I woke up at 5 am. Feeling my body shift away from her to turn off my alarm, I snuggled back into the covers to nurse my rousing toddler. Once I was sure she was back to blissful, sweet sleep, I rolled off the covers, grabbed my yoga pants and stepped over the cat as I crept downstairs.
The light from the street lamp glowing into the living room window guided my way to the light switch. After rolling out my yoga mat and starting the DVD, I was able to squeeze in exactly 3 minutes of stretching before I heard my daughter tussle in our bed. I exhaled a deep breath, paused the video and climbed back up the stairs to resettle my restless toddler who was now keenly aware I had left the bed. After some nursing and snuggles, it was now 5:30AM. If I wanted to have any piece of the day for myself, I knew I had better hurry up. I made it back downstairs, pressed play and forced my creaking, stiff body to soothe into the movements.
Ah, the stretching is starting to take effect and I can feel my body respond. Getting through a few repetitive cat and cow poses and into a series of deep lunges followed by transition to knees-chest-chin, I was starting to relax. This felt good.
I was able to get an entire 18 minutes of yoga before I heard. “Mommy.” “Mommy?” “Mommy, where are you?” And then a sob, “I want my mommy”. I heard my husband desperately try to comfort our daughter but I was already heading up the stairs.
Reaching the side of the bed, I was greeted by an, “Oh, hi Mommy”. I snuggle beside my toddler who feels it must be time to wake up for the day. As I hoist her tired, warm body into my lap and kiss her, she is babbling about whether or not I have showered yet this morning and if that is Kiki our dog downstairs barking. It is not quite 6am, and the day has started.
Off we go, back downstairs again to let the dog out of her crate and feed the cat. After the food has been scoped, handed out, and put away, I receive a request for pancakes.
Really??? Pancakes???? It’s barely 6am.
After confirmation that it was indeed ‘pancakes’ that were requested, I began to take out the flour, eggs, milk, and oil. My toddler hands me an egg and I sit her on the counter top to stir the batter.
Sometimes as I fall asleep I daydream about the freedom to have an hour to myself in the morning to relax and have me time. A whole hour where no one is calling my name or needing my touch. I can just feel the serenity in my daydream. And this is the struggle. The pull between myself and my role as a mother.
As I watch the delight on my daughter’s face as I push her golden pancake from the yellow smiley face silicone mold, I know that these small sacrifices are what create our bond. If ‘me’ time would mean I would miss out on 6am pancakes, I think I would choose the pancakes any day.