FLEXIBILITY. The best laid parenting plans will not go exactly as you had hoped or envisioned. Your baby may insist on sucking his thumb when you hoped to introduce a pacifier. Your may have serious mastitis or your milk may not come in as you had hoped and you may not be able to breast feed. Your sleeping plans for the child may fail and you will have them sleeping beside your bed for much longer than you originally planned. Your perfect “birth plan” may end in an emergency C-section, but remember your world will not end–instead a precious new life WILL begin.
It is not all our fault…the whole planning and prep for a baby can be misleading. We have had some semblance of control for the first 9 months as the little one has been perfectly protected and cradled by our care. No doubt our best laid plans are woven with a thread angling toward perfection because we have SUCH beautiful hearts and want to be great moms. I get it. Our rigidity most often comes from a place of love and motherly protection–this is to be respected. To protect our sanity though–we must realize that things will not always be ideal. The first step in being flexible is to recognize we aren’t perfect and never will be. There are going to be bobbles and blunders and things that we hoped would work that don’t. The best news I can relay is that kids are super resilient.
My mommy flexibility thoughts come with a confession. I missed it the first go around. I had everything planned perfectly and written out (in my mind and probably on paper) of how I hoped that baby #1 would be. How she would eat, sleep, walk, talk, potty train. How I would balance work and a little one. How I would cook, clean, and shower every day. I had ideas of how I would discipline and structure their world. I spent 9 months researching and interviewing every great mom I knew. The most thoughtful researched, prayed over plans. Then I woke up one more morning and had 2 little ones under the age 2. One was an 18 month old with a strong will and in to everything, and a 4 week old with a dairy allergy that caused him to scream in pain after every feeding. I also had a terminally ill mother in law in another state, and I am pretty sure I had an ulcer. And all of my perfect parenting thoughts and dreams went out the window and we have been pretty much been forced to do yoga for the soul ever since. (Here’s the truth…I honestly think I am better for it.)
Did my children incur permanent damage from watching far more TV than I ever planned starting as early as 18 months? Did they survive living in a non-baby proof home? Did attachment and other issues surface from traveling back and forth from DC to NC every weekend for months on end? Did my switching to soy formula after 2 short months instead of breast feeding cause long term issues? No, but I can still hear the voices of “
helpful” folks trying to tell me how I needed to handle those crisis moments and still parent by the book. I lived the first few years of my children’s infancy and toddler years believing I was a bad mom. I couldn’t keep the house clean or the children’s faces wiped never mind be the ideal mom that the world told me I should be. Or that I obviously wanted to be.
Once out of the womb each little one is as unique as our thumbprint. Even your mom, who raised 5 great kids, and is the expert on sleep or feeding issues may not actually be able to offer insight in to your little one’s world or issues. There is room for growth and grace. Your favorite author that seemed so wise and helpful pre-baby has now become an unhealthy voice in your head scrutinizing your parenting moments. Or the parenting book that boasts a tear free baby in 3 easy steps and your bundle is not following the program. Each precious little one comes in to the world a little different and as a mom the more flexible we can be the better. Sometimes the voices are of neighbors or sisters or mother in laws or sometimes it the our own voice that is our toughest critic. You have done a great job thinking about, preparing, and praying for their little life before they were even out of the womb. Your little one will benefit MOST from your surrendered prayers and gentle hands held loosely as you carry him or her through life.
Yoga is a beautiful thing. I have seen the most inflexible soul turn in to a bendy Wendy over time. Give yourself lots of time and grace. The books and mentors and friends who have gone before offer a loose outline, but the more that you are open to being flexible the better it will be for your heart and soul.
So here’s to you my little yogini momma. Breathe. Say a prayer of surrender. Channel your most flexible mindset. And remember dear one, you are a great mom!
May You Be a Blessing and May You Be Blessed,