bit of extra whining and maybe I didn't get as much sleep the night before as I usually do and maybe there are some other things going on with me that I am trying to work through. But it was a typical day. I got creative with how I handled it. This was not so typical.
I eat a lot of healthy food. This is by choice and I enjoy it. My body feels like crap when I eat junk food and it makes sense but yesterday I needed it. When my husband got home I grabbed the bag of BBQ potato chips that he brought home from the store and took them outside. I sat in my car and munched. I could hear one of my kids crying for me at the door but I had to ignore it. I just sat and people watched. I saw my neighbors coming home from work, people walking their dogs, families out for a before dinner stroll. I did this and ate my potato chips. It was the silence that I craved. The silence that I get when I am underwater or in the shower. Nothing but the noises in my head - they were screaming "why didn't you bring they keys". I should have went for a drive. But no I just sat. When I finally emerged, half a bag of potato chips later I felt a little better but still drained. I fed my children and went up to my bedroom and locked the door. I cried. I think I cried until I was dry. I couldn't even really figure out why I was doing it? I just needed to be done. I don't usually cry, I hate crying in front of people and yet it still feels weird to do it alone. I could hear the hustle and bustle of the family in the house and I ignored it. I needed to do this for me. I needed to do this in order to have a better day tomorrow.
You know what it worked. I finished my alone time. Came back to reality. Went out taught an amazing yoga class. When I woke up this morning to a brand new day all seemed better in the world. I feel better able to handle the violence that is the nature of toddlers and I am not cringing every time my daughter calls "mommy". So the next time you say "I'm fine" when you are not - don't bottle it up - do something about it. Sit in your car or in your room and check in with your feelings. Let them out - you will feel better. I
Jennifer is an RMT, long time yoga practitioner and teacher. Follow her musings as an RMT, yoga teacher, prenatal educator and mother of three.