After a few months of being home with Noah, I desperately wanted to get back to teaching yoga. I thought that the faster I got back to teaching, the faster I’d start to feel like my old self again. Being a new mom really threw me for a loop. Teaching and working is something I understood and could identify with—being a new mom was not. I am eternally grateful to my son for blessing our lives by choosing us as his parents and could not imagine life without him. In the beginning I grasped on tightly to my former, familiar, non-mom self even as our new life consumed our day-to-day. As soon as I was cleared for physical exercise, I lined up my schedule with classes and got back to work.
After a few months keeping up with the tedious pace of caring for a newborn, housekeeping, healing from my pregnancy and disrupted digestive issues, teaching classes and doing some part-time office work on the side, I started to fizzle out big time. Hubby and I argued more, I was constantly tired and I lacked enthusiasm for my work. No one was getting sleep and we were all an exhausted mess.
Finally, a good friend gave me sound advice to let go of all that I was taking on. She shared that the more space she created in her life, the happier she and her family were. At first, I really resisted the idea. With my personal finances out of control from the months spent down and out and unable to work, earning was all I could think about. Not only that, but I thought teaching was my connection back to “me.” What I failed to understand is that the old me I was trying to reach no longer existed. It was a hard reality to face. In my supermom frame of mind I forgot that in order to be a really good mom, loving wife and stellar human being, I needed take care of myself first.
Unfortunately, the new me had a whole new set of rules to follow. In order to figure those new rules out, I had to let go of my old way of doing things to make room for the new.
By the way, I don’t know who came up with the idea of the supermom (or super woman for that matter), but I think it’s a load of crap. I’d rather be a happy mom/person than a supermom/superwoman. I’m tired of the pressure to show off how much I can get done in one day and then beating myself up for taking a break when I so desperately need one. I see too many of my friends pushing themselves past the level of exhaustion to do and to achieve, not because they have to, but because they want to, because it makes them feel good. I do admire their strength and determination, but I sure as hell don’t envy the accumulation of stress and weariness I see as they live at the edge of their rope each day.
When I finally started letting go of those things I thought defined me: success, recognition, business, income, etc., I found a much easier pace with life. I gave up most of my classes and started to dig in to the real definition of me presently and in my new role. It hasn’t been easy, but it’s brought so much more balance and peace to our lives that I can’t imagine life the other way ever again.
The moral of the story is this: LESS REALLY IS SO MUCH MORE! Instead of signing up to a boatload of crap you don’t have time for, say no and focus your energy on the things and people you really love. Practice gratitude for what is present in your life, rather than trying to accumulate more. Why take on more when you can barely stay afloat with what you have on your plate? I believe we can all use a little more balance in our lives, but balance is hard to find when the weight of your to-do list is weighing you down. What’s holding you back from letting go? Is it all really necessary?
I know. I’m right there with you. This shit is scary. But believe me, the peace of mind you will attain is well worth the leap.