Right now, I'm currently 83% of the way through Poser: My Life in Twenty-three Yoga Poses And I'm in love, mostly because this author in the first few chapters nailed some of my feelings about parenting that I really haven't seen in a way that wasn't an entire book lamenting current parenting in a way that makes you feel worse about your feelings and you don't have interest in reading while you are trying to actually, you know, parent.
I love my children with my whole being. I hated breastfeeding. (In case you don't have small kids now, you must breastfeed for a year.) Child1 ate for 45 min to an hour at a time. She took her time eating and really enjoyed it. I figured out how to surf the web, watch TV, and read books during this hour I spent every two to three hours (timed at the beginning of the feeding, not at the end -- so I fed the baby for an hour, had a one to two hour break, then repeated.) In case we haven't met, I'm a voluptuous woman BEFORE I had children and keeping my breasts under wraps has been a huge part of my fashion choices. The thought of unleashing these puppies in public seems incredibly at odds with my life goals, and the thought of say, being in a restaurant for an hour with my breasts hanging out while my child ate sounded terrible when I could be at home on the couch all comfy and exposing myself to no one. I support any mother who wants to NIP (that's nurse in public for the uninitiated), but it wasn't a choice that I felt comfortable with. So, I was housebound with Child1 for a long time.
The breaking point for me was when I was watching my husband clean the kitchen 4.5 months after my child was born and thinking to myself, "I would love just to get up whenever I want and clean the kitchen." Yes, I was jealous of my husband's ability to clean the kitchen on a whim. After realizing how ridiculous that thought sounded, I dropped a feeding, and kept dropping until I was done six weeks later.
And the guilt that followed was terrible. Child1 was born in the late fall -- cold and flu season. I was convinced she was going to die or suffer from a disease and it would be all my fault. With both my children, I pumped at work, and with Child2, I just stopped producing enough milk at work to sustain him (after overproducing milk during my maternity leave.) Everything I read to produce more milk said to get more sleep (as if I didn't have a newborn), reduce stress (I'm back at work) and pump more often (no thank you!) So I started dropping pumping sessions. And more guilt followed, as my spring Child2 came into cold and flu season.
So, you can imagine my bonding with the author, when in the first chapter, I read:
Lucy wasn't yet ten months, and I wasn't supposed to quit nursing until at least a year. If you think this sounds like a frivolous dilemma, or not worth losing sleep over, then that just goes to show you were not a new mother in a liberal enclave at the end of the last century. . . . . I padded around in a complicated gumbo of guilt and relief. . . . Inside, I secretly exulted. I had my spleen to myself again.My new BFF Claire goes on to find meaning and solace in yoga, though not in a spiritual sort of way, and more like a getting out of the house when you have a baby sort of way. I've done yoga off and on for the last 10 years, and it's not my thing, really, though I enjoyed Mommy and Baby yoga when I was on maternity leave (otherwise known as an activity I can take the baby to and get out of the house). The book uses yoga poses to describe her life over the course of a decade.
Another thing Claire spoke about was whether or not she meshes with her hometown (Seattle) and eventually she and her husband move. This just made me really realize that I don't really mesh with the whole Keep Austin Weird vibe here in Austin. I'm not moving, but it did make me start thinking about what would be my spiritual hometown (Paris perhaps?)