Becoming a mother has been quite a transformation for me. Physically, mentally, emotionally I am different. What I’ve realized over the last few weeks is that much of this change has been a process of letting go.
Once I discovered that I was pregnant (and got over the shock of that) I spent a lot of time reading books, making Pinterest boards, and talking to women about “What to Expect”. Because I knew very little about babies, a lot of the information was very helpful. However, once Brooklyn was born I realized that a lot of the things I had expected didn’t go according to plan. I remember the first thing I experienced this with – I had read that babies should nap during the day to insure that they also slept well at night. I remember one day when she was only a few weeks old where she didn’t nap all afternoon. I called my mom crying (I was very sleep-deprived) and telling her that I was worried that she wouldn’t sleep that night because she wasn’t napping. My mom calmed me down and explained quite logically that babies don’t read those advice books. They are all going to be a little different. It was a very obvious statement but I needed to hear it out loud to get it at that moment. I needed to let go of my expectations and just be present with my baby and her needs.
As a yoga teacher, I teach people to let go on a daily basis. I teach them to let go of an exhale, tension, negative thoughts, expectations of their physical practice. I guide them to be present and to observe how things can be different from day to day. I’ve learned this in my own practice. Ironically this is what I needed to be reminded of as a new mom.
There have been a lot of other things I’ve had to let go of since becoming a mom – My expectations for postpartum recovery, my clutter-free family room, my timeline for breastfeeding, and more. I’ve had to let go of judgments of myself and other moms. I’m learning to accept that things will not always (or often) go as planned. As it’s ok. I’m hoping to raise my daughter to be present and mindful if life. And that starts with me.
Photo by Meredith Black