Monthly Archives: April 2016

Alone time (with an audience)

A couple of times a week, while my husband is bathing the kids (i.e. getting them so hyped up with splashing and songs and bubbles it takes them about three hours to wind down), I retreat into my son’s bedroom with my yoga mat, and indulge in 15 minutes of yoga and stretching. In part, this is to ensure any post-run aches from the week get soothed, but I also do it because, well, it’s just bloody lovely, isn’t it?

Yoga. Alone. In my pants (if you can’t do yoga in your pants in the comfort of your own home, where can you?). Staring out of my son’s bedroom window, across the garden and up at the sky.

Bliss.

Except for one tiny detail.

I’ve been rumbled.

It didn’t take many sessions of my lovely alone-time routine for the little ones to figure out I was just next door. Just a few sessions before the shouts started:

‘Look, I’ve found Mummy! I don’t want my stories. I want to watch Mummy!’

So now, instead of having their bedtime stories curled up with Daddy in our bedroom, everyone sits on the sofa bed in my son’s room, listening to stories and watching me attempt sun salutations. Oh goody.

Nothing evokes ‘relaxation’ quite like listening to a three year old laughing hysterically at you while shouting, ‘Mummy, I can see your bum!’ (I might need to rethink the yoga-in-pants situation.)

And then, last night, just as I was about to yell, ‘OH MY GOD, GET OUT, ALL OF YOU! CAN’T I HAVE EVEN ONE MINUTE BY MYSELF THESE DAYS?’ (or something), a lovely thing happened.

It became audience participation.

My son performed a near-perfect downward-facing dog  while asking excitedly, ‘Mummy, am I doing it? Am I doing it, Mummy?!’ My baby girl clambered around my legs, babbling away. We stood like trees (OK, we swayed like trees). And it was fun.

Downward dog Tree pose

Yoga is about peace. But it is also about love.

I guess every now and then, my yoga time might be invaded. But that’s OK. I can’t think of a nicer way to spend some quality family time before bed.

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For my beautiful boy…

To my beautiful boy,

The other day, you asked if you could wear your Frozen dress to the supermarket.

Yes, you have a Princess Anna dress. We went shopping with your birthday money and the second you saw it, your eyes lit up. It was the ONLY thing you wanted; you were going to BE Princess Anna! You proudly brought it over to the till and it made me happy to see you so excited.

You’ve been Princess Anna a lot since that day.

But when you asked to wear it to the supermarket, I hesitated. And then I talked you out of it.

I’m sorry.

It wasn’t because I’m ashamed of you. Far from it. I will never stop being proud of you. It was because I was terrified that someone might say something nasty to upset you and quash the make-believe out of your soul.

Part of my role as your mummy is to protect you. Like any parent, I worry about the little things that might single you out for bullying, or name-calling, or ostracising. It pains me to think someone will hurt you one day.

But you know what? I’ve realised that alongside keeping you safe, it’s also vital for me to support you in your choices, rather than fear the consequences of them.

So if, while we’re picking up fish fingers from the frozen aisle, you want to pretend to be a feisty, fearless, kick-ass character who saves the day – and who happens to be female – then that’s fine with me. You are being a normal, playful three-year-old, who has a limitless imagination, and a wonderful sense of creativity and play. There are no boundaries in your world. You don’t realise you are breaking the mould.

Toys are toys. Clothes are clothes – that’s all.

So be yourself.

I will stand up for you. Because I am your mummy and I will have your back. Always.

Lego