People often tell you the cliché “there’s no harder job than being a parent” when you’re pregnant. You smile and nod and think smugly, “I’ve had some pretty difficult jobs.” Then your baby is born. You are instantly and simultaneously both in love and in shock. “I am responsible for another human being!” went through my head many, many times as a new mom. The refrain was accompanied by the white noise of pure exhaustion and elation. So why do we yearn for this of most difficult jobs? I’ll give you five good reasons why being a mom is also the best job on the planet.
1. Love. People also tell you that you’ll never experience the kind of love towards another human being that you do as a parent to child. I concur. This alone is one good reason to take the plunge.
2. Learning. I was recently asked on an application for an amazing studio in my new area “who are my teachers and how have they influenced me?” I would have answered this completely differently had the question been posed to me only two years ago. I answered my daughter. As a yogi, she is a constant reminder of how and why to live my yoga. Yoga is so much more than an hour on my mat. I’ll work for the rest of my life to have the serenity, kindness and grace that my daughter already has right now in her early years.
3. Challenge. Here’s another saying for you, “what doesn’t break you makes you stronger.” Another annoyingly true statement. Obstacles and difficulty in life are what make us the people that we are. For me, that’s when I need my yoga practice most. It’s when I grow and shape myself into a better person because of—rather than in spite of—what I go through, and trust me, if you’re a parent you will encounter challenges.
4. Simple things. No one knows how to appreciate the simple joys in life better than a child. My daughter is the happiest, most curious person that I know. She reminds me to laugh at a funny noise, to look in someone’s eyes when you smile at them, to love like you don’t understand pain and to just plain enjoy the beauty of the world around. Do we need a reason five?
5. Respect for my mom. With Mother’s Day right around the corner, I’m feeling thankful for my own mom. I’m blessed with a mom who’s now a best friend, someone I truly enjoy being around and trust completely with my daughter. I know I’m lucky. However, I’m also reminded of what a pain in the rear I was when I was younger. I have such respect for her juggling family, career and personal interests as well as friendships in a way that I never could comprehend before I had my daughter.
Being a mom sometimes makes me want to tear my hair out and run screaming out of my house, but—and a big but—it’s worth it. It’s worth it, because in many ways I’m getting to be a child all over again myself. I’m certainly my daughter’s student more than she is mine. While I can’t wait for her to be old enough to get into the physical practice of yoga with me, I’m learning so much right now about staying in the present moment and living basic yogic beliefs like kindness and truth. Thank you, Gemma, and thank you, Mom. Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms out there.