I haven’t written in a while and am not sure why. I always mean to sit down and write an entry here, but more often than not I end up spending what small chunks of time I have writing in my journal. I guess writing in a journal offers a different kind of flow than typing on a computer does, and I really like the quiet connection that writing in a journal offers.
Life is life. It’s been the usual for us of trying to homeschool, or rather, trying to get our kids to get motivated to participate in their learning and 'schooling'. I’m not sure why they don’t want to work but we'll keep trying. We may have to go the unschooling route as the harder we try to implement a schedule and create some structure and routine, the less cooperative our kids are. I have tried talking with them about going to school, as they both are lonely for friends and crave more social interactions, but Liam gets mad and refuses to even discuss it. At least they get to see their homeschool friends two times a week, and at least we have two days a week where we have something built into our weeks.
So life is life, we are plugging along doing the usual. The usual, unfortunately, is not always easy and that’s what I need to consider. I think the hard part is that I honestly don’t get why this homeschooling and parenting and balancing life thing is so challenging?! I guess all we can do is keep tweaking things until we figure it out.
I think the other thing that helps is realizing that time away alone and time with just Jason are a necessary part of feeling more joy in our lives. I realized this when Jason and I were away for 5 days in Oregon. We spent our time on the coast relaxing, hiking and hanging out together. It was great and it had been 12 years since we’d gone somewhere together, without the kids, that was not in any way work related. We needed it. But I’m not gonna lie, coming back and readjusting back to our usual life has been a little rough. After having 3 full days to just relax and do whatever we wanted made it hard to come back to the full-on demand and intensity that is our life with kids. The good news is that Jason I got to connect and wander in the woods and rest and we need more of that for sure.
I don’t think I truly realized how big a job parenting and raising two kids would be. I thought I would be a great mom, calm, kind, fun and nurturing. And maybe I am that kind of mom more often than not, but I am also grumpy, I tend toward worry, and I get angry and yell. And I hate it. I hate when I get so frustrated and fed up that I yell. Really, I do. I feel like shit every time I do it. I always apologize and I usually cry and then I remember and remind myself that I am human, and I make mistakes. And so I try again, and I hope I catch myself sooner next time.
Sometimes I wonder and feel confused as to what I am meant to do in this life. What is my true calling? Am I just supposed to be a mom? Am I to devote all my time and attention to my kids, my family? Or am I also meant to teach? Am I meant to do both? I love teaching and offering yoga to others. I love holding sacred space for healing and movement and connection for others. It feels like fulfilling work to me even if I can’t and don’t make a living financially teaching. And I know I need to get out of the house and have time away from my kids, but sometimes it feels quite tricky and hard to balance life outside of home. Well, actually, it feels the same at home come to think of it.
Anyway, I’ve been thinking a lot about this because I often ask myself what else can I do to help my family financially. What else can I do and what other skills and gifts do I have to share? What else do I want to do? And then I realize that for me to do much more than teach my three classes a week and a workshop/restshop from time to time is what I can do. Maybe that’s enough? I sometimes consider not teaching so there is more time for homeschool and other things and so I am home for dinner, but then I think I would miss the yoga community and teaching too much.
I guess this has been on my mind because recently I noticed that when someone asks me what I do, I caught myself say, “I’m just a mom and yoga teacher.” What does that mean? Why do I include ‘just’ in that statement? I guess on some level it sounds like ‘just’ is not that valuable or necessary or admirable as say a career is in this or that? Why is that?
I see how people come into the studio and how they leave with relaxed shoulders, a smile, and a happy, peaceful energy. I have seen and experienced firsthand what a good class and practice does. I know the value of it. Just as I know the value of devoting time and energy to my kids and family. And being a ‘homemaker’, which is a word I’m not all that fond of, or a ‘stay at home mom’ is so freaking hard! You are on all day long until everyone is asleep. And keeping up at home with cleaning, laundry, groceries, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and school is constant. All I can say is that it’s not easy to raise kids even as some kids are far easier and way more mellow than my two are. In other words, my work at home and teaching are BIG jobs! And they are important and necessary work, and they are a high calling all on their own.
So as I was driving in the car, headed to the studio to teach the other day, I heard this conversation on the radio that made me realize where this word ‘just’ comes from. One of the fellows talking was speaking about Brian Eno’s mom and he said something along the line of, “I’m not sure if Brian’s mom was just a homemaker or if she worked outside of the home…”
Once I heard that, I realized that this idea of being just a ‘homemaker’ or ‘stay at home mom’ is a view that is embedded in our culture. Maybe my new reply should be: “ I am a full-time Mom and a Yoga Teacher.” I am no longer just anything. I am more than the title of both, and yet both matter. Maybe that’s enough for now even as I feel the desire for more. Maybe it’s enough because it’s honestly all I can do right now along with raising my kids and attempting to also be their school teacher. And maybe the real teaching and lesson is that I don’t need or have to do more. Whatever I can do right now is enough.