I got pulled out of yoga class for the first time yesterday because my 21-month-old daughter wouldn’t stop crying in child care. I think she just was in a “need Mommy” moment because she stopped the second she saw me.
With my daughter smiling in the backseat I drove home. I, however, cried the entire way. I’m not even entirely sure why. I know I was disappointed to miss what we’d been building up to in class. I also know that the underlying issue of missing my own mom/perfect sitter was present. (We just moved 2 hours away.) It could have just been hormonal too.
The thing is, I rarely cry. (My husband and I laugh unusually hard at the Arrested Development scenes where Lindsay tries to squeeze out a tear.) Still, while trying to understand my powerful emotional reaction to the situation I couldn’t help notice another underlying feeling—guilt.
Ah, guilt—the mother’s default setting. We try so hard to put our loved ones first, that our own needs come up short. So here was my “guilty” dilemma: was I selfishly putting my daughter in child care during yoga class to her detriment? The answer hit me like a ton of bricks: hell no!
My daughter is making friends in my awesome yoga studio’s child care. At an hour and a half long, it’s the perfect time for her to have away from me while getting to know the intricacies of social interaction. More importantly, I’m a better mom after class. My body feels better, and I need the time to breathe and be present with myself. Not ironically, a visualization of my little girl’s smile is often the intention I set during my practice.
Thinking of my daughter helps me hold chair pose for one breath longer. She gives me the courage to pick up my bottom arm during half moon. I soar in crow knowing that my strong center always comes back to her, to motherhood. The reality is that I go to class—and put her in child care—so that I can walk out a happier, better person for her for the rest of our day.
What it boils down to is this: the non-harming aspect of my yoga practice extends to me too. I deserve to have my daily needs met. I deserve to refrain from treating myself judgmentally. I also deserve to be treated kindly and with love—with the hope that this same self-love shows in everything else I do.
So yoga studios, take note: having trustworthy child care is a fantastic service to offer your students. This mom and baby, for one, can’t wait to give it another go on Monday—and hopefully no one will cry on the way home this time.