Deciding When to Be a Parent or a Friend With My College-Age Daughters
August 11, 2017 · Posted in Parenting · Permalink · Comments Off on Deciding When to Be a Parent or a Friend With My College-Age Daughters

by Kim Flodin

Originally published in

We are in Ikea buying bookcases for our 24-year-old daughter who is going to graduate school. We are thrilled with her accomplishments and while she’s getting significant funding from her university, we have offered to help out with furnishing her apartment as she makes a move to another city.

And we are bickering. Daughter likes bookcase A. She thinks they are pretty and will work best for her many volumes. Husband likes bookcase B. He thinks they are sturdy and multi-functional. Both items are reasonably priced. When we finally agree it will be bookcase A, we pass bookcase B again in Ikea’s many make-believe rooms and Husband says, “What about bookcase B?”

Finally, Daughter answers in exasperation, “OK, sure, bookcase B!” Husband, sheepish, responds, “No, honey, you like bookcase A.”

All three of my 20-something daughters were home this summer and we stepped on each other’s toes from the moment they started to arrive in May. We had friction over dentist appointments not booked, antibiotics not taken, suitcases not emptied, dishes not cleared, and summer calendars not kept up-to-date.

When I was 24, I lived with a much younger version of Husband. I called him Boyfriend and I can assure you no parent on either side was concerned with our appointments, let alone our bookcases. No mom was figuring out the dimensions of our apartment, no dad was schlepping boxes and tearing his hair out over infuriating Ikea instructions. Instead, Boyfriend and I built a precarious tower of pilfered plastic milk crates to house our books because we had no parental financial support from the moment we graduated college. Were we better for it? In some ways, yes — we were resourceful, serious, and thrifty. We also stayed in dead-end jobs too long during those years because we couldn’t afford to take chances, and we sometimes made important decisions in a vacuum because we lacked the authentic connectedness with our elders this generation enjoys.

I don’t want to be overbearing because I give more than I received at this age. I also don’t want to clean late-night snack dishes in the morning to make room in the kitchen sink to fill up the breakfast kettle. I want to respect my grown children’s boundaries and have them respect mine because we have a great time together when we do. This summer we listened to the Hamilton cast album non-stop, binge-watched Orange is the New Black, and shared fascinating perspectives on art, politics, and movies. We danced at weddings, were introduced to Spanish wine by the daughter who spent a spring semester abroad, and figured out as a group what the hell was going on with Pokémon GO.

Read more: All the Grown-Ass Adult Places Pokémons Should Hide in Pokémon GO

I didn’t have much in common with my parents when I was 24. The gap between my generation and our young adult children is narrower, and sometimes, in that camaraderie, I lose my way when to parent, when to friend, and when to roommate. But it’s worth pausing to figure it out each time. When my girls make lunch to entice me to join them, or text me funny inside jokes, or ask for an old-fashioned cuddle, I feel lucky to witness their fascinating journeys in the intimate way they allow.

When Husband and I aren’t being stubborn about bookcases or nosy about doctors’ appointments, our daughters express their deep gratitude for the safety nets we provide. It’s not forever or even much longer — and I know we and they are lucky to afford them — but in these transitional years, I believe these nets, both financial and emotional, have given them courage to reach higher than I would have dared at 24.

So, here’s to giving only what I can give. Here’s to not being a secretary or a housekeeper, and to picking my battles. Here’s to respecting the young’s right to make mistakes and feel their way through things. Here’s to showing my daughters my trust in them is enormous.

Here’s to summer turning into fall.


Kim C. Flodin is a Brooklyn writer who specializes in parenting, health, and family issues. Her personal essays have been published in The New York Times, Newsweek Magazine, and The Christian Science Monitor among others. She also serves as Senior Director of Marketing and Communications at The Brooklyn Hospital Center. Last, but not least, she is the mother of three young adult daughters.

Bookmark and Share
Talking To Your Child About Smartphone Monitoring
July 27, 2017 · Posted in Parenting · Permalink · Comments Off on Talking To Your Child About Smartphone Monitoring

infographic by Scott Reddler



Scott Reddler is an active software developer, water sports fan, and a loving and enthusiastic father of three. He uses his knowledge of new technology to understand how social media and apps are changing the parenting landscape. @ScottReddler. Infographic source:

Bookmark and Share
Natural Healing: Why Kids Need Nature for Good Health
July 7, 2017 · Posted in Parenting · Permalink · Comments Off on Natural Healing: Why Kids Need Nature for Good Health

by Jackie Edwards

Today’s parents have been accused of raising an ‘indoor generation’, starved of the beauty of nature and the freedom of the great outdoors. Research shows that children are spending half as much time outside as they did 20 years ago. The effect is inevitably harmful. In fact, there’s a growing body of research that shows that when children spend less time outdoors it negatively affects their health. There’s no doubt about it…kids need nature!

How can kids engage with nature?

The greatest health benefits are seen when children are given the freedom and independence to play their own games with natural materials in outdoor settings, whether woodland, open countryside, parks or backyards. They become fitter, happier, smarter, more attentive, more sociable and less anxious. But if you struggle to find green space in your urban home, don’t despair as health benefits can still be gained by simply looking at pictures of nature scenes with your child. The essential thing is allowing your child to engage with nature, be it through play or through images.


Let’s take a closer look at the health benefits.

Improves physical health

If your child has the opportunity to play outside, it will help improve their physical fitness – an important consideration for the one in three American children who are obese. What’s more, being outdoors increases exposure to vitamin D which boosts immunity and helps protect your child from future bone problems, heart disease and diabetes. Research has also shown that children who regularly play outdoors are also more likely to have better distance vision.

Calms the mind

It’s not just parents who get stressed! A survey by the American Psychological Association found a third of children aged 8 to 17 experienced symptoms of stress. Furthermore, anti-depressant use is on the rise amongst school-age children, as are diagnosed cases of ADHD. Nature is a proven aid to relaxation and has been shown to reduce stress levels within minutes, whether through being outdoors or simply looking at a tranquil vista. And ‘nature therapy’ is now a recognized form of treatment for ADHD children.

Promotes happines

Playing in nature is strongly linked to a child’s wellbeing. When kids are given the opportunity to explore a large open space, they develop a sense of freedom, independence and inner strength. They can think freely, design their own games and approach play in a fun, inventive way.

Challenges the brain

We typically think of computer games as stimulating, but they only provide a narrow focus to your child’s attention. Being outdoors activates all the senses – hearing, seeing, smelling and touching; it enriches the mind through a thoroughly engaging experience. And even if you’re only looking at images of nature scenes, these visually-rich stimuli are enough to nourish the brain.

What should YOU do?

If you have an outdoor space, make it inviting for your child. You don’t have to install permanent play equipment, just provide a bucket and spade, a hose, or chalks. Let them explore their space using their own imagination. If you don’t have a backyard, ensure you have images of nature freely available in your home. And don’t forget to devote family time to the great outdoors: visit local parks, wildlife refuges, go hiking or biking. Ensure time for nature is top of your family’s list!

Now a freelance writer, Jackie formerly worked in HR but took a career break when she became a mother. Writing gives her the freedom to be at home with her children, and in her spare time she volunteers for a number of local mental health charities

Bookmark and Share
Signs of a Good Child Care Center
June 29, 2017 · Posted in Education, Parenting · Permalink · Comments Off on Signs of a Good Child Care Center

by Jackie Edwards

In New York City, there are over 3,900 day care centers, but only a few of them may provide the kind of care, nurturing, and stimulating environment that you expect. For many parents, choosing a good child care center has become more important than ever, as this is where your child will spend most of his or her formative years. Finding the best child care center for your little one may be daunting, but with a bit of time spent visiting a few locations and observing what goes on inside them, you can recognize the signs of a good facility. From there, you’ll be able to determine whether it will be a place of learning and fun for your child.

Here are the signs of a good child care center.

The center has an ideal child care provider to child ratio

According to the New York state requirements for daycare centers, the ideal care provider to child ratio is 1:4, and this is applicable if the children are ages 6 weeks to 9 months. The number of children per care provider may increase depending on the kids’ age group. If your child is three years old and will be cared for alongside other children with the same age, then the ideal ratio is 1:7.

The workers are knowledgeable, competent, and have sufficient training

A child care center’s head of groups should have an AA in early education or early childhood development. Those who are caring for children under the age of three should have at least one year’s experience or training in infant and toddler care. You can ask the center’s director about the staff’s credentials, but you can also look around and see how the workers interact with the children.

The staff is warm and responsive to children

If the caregivers look competent and calm in dealing with different types of situations, then that’s one of the main signs of a good childcare facility. However, the staff should also have close interactions with the children, so they should be playing with the kids on the ground or holding very young babies. Workers should be warm and responsive to children of all ages, and they should provide consistent care.

The center has a good reputation

Ask the child care center to provide names and numbers of current clients and call them for references. If the facility refuses your request, you can always drop by in the afternoons when the kids get picked up by their parents. Strike up a conversation with the other parents and find out if they truly love the center and its program. If you happen to find a parent or two that shares your values with regards to child care and they happen to love the center, then you may find that it’s the right fit for you and your child.

It has a stimulating environment

It’s a good sign if the center has a lot of books, toys, and crafting materials for children. While some facilities let children watch videos, it shouldn’t take up most of their day. Ideally, a center should have structured schedules for meals, reading, and quiet time, but it should also allow children to have enough free time to play.

A good child care center may be a challenge to find, but by recognizing the signs of a good facility, you may find one that is just right for what you and your child need. Above all, you must also trust your instincts when you’re searching for a center. If you think that there is something that’s not quite right with a certain place, you can always move on and find another one that’s better suited to your requirements. Though searching for a good child care center may take some time, it’s worth it if you can find one that can provide the care, learning, and nurture that your little one needs.

Now a freelance writer, Jackie formerly worked in HR but took a career break when she became a mother. Writing gives her the freedom to be at home with her children, and in her spare time she volunteers for a number of local mental health charities.


Bookmark and Share
Don’t Skimp On The Nap
May 18, 2017 · Posted in Infant Development, Parenting, Preschoolers, Sleep, Toddlerhood · Permalink · Comments Off on Don’t Skimp On The Nap

The data just keeps pouring in on the importance of children’s sleep. Perri Klass MD, highlights the impact of daytime sleep for young children in her NYT article, “A Child’s Nap Is More Complicated Than It Looks” 

“Dr. Monique LeBourgeois, a sleep scientist at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and her colleagues recently conducted the first study on how napping affects the cortisol awakening response, a burst of hormone secretion known to take place shortly after morning awakening. They showed that children produce this response after short naps in the morning and afternoon, though not in the evening, and it may be adaptive in helping children respond to the stresses of the day.

By experimentally restricting sleep in young children, and then analyzing their behavior in putting puzzles together, Dr. LeBourgeois’ group also is quantifying how napping — or the lack of it — affects the ways that children respond to situations. “Sleepy children are not able to cope with day-to-day challenges in their worlds,” she said. When children skip even a single nap, “We get less positivity, more negativity and decreased cognitive engagement.”

At least two naps a day for the first year, at least one nap a day until age three, and for some children, even up to age five is critical. Children experience a “pressure to sleep” and need to have the opportunity to release that pressure with regular naps. Remember this when choosing between a nap and baby class. The best thing for your baby’s brain development is sleep.


Bookmark and Share
Skip the Nightcap
April 26, 2017 · Posted in Alcohol and Drugs, Parenting · Permalink · Comments Off on Skip the Nightcap

by Agnes Green

At the end of a day, worn out by the challenges of parenthood and the looming prospect of difficulty falling asleep, many of us reach for a nightcap. Alcohol indeed helps us fall asleep faster. What’s the harm?

Well, it’s complicated. Alcohol poses as a promoter of sleep—and it does deliver on some promises—but it is a sneaky, undermining, dream-stealing sort of ally of sleep: more like a frenemy. Not something on which you should rely on a regular basis.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with a glass of wine or two with dinner at the end of the day. But we’re talking about a nightcap: by definition, an alcoholic beverage or more that people reach for right before bedtime with the explicit or implicit goal of falling asleep. In fact, some go so far as to insist that a proper, “honorable” nightcap must be brown, meaning whiskey or bourbon or cognac. What else do these drinks have in common in addition to color? Oh, that’s right: They’re high in alcohol.

There’s good reason why we are tempted to self-medicate with alcohol in order to fall asleep. A glass of whiskey or two right before before bed can indeed have a relaxing effect and help with falling asleep. Here, in fact, lies alcohol’s insidious power: At the outset of the night, things go as hoped-for. “The sleep alcohol induces is associated with intense slow-wave brain activity, which is considered to be the deepest, most restorative kind of sleep,” says Timothy Roehrs, director of sleep disorders research at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

And, indeed, studies show that alcohol does help us fall asleep faster. “Three or more drinks will cause the average person to fall asleep sooner than usual,” said Shawn R. Currie, a professor at the University of Calgary who coauthored a study of alcoholics and sleep.

So far so good.

However, about halfway though slumber alcohol as the sleep aid undermines the very thing it induced. “Falling asleep faster is the only real benefit of alcohol for sleep,” Currie says. “The more prevalent, disruptive effects include more frequent awakenings, worse sleep quality; reduction of deep sleep, and earlier-than-usual waking times, leading people to feel they did not get enough sleep.”

In his recent book, The Mystery of Sleep: Why a Good Night’s Rest is Vital to a Better, Healthier Life (Yale, 2017), Yale professor and world authority on sleep medicine Meir Kryger, M.D., explains how it is that alcohol, having put us to bed, can ends up disrupting sleep: “[W]hen the blood alcohol level drops, it activates the sympathetic nervous system, which wakes the person up, speeds up the heart, and might cause sweating and headaches.” Kryger goes so far as to recommend not going to sleep until the alcohol has disappeared from the body. It takes the body an hour to clear an ounce of alcohol, which is the equivalent of two 12-ounce servings of beer, two 5-ounce glasses of wine, or two 1.5-ounce servings of distilled spirits.

Indeed, the most dispiriting finding of the study of alcoholics and sleep coauthored is two-fold: 1. Alcoholics have sleep troubles, even many months into recovery. 2. Ironically, many of them became alcoholics in the first place partly because they had been turning to drinking in order to fight their preexisting insomnia.

Even if we were to set the threat of alcoholism aside, alcohol ultimately fails as a sleep aid. After a few drinks you open up your bed to the prospect of nighttime awakenings (fragmented sleep), decreased time spent in the beneficial REM sleep, sweating, vivid dreams (typical of abrupt transitions between sleep stages). Don’t confuse vivid dreams for the restful dreaming phase that we all need: The London Sleep Centre and University of Toronto researchers found that by undermining REM sleep early in the night, alcohol deprives us of dreams. This means shallow, dreamless sleep and, often, daytime tiredness.

There’s also a connection between obstructive sleep apnea and alcohol consumption. Imbibing can lead to it, even if only for a night. Alcohol relaxes the throat muscles to the point where both apnea and snoring occur: Even people who usually don’t snore do so if they have been drinking the night before.

Sleep is paramount to health, sanity, emotional balance, the maintenance of youthfulness, healthy parenting, and longevity, and we need to do all we can to get rest at night. But reaching for alcohol is fraught with troubles.

What to do instead of whiskey? Try these tips:

  1. Avoid alcohol two hours before bed.

  2. If your children keep you up, strategize with your partner (if you have one), family members and friends, and babysitter (if you can afford one) to figure out ways to take care of your children when you need sleep.

  3. Engage in physical activity during the day. Exercise promotes sleep by decreasing arousal, anxiety, and depression. Strength training in the evening is fine; keep aerobic activity farther away from bedtime.

  4. Avoid caffeine in the afternoons and evenings.

  5. Consider developing a mindfulness meditation practice.

  6. Do not watch TV or use the computer an hour or two before bedtime. At the very least, eliminate the rousing blue light by using nighttime settings or apps.

  7. Sleep on a comfortable, aptly-sized mattress. The medical journal The Lancet recommends medium-firm mattresses for most people.

  8. Fall asleep in a dark, quiet, and cool room. Cooler temperatures promote falling asleep.

  9. Sometimes, the insomnia you are suffering is secondary—meaning, it is caused by illnesses and ailments or medications you are taking. Ask your doctor whether those things might be keeping you awake and develop a plan to address any root causes of secondary insomnia.

  10. Develop a sleep-promoting routine, relying on things that make you feel ready for bed—a relaxing bath, a lavender candle, reading, refraining from checking the news or social media after a certain hour, listening to a sleep meditation hypnosis app, etc.

Agnes Green is a researcher for the sleep science hub Tuck Sleep. She holds two masters degrees in the social sciences, from the University of Chicago and Northwestern University. She sleeps most soundly after a kettlebell workout, on a medium-firm mattress, in Portland, Oregon.

Bookmark and Share
How Parents Influence Kids’ Media Use
April 18, 2017 · Posted in Parenting · Permalink · Comments Off on How Parents Influence Kids’ Media Use

An infographic by Amy Williams.

Amy Williams is a free-lance journalist based in Southern California and mother of two. As a parent, she enjoys spreading the word on positive parenting techniques in the digital age and raising awareness on issues like cyberbullying and online safety.

Infographic Source:

Bookmark and Share
Common Digital Challenges Facing Parents Today
March 6, 2017 · Posted in Media, Parenting, Technology · Permalink · Comments Off on Common Digital Challenges Facing Parents Today


By Hilary Smith

What was one of the biggest obstacles your parents faced raising you as a child?

For many of us, we answer with the typical struggles of late “Gen X’ers”. Our parents might have limited our consumption of sodas, flavored lip gloss, MTV, or time spent talking on the home phone. During our youth, we could only dream of brick cell phones and high speed Internet that didn’t require a dial-up modem. However, today we are faced with new parenting challenges that our mothers and fathers never had to encounter: digital technology.

Common Digital Challenges Facing Parents Today

The digital era has ushered in a variety of modern conveniences. Our homes are filled with cell phones, tablets, laptops, and other smart devices that promote easier communication and access to information. In fact, we are the first parents to raise digital natives, children who are growing up in a technology driven society who can’t remember a time without the Internet or wireless capabilities.

Unfortunately, this access comes with a potential cost to our children’s well being. With a swipe of a finger, our sons and daughters are facing cyberbullying, insecurities, predators, and addiction to the fast paced world of the Internet. To put this into perspective, we have compiled the following data:

  • 9 hours is the average time teens spend online everyday.
  • 87 percent of our kids have encountered cyberbullying!
  • 750,000 predators are estimated to be online everyday grooming victims.
  • 54 percent of teens under 18 admit to sexting.
  • 56 percent of people admit to suffering from a “fear of missing out” (FOMO) when unable to access social media.

Parenting Do’s and Don’ts for Living in the Digital Era

Reading the above numbers can be frightening, but thankfully we have the ability to intervene and help prevent our kids from becoming just another statistic. Listed below are some tips to help us navigate these common digital challenges facing our children:

Do understand the adolescent brain is undergoing major brain growth. Surprisingly, our children’s brains aren’t fully mature until they reach their mid-20’s. This development is creating connections deep inside the prefrontal cortex and affects everything from decision making to assessing risks. We need to remind ourselves that even though our kids act and talk like mini-adults, they are still growing.

Do keep all digital devices in common living areas. This allows kids freedom to enjoy technology, but reduces the chances they will take part in risky online behaviors. By keeping devices in open areas, we have the opportunity to see what our kids are doing online and can step in if we witness questionable choices. As an added bonus, this keeps devices out of the bedrooms to safeguard our children’s quality of sleep.

Don’t forget to design a family technology contract. As a family unit, take a few minutes to list all of expectations for proper device usage. Next, make sure to outline the consequences if someone doesn’t uphold their end of the contract. This will allow children and parents to clearly know what is expected and prevent future disagreements.

Do begin an ongoing conversation about social media etiquette. We need to empower our sons and daughters with the skills needed to protect themselves online. Talk about ways to handle cyberbullying, sexting requests, or avoid sharing personal information.

Do encourage children to notify you if they encounter cyberbullying. This will allow you to document cruel messages and offer a shoulder to cry on. If cyberbullying continues, seek help from school personnel or authorities.

Don’t forget about the Internet’s permanence. It’s vital kids realize everything they post could be uncovered years down the road. The Internet never forgets and future colleges, employers, and scholarship boards might look online to glimpse how a child represents themselves.

Do help kids set their privacy settings. This is important, because social media sites and our devices constantly update their privacy settings and add-on services often leaving us vulnerable.

blog2Do stress that it’s okay not to sext. Today’s teens view sexting as normal and often think it is a safe alternative to physical activity. However, similar to STD’s, sexting carries lifelong consequences. Sending or receiving a sext among children is considered a felony.

Never friend people you don’t know in real life. “Catfishing” or using fake profiles is common among child predators and cyberbullies looking for victims. They create identities that make our kids feel comfortable and lure them into sharing photos, addresses, and personal information.

Do use technology to stay in touch with kids. Technology isn’t terrible, in fact it can benefit our families in a variety of ways. Take advantage of social media, games, monitoring software, and texting features to communicate with your kids throughout the day.


Bookmark and Share
When Should the Kids Meet the New Boy/Girlfriend?
December 12, 2016 · Posted in Communication, Marriage, Parenting, Relationships, Separation/Divorce · Permalink · Comments (3)

If only life was really like ‘The Brady Bunch’. An easily blended family, no exes to complicate matters, minor disturbances that are resolved with a great little moral lesson. In actuality, real life mirrors what was going on behind the scenes of the show – complicated, passionate, and sometimes stormy. So introducing a new romantic partner after divorce or death is a situation that may not go as smoothly as when Carol met Bob. It is a decision that warrants a lot of thought.

When you meet someone new, your initial instinct will be to want them to meet your children. Your kids are central, important and in many ways the main loves of your lives!  It may feel odd to keep a relationship separate from them.  It may feel sneaky.  You may be inclined to resolve this by having your new lover hang out and share in activities with your children as a new “friend”. Right? Wrong!!!  These reactions are completely understandable but remember, not all are instincts are best followed. Children are no dummies – even children under three will register the different energy present with a platonic vs. non-platonic friend. Furthermore, if there was an extramarital affair involved with this partner  your children will be aware consciously or unconsciously regardless of being told explicitly.  So don’t kid yourself.

A good rule of thumb is wait to introduce your children to your romantic interest until the relationship reaches six months of seriously seeing one another.  This guideline protects kids from experiencing the inevitable romantic ups and downs of a new relationships and of having another potential loss. Shielding your children from the early stages of your relationship will require sacrifice on your part; keeping your private life private takes energy, planning and giving up time with your new lover.  It is not lying, it is not sneaky, it is privacy – necessary privacy.

Children have very mixed feelings about new relationships. They may feel disloyal to the other parent if they have fun with this new person. They become jealous of sharing your time.  They may feel uncomfortable because the sexual energy present with a new relationship is different than that of their married parents. It is not as if kids cannot develop meaningful relationships with girlfriends or boyfriends after divorce — of course they can — but the more thoughtful consideration on your part the better the chances for your children to adapt to the new situation.

It is in your child’s best interest to wait and see if this looks like a relationship that will have sticking power to withstand the pressures of step parenting and blending families. Once the six month mark has come and gone, you are ready to begin integrating this person into your family. Inform your ex of all developments. If he/she introduces your children to a new relationship as well, try to be as generous as you can — keep all complicated feelings to yourself. Your reaction will play a huge role in your kids openness to accept this new person and to experience less conflict over loyalty.

The first kid-new-partner meeting should be activity based. Do something together, a movie, bowling, ice skating — something that comes with distinct time limits and allows your child to ease in to the meeting with focus on the activity rather than “getting to know” your new lover. Gauge your child’s readiness as you decide the frequency of these get-togethers — keeping in mind that slow is always better in these matters. In terms of sleep overs and joint vacations, especially if other children are involved, take it very slowly. No one has ever complained that they wish they had moved faster on integrating families — on the contrary, most difficulties come from rushing in with idyllic expectations. Consider yourself very lucky if all goes smoothly as life is not The Brady Bunch.

Bookmark and Share
Twist The Wrong Way
December 5, 2016 · Posted in Parenting, Pregnancy · Permalink · Comments (2)

pexels-photo-25199Last week in yoga class, my mat was next to a pregnant woman. She moved like an experienced practitioner, not a newbie, so I was distracted and surprised that the teacher had to come over repeatedly to remind her not to twist in the direction of everyone else but twist the opposite way, so as not to crowd the baby. The woman was obviously pushing herself intensely, and it upset me.  I found myself judging. “Is she crazy? Can’t she stop herself? She’s not taking care of that baby…” It was preoccupying me and I  was having a very hard time focusing on my own practice.

Yoga teaches you to notice your flow of thoughts and to stop them. To note the thoughts and judgments that pass through the mind and then gently bring yourself back to a centered place. So, I started to observe my thinking rather than being lead by it. I noticed I was worrying about the baby in her belly. I was identified with the baby. Caught up in judging this woman for her inability to override herself and do what was right for her baby.  Then I thought about all the times, not in yoga,  but in life as a mother, that I “twisted the wrong way”.

  • The snarky comment I made the ‘nano’ second after I told myself not to say anything.
  • The lecture I gave when I knew I should be listening
  • My impatience when I knew that one of my daughters needed calm and comfort more than anything.

The times when I knew what to do but somehow “chose” to twist the wrong way, and not care for one of my children in a way my higher self knew I should. As we moved on through poses on the mat, I started to feel empathy sliding in to replace judgement. Pushed by fear or worry (for her, maybe about her weight, or her changing body) we all do things that hurt our children. I began to feel connected to this pregnant woman, instead of separate from, or better than. I noticed the relief I felt that I when I was pregnant, it was fine to just take it easy and eat and wear big clothes. Now, with so much pressure to be a skinny, sexy, pregnant person, who knows if I would be able to fight the urge to push too hard instead of taking good care of myself, or my growing baby. I felt grateful for the freedom that came with being pregnant in a very different time.

I let go of my focus on her and got back into my own body, enjoying the ability to move-the exertion and the relaxation. When I noticed her again at the end of class, I wanted to say, “Welcome to motherhood, where we often twist the wrong way.”

Bookmark and Share
Buy Our Book, 'A Mother's Circle'
Facebook  RSS

Warning: mysql_query(): No such file or directory in /nfs/c07/h03/mnt/180010/domains/ on line 345

Warning: mysql_query(): A link to the server could not be established in /nfs/c07/h03/mnt/180010/domains/ on line 345

Warning: mysql_query(): No such file or directory in /nfs/c07/h03/mnt/180010/domains/ on line 346

Warning: mysql_query(): A link to the server could not be established in /nfs/c07/h03/mnt/180010/domains/ on line 346

Warning: mysql_fetch_row() expects parameter 1 to be resource, boolean given in /nfs/c07/h03/mnt/180010/domains/ on line 346