Zen and the Art of Multi-Tasking

My husband calls it mommy yoga.

Imagine, if you will, a beautiful deck overlooking the ocean. There is spiritual music on the ipod and humming birds feeding nearby. I have relaxed in the most perfect tree pose that I have been able to execute in weeks… sounds like the perfect way to do yoga, right?

Now imagine that yogic peace disturbed by the glass door sliding open and an excited little voice saying ‘Mommy, come look it’s a container ship!’ The door slides closed without waiting for me to follow. The Might Machines bribe has lasted all of three poses. The next interruption comes a few poses later when a small hand tugs me out of a perfectly executed palm tree, almost toppling me over. ‘Mommy, I just have to go pee’ (Now, The Boy has been perfectly able to do that on his own for months, he just feels the need to inform me of that). I manage find some inner peace and move onto the floor poses. I then open my eyes out of the cobra pose to a ball bouncing past my nose, followed quickly by two sets of running feet, I shut them quickly again and breathe in deeply, only to find the scent of a dirty diaper has joined that of the salt air. The remaining poses take place amid a bouncing ball, over my legs, under my bridge pose and off my head. I do feel quite accomplished in holding my shoulder stand (for those yoga virgins, this is a rather difficult pose that involves feet straight in the air while balancing on the shoulders) as a young body crashed into me in another attempt to retrieve the ball.

It’s not exactly the ideal picture of calm is it? Yet, most days, it still works for me. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to have total silence to truly find some yogic calm and this so-called Mommy Yoga is no route to inner peace, but somehow it does provide another kind of peace. Perhaps my yogic breathing fortifies me for the day ahead. Instead of finding my inner calm, I think I’m finding my inner octopus. One of the Sanskrit meanings for the word Yoga is control. Maybe managing my yoga in the midst of this chaos allows me to gain some level of control over it. I think it’s a talent to breathe calmly, hold a rather precarious balance and still talk a reluctant one year old down from the table he thinks might be fun to stand on while answering a three-year-old’s question as to why kitty doesn’t want to play cars.

This is mommy multi-tasking at its best. Maybe I should rent my kids out to first time pregnant mothers. I could call it mommy boot camp… here’s my Wii Fit and my kids, if you can manage it all for a week you’re ready.

For now, yoga mat in hand, I’ll once again try to find my chi. Some days I achieve a semblance of balance, other days it feels rather futile. The boys are quietly colouring so, foolishly, it seems like now is a good time to attempt a little yoga. I fully expect to be engulfed in flying crayons the moment I begin, but maybe that’s my first challenge of the day.

Namaste… I hope.

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One Response to Zen and the Art of Multi-Tasking

  1. Divawrites says:

    Brilliant! I regularly do Downward Dog with kid and cat lying underneath me. Cat has walked under the Bridge, it's next to impossible to do Lotus Focus with cat gnawing on watch to get petted while kid leans against my other side talking a blue streak.Mommy yoga-I love it. I think that teens who think a baby would be fun need to spend a couple of days as primary care giver, preferably when diaper rash or diarrhea are involved…

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