Balanced Mom or how to relax with a toddler
Who said motherhood is easy-going?
Or better said, it isn’t always!
I was practicing Yoga before pregnancy, almost until the very end of my pregnancy and I started about six weeks after birth again to roll out my mat and loved it but what happened then?
My baby started to move around. I think that was the point when I began to let go.
You prepare the place and it looks so inviting and before you start he wakes up after a 5 minutes nap that should have been a 2 hour nap.
And for sure you want your baby to grow and move and explore the world but not just at that moment when you are on your mat.
But that’s life – babies don’t care at all what you want and it is their right!
I’m always saying myself that I wanted him so much and that he deserves my attention. Life without him is unimaginable so what am I complaining about? But still, there’s a tiny voice inside of me saying that I deserve also some time for myself so I just started to check where to find this time because my yoga mat was invaded now by a toddler.
In general letting go is something wonderful, letting go old nasty habits, letting go people who stress you, letting go old wounds, letting go bad memories BUT why should I let go my personal realm?
I didn’t want to let it go, it just happened and I was too weak to scream STAY.
There were these endless nights of no sleep and days without one free arm, hours and hours of carrying a baby followed by hours and hours of breastfeeding. And then you see these super-fit moms on Instagram who breastfeed their babies while being in a state of complete relaxation while standing upside down – yes, this is what I needed to be more frustrated even.
I love Jen Pastiloff’s No Bullshit Motherhood because that’s the truth!
We struggle more often than you can even imagine and all of a sudden the baby is asleep and then we worry if he or she is fine instead of using the time to relax, we think we need to be perfect but hey – we DON’T NEED to be perfect – we need to survive this crazy journey of being a mom to be there as we promised our babies in the very first second after birth.
“I’ll be there for you until the end of my life and beyond, my love for you will never die!”
My son is now 14 months and have no idea where all this love is coming from but I love him more each day although I thought it cannot be bigger than when we first met. BUT I am also tired on some days and stressed on others and sometimes both.
My Yoga practice is, let me call it, slightly irregular but I found out that I need less time to relax than before I was a mom. Less time because I know that I need to grab every second as this will be better than nothing so I relax while folding clothes, I relax while having a shower, I relax while being out for a walk when he sleeps, I relax these 5 minutes on the playground when he’s happily eating the sand again (it will improve his immune system, that’s what I tell myself because I cannot stop him anyway).
Today I had really time for yoga, my husband and my son had an afternoon nap and finally I rolled out my mat (to realize that I’m stiff like a wooden stick but who cares) and yes, it felt so so so good.
But more often the truth is that I try to squeeze in 5 minutes with a messy bun on my head just to have the feeling I haven’t lost my yoga at all.
I know that this is just a phase and that things change, until then I will embrace this motherhood exactly the way it is! Mostly the best ever and sometimes just beyond my strengths.
Stay strong dear moms out there because you know what – WE ROCK (no men can even imagine what we are capable of and we should be proud of ourselves!)
Standing on the mat for a few deep breaths is sometimes all we manage but that’s fine because we feel alive and know that one day these few deep breaths are just the start of a whole new yoga practice because our children grew up and we miss them on our mats so deeply.
I am thankful that I am experiencing all of this, even if it’s not easy from time to time, I just see my son and know it all is so worth it and everything happens for a reason!
Namaste ॐ Yogamamas
Pregnant through the Tuscany – part V
The last stop is Verona and the lake Garda, we’ve been here before as well but both are worth a second and even a third, fourth and fifth visit if you ask me.
The hotel is at the lake and after we checked in we went to the pool to swim and relax a bit. In the early afternoon we got ready to drive to Verona (which is an around 30 km way).
There was so much traffic that we were wondering what’s going on in the city and we were already a bit scared that parking will be a nightmare but our hidden parking garage from our last visit seems to be an insider tip as it was almost empty.
Once there we found out that Aida would be played for the last time this season in the Arena Verona and therefore many were driving into the city.
We strolled through the old part of Verona, ate gelato, enjoyed the rays of sunshine on our skin.
In the evening we planned to eat Pizza in a Pizzeria very close to the Arena which tasted so good the year before. This year it was even special as we were able to listen a bit to the music from the arena although it’s indeed much less what you hear outside than I thought.
(The man is my husband so no worries about people on picture rights 🙂 )
There it was, our last evening in Italy for this year. The years to come will never be the same because we will be three persons. There are exciting times in front of us and we can’t wait to meet this little baby.
Will it be a boy or a girl? We have already a name for each but which name will be written down for the first time in April 2016 to document the birth of our new family member?
You see there is much more to write about…
At the end I give you a few more Italy impressions – enjoy.
Montalto di Castro
Castiglione della Pescaia
Castelnuovo del Garda
Peschiera del Garda
My son snores to my left and my husband snores to my right and instead of standing up I stay in the bed and start to read a bit.
This time is rarely recently with a toddler.
He slept so late last night and is giving his mummy some rest in the morning now.
We are always talking about the little lion but he already snores like a big one.
How I love Sundays – they belong to the family and it may sound old fashioned but as soon as you have a child/children you know what I’m talking about.
I don’t know yet what we will do today but what I can see through the closed curtains is that the weather is great.
I will wait for them to wake up and then we will decide together.
I wish you a peaceful and sunny Sunday as well.
Pregnant through the Tuscany – part IV
415 km later we are back in ‘our’ area and still enjoy our holidays.
The garden of the farm where we stay (see part 1) is a dream and perfect to relax in.
We go almost daily to the beach, just lying in the shadow of our umbrella, swimming, eating and living the Italian sentence “dolce far niente” which means the sweetness of doing nothing.
On the beach free days we love to visit cities.
Siena is worth several visits as is San Gimignano.
We kept Florence for the way back home and decided to stay one night in Florence and one night in Verona before we are completely back in our day-to-day routine at home.
I have the feeling as if I walk on clouds during these holidays – knowing that I’m responsible now for a tiny human being is lifting my mood to a level I didn’t knew before, is it called bliss, I don’t know. Sure is that it feels so good that I will remember it for the rest of my life!
It is known that women change during pregnancy (obviously) and that the perception (smell, taste) can change.
I have only two things I cannot stand at the moment which are bananas and my husband’s perfume. Both nothing which bothers me too much, besides these everything is just much more intense. The food tastes better, the flowers smell more, life is wonderful.
I soak in everything nice during this summer, I want my baby to smell the summer in Italy, it’s the first holidays we have as a family and he or she is living inside of me. I believe that embryos sense what’s going on around them, even at that early stage.
After the full dose of relaxation we have to start packing for the way back.
For the last evening we decided to say “goodbye” with a barbecue in the wonderful garden (I can’t say it often enough) and once we finished eating it started to rain slightly as if Grosseto was sad too that we gonna leave the next day.
After we said goodbye to Marzena and her family in the morning and promised that we will be back one day with the bambini I’m happy that we will stop twice before leaving Italy and not drive back all the way at once.
Florence, here we come.
The David is “someone” I need to show you – here he is the famous David from Michelangelo:
The ‘Dolce far niente’ is something you can also enjoy in the middle of a city full of tourists and noises, here my yoga practice is diving in as I learn to focus on one thing at a time and this time it’s a wonderful Moroccan peppermint tea.
The city is wonderful and we love to go through without a plan. My husband bought tourism-like a selfie-stick so the crazy parents-to-be have quite an album full of selfies.
What I see now besides the fun we had is the glow everyone was talking about – here I see the first time this pregnancy glow on my face and if men have it as well my husband is one of them. We were as happy as we thought we could be.
Florence is wonderful so I’ll leave you with some impressions for now. The fifth part will follow, I promise!
Pregnant through the Tuscany – part III
To give our ‘laziness’ a break we decided to spend our wedding anniversary in Pompeii and Naples. My husband’s birthday is one day before our anniversary so I tried to organize an ice cake the evening before to surprise him with at midnight.
That’s not an easy task when you are 24/7 more or less together but being pregnant I had always the excuse to go and check for a toilet. As much as I hated it, this time it was really good as an excuse.
When we were walking through Grosseto a couple of days before I’ve seen a small shop with wonderful ice cake creations (it’s a pity that I don’t remember the name, I would’ve told you but the struggle with pregnancy dementia is not a joke.) and as we were about to drive back to the apartment I ran there, asked them to put the ice cake on ice so that it’s not melted before we’re arriving and put it into the car before I went back to my husband.
I can tell you, that wasn’t easy, the most complicated part was not to buy all of them as they all looked so delicious and you know how it is, once you want something you can’t stop yourself from craving it so much that it hurts (and always say “It’s the baby, the baby wants it, not me.”).
Oh how I loved being pregnant – while writing down all these memories I cannot wait for having a second baby – it was such a wonderful time.
The birthday surprise was good as my husband really was wondering how and when I bought the cake – I love being able to surprise him like this.
We had a wonderful sunny day and planned the trip to Naples the next day.
Marzia was checking if her guests were happy and we told her that we leave the next morning not that she wonders why our apartment is empty for two days. It’s really as if you tell your family what you plan so that they won’t worry.
Lots of water to drink in the car and something to eat as well – we had 415 km to go and planned to drive early in the morning so that we arrive before the heat of the day would be there. What we underestimated is that the Naples region is again much warmer than the Grosseto region so we ended up with 39°C at noon.
Pompeii – my little baby deep inside my belly, Pompeii is a very special place because your mommy was soaking in everything she could find about the story of Pompeii and the archaeological site. It took her 37 years to finally be at the gates of this ancient city and sharing this with your daddy and of course with you is very special. Let’s have a wonderful afternoon in here and I promise I will rest in the shadow when I find shadow and drink lots so that you can swim happily deep inside my belly.
Hot, hot, hot, it looks as if we had chosen one of the hottest days of the year but when you think about the tragedy of Pompeii you start to shiver and inside a building where some of the people of Pompeii were laying even your blood freezes. It’s so interesting and sad at the same time. You can see a child buried in his father’s arm – the cruelty touches especially when you expect your own child.
I knew by then already that whatever happens I would throw myself in front of this baby no matter what but that these people had to do it because there was no other way out and even if they did all died in the end is a nightmare.
My dream of Pompeii was reality and I was standing there but besides all this bittersweet beauty of that place I was a bit disappointed – archaeologists work to uncover every tiny bit of this story but as a visitor you have no idea because the people who “run” this place seem not to care. I’m not sure if it’s the city of Naples that’s in charge or who it is but I would’ve been willing even to pay more entry if I would get more information for that.
There are streets, houses, gardens where certain people surely know who was living there, was that a bakery next to a butcher, where were the areas of the richer people, all these stories behind the stones are missing pieces from my point of view when you walk through Pompeii.
Where were the school and the senate? Did they had a public swimming area like there were in Rome?
These are the remaining parts – so cruel to see yet even more important to show that they all were human beings having a normal life.
If I would get paid I would move there for as long as it takes to work with the archaeologists, read the history in the files of the city, do research and create a way to guide the visitor’s through a Pompeii that’s full of life, through a Pompeii on the day before the Vesuvio erupted, on a normal day in the city. Oh what a dream this would be.
After a long afternoon we checked in at our hotel in Naples.
The hotel was nice and quite central but not easy to find and with an outside parking area which seems normal for Naples but is a bit scary when you know that Naples is a city full of crime.
Once there we showered off the dust of Pompeii and started relaxed into an evening of what? Of food…Naples is known as the birthplace of Pizza so we had to try Pizza but also some pasta and gelato.
After Pizza and Pasta we started to walk through Naples, we followed our heart, walking hand in hand, free as birds, stopped for ice cream, enjoyed the evening air which settled in and took a bit of the heat of the day away, we went into small streets where clothes were on lines between the houses like you see it on typical Naples picture. Naples is not only nice, it’s also dirty but we tried to ignore the fact as we wouldn’t stay long.
The three of us had a relaxed evening and slept great after such an exciting day.
On the next morning we started with breakfast in the hotel which I love while my husband hates it.
Before we left the room I had a green tea which started to become a daily habit to reduce my coffee intake during the pregnancy.
After that I has a buffet in front of me and I can sit hours to eat and have coffee and eat and enjoy the morning while my husband wants his coffee and that’s it.
Now with me being pregnant he couldn’t tell me I should eat quickly as our baby needs all the vitamins and of course a relaxed and happy mom.
Before we started to drive back to our apartment in Grosseto we enjoyed the morning in Naples and strolled through some shops, had a last coffee in this city and stocked up the water for our way.
All in all that was a great 2nd wedding anniversary and we may come back but only to show Pompeii to our child (or if they want me to work for the archaeological site 🙂 ).
415 km to go now – more of the Tuscany will follow in another post.
Ramadan رمضان is about to start…
… a year passed by so quickly and one month can feel like years if it’s dedicated to fasting.
But it’s not only the fasting, it’s so much more what Ramadan is all about.
A time of recreation, of silence, of serenity, full of spirituality, dedicated to reading and listening, to be mindful, Ramadan should be enriching and blissful, it teaches patience, gratefulness and peace.
I wish all of you but especially my family and friends a month full of all of it!
Enjoy and celebrate and take the Ramadan spirit with you into the months to follow.
Let’s hope for peace which lasts so that we all can live the ways we have chosen right next to each other.