During Christmas break, I tend to lose my marbles when the kids are home 24/7. It's just the way it goes. And every year, I forgot that this will occur, and finally after 13 years as a mom, I'm starting to catch on. I get cranky, short-tempered and yearn for any adult conversation at Easter, Mardi Gras, Thanksgiving and Summer Vacation. During this past Christmas break, putting the air mask on first, what airlines tell you to do in preflight demonstration before you put the mask on your child, resonated with me big time.
It really sunk in.
It is one thing to have intellectual knowledge of a notion or idea it is another to put it in practice. (And for it to go well.)
I have read and talked about many parenting ideas that I know are right from an intellectual standpoint
yet putting ideas that I recognize to be good in practice requires much discomfort.
I saw an incremental change during the last school break. On the spur of the moment, I decided to go to yoga and leave the ten year old with the thirteen year old (and the ferocious guard dog and the alarm system on!) The ten year old DOES NOT LIKE staying at home with the thirteen year old. The thirteen year old who herself has Red Cross certification and one babysitting experience under her belt, DOES NOT WANT a sitter anymore. So what's standing in my way, is the beloved heart and nerves of a ten year old. (On this particular occasion, my husband was able to leave later for work, and off I ran.)
But this time, I was going for it, no matter what. Even though it made my ten year old uncomfortable, I wanted and needed to go. In the past, I would have hedged back and forth, the child would have seen that I was hesitant and they would have gone for the jugular for me to do what they wanted.
The practice of yoga, feeds my soul and works out my body. I feel refreshed, renewed, and mindful afterwards. It is exactly what I needed to take on the rest of the day and school break. And it hit me that this is what it means to put the air mask on first, because then you are better able to handle what comes your way. This was actually practicing that idea with one caveat.
I would do things before that were FOR ME but I would feel GUILTY over it and WORRY the entire time. This was one time, I walked away and left my worries at home and focused on myself for an entire hour.
It was almost better than an orgasm.
And it lasted longer.
I came home from yoga, went straight to Mallory and said, "I know you didn't want me to go and I appreciate your cooperation, I really love to practice yoga and it makes me feel really good" (...Laying the foundation for future yoga sessions)
And the kicker is this act of putting the air bag on first is teaching my children to take care of themselves. Losing my mind and being short tempered, is not how I want to love my children or myself.
Taking care of me, helps me take care of them AND most importantly they learn from watching what I do. Not what I say. What I do.