May 6, 2010 at 11:11 pm 4 comments

Well I made it to another yoga class. (Yippee! Woo Hoo! Yay for me! ) But here’s the thing. I was a total asshole in order to get there.

The problem with liking something is that I want to do it again. And the problem with wanting to do this particular thing is that it happens at specific times. When I practice at home I can follow the flow of our day, slipping in some postures between rounds of egg-in-a-basket and dog walks. But I can’t just show up any old time I want when it comes to a class. Which, brings me to the asshole part.

In the thick of a truly wild and splendid play group I realized that if I were to make it to a five thirty class I’d have to round up my children and get going quick. Darn. One kid was gleefully sliding in wonderful sunshine and the other was tucked under a desk feverishly playing some sort of spy game, furtively writing in a notebook. Then I factored in the seven block walk home; a short distance, sure, but not when you factor in a toddler interested in walking, several hundred dandelions, and the beauty of the moment (meaning: there is no need to hurry in any way) philosophy of children. I was screwed.

But I wanted to go! I have a limited number of days left on my inherited yoga pass! I like it! So in the name of yoga I swam UPSTREAM. Not with the flow. Not with deep measured breaths but with a wrinkled pensive forehead and a barky tone. I hustled those kids out, I didn’t empathize, and I barely said goodbye to my dear friends. In fact, I live with Romy and although she was gearing up to depart as well I told her I couldn’t wait and barged off without her. Jeez! Then Xi, our six-year-old, wanted to wait for Romy and walk home in a group. She purposefully shuffled her feet an inch at a time so as to stall. At one point she stopped completely. But I argued, nonsensically, and basically bullied her into moving forward.

But it gets even worse.

Not even a block away from play group Echo quickly swerved off in a completely different direction than homeward and Xi, finally riding the scooter she had been dolefully dragging, swerved with her. I yelled for them to hurry and shouted commands for crossing the street. They eventually moved in my direction but Xi and the scooter veered into the cross street. My heart lurched for her safety and I felt mad. But looking back I think I was mad not because she had broken a rule or not paid close enough attention, I was mad because they just weren’t moving fast enough, efficiently enough and I was going to miss yoga class. In the moment I convinced myself that my feelings were about street safety and Xi’s carelessness, but even when I saw she was safe I didn’t send up a prayer of thanks. I didn’t smile as she whizzed up. Instead I chastised her, which she, understandably, wasn’t interested in hearing and tried to zoom onward. And even then I didn’t catch myself and dig out empathy for her. I didn’t wait to catch up with her and neutrally discuss sidewalk ramps and cross street traffic. Nope. I put the stroller in front of her scooter so that she would stop and hear what I had to say. And she crashed, a little. And was confused and needed consoling and wasn’t able to hear a word of what I had to say. I got zero satisfaction, didn’t make my point, and had confused and possibly even hurt someone I loved, all, supposedly, in the name of protecting her.

Total asshole.

By the time I had finished holding Xi and wiping her tears I had relaxed enough to stop looking at my watch. And I did make it to yoga and it was wonderful, but I thought of Xi and Echo during class a lot. The hurrying, the yelling, the crashing, what good is yoga class if that is who I turn into in order to get there? And who cares if Mom returns home centered and blissed-out. My children need that regardless of a class.

So, that’s my shame for the day.


Entry filed under: life lessons. Tags: , , .

beautiful place of the world 5 Things That Rocked Our Parenting World

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Annie  |  May 8, 2010 at 12:04 am

    . just try it again only differently. say you give yourself an hour to walk to class and an hour of class and an hour prep time for the girls in your head. it takes away your whole day, but one thing can do that when you have the whole day. i find myself most frantic on my days off of work as i think i have priorities and forget why i stay home some weekdays… for bird. maybe shame will only make it worse? give yourself a little empathy for frantically grabbing at something you wanted. an apology and explanation can go a long way.

  • 2. carrie  |  May 8, 2010 at 7:13 am

    I love mothering –but as soon as i try to throw something else into the mix then it gets tough.
    When i have these moments which i have many i get inspired to be more easful and present next time—however I am not perfect—neither are my kids and as they get older i see how important it is to be authentic .My desire to be perfect was and is not good for anyone
    i am inspired by your empathy and your awareness—-
    i am inspired by your going to yoga

  • 3. heidibuecking  |  May 8, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    thank you for your hilarious and refreshing honesty about your moments as a mom. wonderful to see you this week and i am sad i am not a permanent fixture at the playgroup….great group of mama’s and kiddos. please tell xi and echo i really, really enjoyed sharing a slice of their time.
    heidi xo

  • 4. Jessi  |  May 8, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    i believe that it is just as important for your children to see you be off your game (even sometimes in a major [though not harmful] way). This provides you and them the opportunity to learn and witness what to do when things go wrong, when you arn’t the best aspects of yourself, when you don’t have it together, even when you loose your cool. Though unpleasant to experience (on both ends) the ability to witness firsthand a “mistake” and the resulting growth/apology/make-up.

    Knowing how to admit to imperfection and apologize is priceless (and often hard to be comfortable with). I appreciate your awareness knowing that your girls will endlessly benefit from it, in times that you succeed as much as times when you ‘slip-up’. Keep up the fabulous work Natalie, you’re an inspiration to us all!


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