This morning I had the pleasure of teaching a mom & baby yoga class.
I’ll be completely honest with you though, and you may be surprised by my honesty.
I’m not teaching this class because I love it. In fact, I think teaching a mom & baby yoga class is one of the most difficult classes to teach.
It is no secret that I love yoga. I love moms, I love babies, however being in a room trying to get your Zen on while listening to babies cry is not usually one’s idea of a relaxing good time.
On the bright side?
There are a few very good reasons for me to get new moms together for a yoga class or a new mommy meetup.
The first reason, being a completely selfish one. I teach these moms postnatal yoga simply because I miss being around them as I had throughout their pregnancies, and want to see what their babies are like now that they are earth side.
Second, I love the idea that I am helping to create a community of moms who can share their ugly truths and less-than-amazing motherhood moments without feeling like they might be judged. This is a judgment-free zone.
Lastly, there are always at least a few moms who really hurting inside. Whether they are feeling the effects of postpartum depression, or are just having a really hard time dealing with their new reality, they need someone to tell them it’s going to be okay.
The moms I bring together in my mom & baby yoga classes usually refrain from opening up until I start asking questions about how their feedings are going or whether or not their babies are sleeping at night. Sometimes, it’s about dealing with their baby crying incessantly or the fact that their body is not going back to it’s pre-pregnancy state quite as quickly as they’d hoped.
Sometimes, they are having issues with their partners or their families.
Whatever the reasons are, I want these amazing women to know they can share with me honestly without fear of being judged by the group we’ve brought together.
We deal with way too many expectations from the outside world, and even worse, from within. Our self-judgment doesn’t tend to do us any favors once we are placed in the role of not only caring for ourselves, but a new human life as well. Sometimes, when we share, we are surprised to find that the person in front of us doesn’t judge us as much as we judge ourselves, and many times, if that person is a mom herself she most likely feels the same way.
I would love for all women to find a good postnatal yoga class or mom & baby class, or really just any opportunity to connect with other new moms. If this is not an available option in your area, join a Facebook mommy group or look for a new mom to befriend and meet for coffee or a walk. Find the women who have “been there” and who can commiserate with you and lift you up. These women will inevitably become your village – and as mommies, we all need our village.
This morning, in the mom & baby class I led, I witnessed comradery. I witnessed moms “come clean” about their wants and needs. I witnessed tears and then I witnessed smiles. I saw moms supporting each other with the most intense love and respect. And all, with beautiful acceptance.
I was so proud to be a part of their group. Proud to be a mom, a woman, a human!
Disclaimer: If you are experiencing feelings or thoughts that you think may be Postpartum Depression or Anxiety, please seek medical care immediately.