Compassion and lasagne

58d0cf4813e442201eb26cc341fcf704539034f4Today I made a veggie lasagne.
This is both unremarkable and totally remarkable.
I came into the house earlier, with 20 minutes ‘between things’ and a quiche set out to make… ingredients ready… pastry out of date and mouldy beyond use.


Projection of impossible equation:
washing to hang out
+ dishwasher to unpack
+ swimming kit to pack
+ Skype meeting to stick to
+ admin
+ two children to collect from school
+ two swimming lessons
+ 20 mins at home later with hungry post swimmers to feed before dance class for older child
+ a partridge in a pear tree
Take a breath.
What is in my cupboard? Both literally and metaphorically.
What can I NOT do right now?
What can I?

20 minutes later a veggie lasagne made, the cheese sauce possibly a little runny.
Swimming kit packed.
Ready for Skype meeting, more or less.
Maybe you’re congratulating me at this point, recognising the juggle of seemingly ‘trivial’ tasks. But that’s not the point.
Maybe you’re not judging me for the mess in my kitchen. But that’s not the point.
Maybe my partner doesn’t mind that there’s wet washing to hang and my ‘job’ is not complete. But that’s not the point.
Maybe my kids would be just as happy with beans on toast. But that’s not the point.
The point is, I have done what I can, in the time I have, with the resources I have available to me right now.
My expectations may have been unrealistic.
Any self criticism is unnecessary.
All that in 20 minutes, a microcosm of the everyday… with kindness.

(Please note, I didn’t have time with all this to photo, upload, edit my own lasagne pic so this is someone else’s less messy version 😉 )

Connecting with your partner after birth.

It often arises for women that their relationship with their partner faces challenges after birth.

For some time afterwards, as Mama you are flooded with chemicals that ensure you nurture and prioritise your baby. Perhaps you aren’t sleeping, perhaps you are still adjusting to the metamorphosis of motherhood. Perhaps birth itself has left physical or emotional traces in the body which take time to heal. Your libido may have been temporarily shelved. Even with the most understanding of partners, male or female, this can be challenging as they are not experiencing the same chemical or emotional experience. In many cases, their world most paternity/maternity leave is quite different from the space you have entered as mum. This can lead to a feeling of disconnect, anxiety, even antipathy, snapiness, arguments, feelings of not being understood… These feelings are regularly expressed by women in the UMEmamas community.

Sitting back to back in Baddha Konasana is a great way to re-connect non-verbally. Sit back to back to each other. Place the soles of your feet together. Make sure you really draw your sacrums in towards each other and spread out your backs into one another’s. As you start to connect to your own breath, coming and going through the nose, you will also become aware of each other’s breath, the warmth between your backs, and the release that starts to evolve with each exhalation. Each time you breathe, settle back into the mutual support of each other’s backs.

This article from Yoga Journal addresses the issue of coming up against physical resistance in the pose, and how we emotionally respond to resistance. Of course this is equally applicable to the resistance we find in our relationships, sometimes to situations. When we meet this, allowing ourselves to ‘confront our limitations’, to face our discomfort and to allow it space, through centering, grounding in the breath. Recognising that whatever we meet is not a definition of how, who, what we are, that that is constantly evolving given space. Let go of the stories that build in your head surrounding behaviours and connect through the breath to each others’ hearts.

We will sleep again… and without little people wriggling between us. We will not always feel like we feel right now, however that is. We will have time to invest in our relationships in a different way again as our children grow and need us less intensively.
In the meantime, draw your attention to the little moments where you feel love, connection… vocalise them. Appreciate the new depth that comes with being parents. See the beauty in how your love for each other is manifested through your child/children.
Notice all the little gestures, touches, cuddles, smiles over your sleeping child… which all build up to create a picture of connection in a different way.