I woke up from yet another night of barely any sleep, and decided despite my exhaustion – which had been a staple of my existence for over 2 months – I would solider on. Something inside of me surrendered and I said aloud, “ I accept that I’m not going to sleep well for a while.” I decided that today I would take Emily to Mommy and Me Yoga, and I would wear my rainbow pants.
I drank my two cups of coffee, a necessity at this point, and dug out the rainbow pants that had been buried in my drawer for over a year. Despite their drawstring waist (which could have enabled me to wear them throughout my pregnancy) I had consciously decided not to wear them. I really struggled with the attention my pregnant belly brought me, and the last thing I needed was more attention from my brightly colored pants.
As for postpartum, my c-section had left me very tender and sore, and I couldn’t risk having even the smallest amount of pressure on my abdominal area. My maternity leggings with their forgiving elastic waist had been the only things I could wear comfortably for 2 months. But today I felt okay. I felt ready to wear them again.
It might seem very silly, but when I stop and think about it, those pants represent so much for me. I taught yoga to children in those pants, and every time I wore them I got some kind of compliment. Whether it was a teenager saying, “Those are cool pants” or an adorable 3-year-old telling me how much they loved my pants, they brought me positivity. I felt playful and fun when I wore them, and felt like I could be me without apology.
They also reminded me of Silly Whim, the hero in a childhood movie I loved called “Wee Sing Sillyville”. I watched that movie over and over again. Subconsciously I think when I wore those pants I felt powerful like Silly Whim who brought all the people of Sillyville back together.
Ultimately, I felt like ME again when I put those pants on. I felt like the Jessica that taught kid’s yoga as a profession. The Jessica that inspired kids and adults to move, feel good and be silly. I felt like I did a long time ago.
As I felt the stirring of the “old me”, I experienced Mommy and Me with my brand new little munchkin, Emily. She smiled and cooed at me as I mooed and meowed in cat and cow poses. Mooing and meowing in those poses was something that had been an almost daily occurrence as a kid’s yoga teacher for over five years. Now here I was, mooing and meowing for my daughter! It was a full circle moment.
Being the student rather than the teacher, and sharing my yoga practice with my daughter was truly special. I reveled in the amazing physical feeling of crescent lunge and down-dog. My heart burst as Emily spotted the ceiling fan and stared at it in awe. She smiled at me as I did modified chaturanga push ups over her and kissed her belly. I melted.
When I look into the bright blue eyes of my baby girl and she smiles at me in recognition I realize, “I am still me, but I’m a new me too.” I am both my “old” self and my “new” self. I am both the Jessica who mooed and meowed in front of hundreds of children over the years in my kid’s yoga classes, and I am the Jessica who now moos and meows with my own daughter. I am a teacher, a mother, a wife, a daughter; I am all of it.
I also realize there’s this subconscious idea planted inside my mind that I need to “get back”. I need to get back in shape, or get back to who I was before. The truth is, I am never going to “get back” to who I was before, and I would never want it to. I am now a mom to a precious baby girl who lights up my life, and it’s the most important role I will ever play.