I never realized how much time I had on my hands before becoming a mom. I had days where I could lay around in bed till noon, read a book all day long, take a nap, do a yoga workshop, maybe have a spa day or just lay out in the sun, blissfully unaware of the time that was passing by.
Now, as a mother, it seems as though sometimes I am grasping for just a few more seconds to get things done. Days fly by in a whirlwind of playtime, feedings, diapers, naps, water play, working, cleaning, walking the dog, and all of a sudden I look at the clock and it’s 7:00pm and I am dumbstruck that the day is over.
In the beginning I felt that it was impossible to manage everything – let alone find some time for my yoga practice. But overtime I began to find a few ways that I was able to squeeze in a few more of the things I loved to do for myself throughout the day.
Change your Mindset
Once I was able to realize that “me time” didn’t just have to be “me by myself time” I was able to fit in a lot more! My yoga practice didn’t have to be 60 minutes and I didn’t have to meditate by myself in complete silence. These were “rules” that I had created around my practice. But once I was able to change my way of thinking about my practice and how it was “supposed to be” I was able to find different ways of incorporating it throughout my day.
The beautiful thing about yoga is that even if you are only doing 5 minutes – movement, breathing, meditation – it works! You will get the benefits! And I have realized that 2 minutes of breathing with awareness as I rock Leo to sleep is helping me way more than when I was stressed out about not completing my 60 minute yoga practice.
Stack Activities Together
I also began to understand that only doing “my things” during nap time wasn’t feasible I had to get a little creative. I began doing my breathing exercises while feeding my son before his nap (instead of looking at my phone). I read to him whatever book I am reading for 20 minutes per day while he plays. I do some simple yoga poses throughout the day while he plays, or maybe a quick 15 minute sequence after he goes down for a nap.
If children are older you can incorporate a short prayer or giving gratitude before having meal to bring a little mindfulness to the table. Maybe you can make an edible face mask with yogurt or carrots and have a “spa day” together. By doing more of “my” activities with my son I’ve realized that it has made me feel even more connected with him – because I get to share a part of me, of my passions, of my life with him.
There was a time when I was really struggling just to get through the day. The overwhelm of what needed to be done, what I still needed to do, left me multitasking – but in all of the wrong ways. I would be sitting with my son in his playpen but instead of “being” with him I was researching on my phone about how to create a website, or trying to post on Instagram; not giving my full attention to either and me constantly feeling like I was half-assing both my work and being a mom.
So I decided that if I was going to do something it needed to be with intention and awareness – and this has been the game-changer! I’ve connected so much more with my son. I’ve become more productive at work. I’m gaining more awareness about myself through my yoga practice. And most importantly I can now prioritize and find the right balance between what I need, what my family needs, what my work needs and what can really wait until the next day (or next week) to be done.
When we aren’t present – we miss it! That moment is gone. And this moment, right here, is really all that we have. And when we become a mother I know it feels like time is slipping away, running away from us, but sometimes we just really need to slow down, take a breath and simply be. Yoga helps us do this – it helps us tap into what we need, to how we feel and it teaches us how to live life in the present moment, giving us the gift of time.