Oh.Kay. Apparently I am just not destined to write much this June. I blame teaching (from a new text which, let’s be real, means totally revamping my shtuff as I go), the June stomach flu, and Orange is the New Black (which we finished last night and was totally awesome but did not leave any free time in the last week for anything other than as many episodes as we could cram into each night during the glorious evening hours that exist post-Littles’-bedtime and in conjunction with my crazy yoga schedule). It’s not that I don’t have things to say. In fact, I have about three posts rattling around in my head these days and snippets of them come to me during class (composition and yoga, oops) all the time, but dedicated writing time has been sparse. I’d like to think that will get better, but with one week of teaching to go, two weeks “off,” and then four weeks of holy-mother-of-wow-this-is-going-to-be-amazing-and-oh-so-challenging-intensive-yoga-teacher-training, I’m not so sure. Of course I’m hoping to keep you all apprised of the training and I’m even trying to convince Ben that he should guest post here about the kids while I’m off doing my thing in Omaha, but who knows. Like so many of us, there are so many things – All. The. Things! – that I want to see come into being, but Life in the Tunnel doesn’t always allow for such.
Have I explained the Tunnel before? The Tunnel of Parenthood is a blog post a friend shared with me, geez, when Raegan was still a tiny babe, and because it is one of those ideas constantly rattling around in my brain, I can’t even remember if I’ve ever written about it or not. If I have, I apologize for the repetition, but either way, it’s a pretty amazing concept and probably worth talking about multiple times. While I highly suggest reading the post itself, the main focus of it is about how you shouldn’t make decisions about how many kids to have while you have itty-bittys in your midst and that’s not really my point in sharing it with you here. It makes no difference to me if your babies are fur babies (trust me, I have not forgotten how demanding two little dogs can be) or if you want one, three, or seven kids. My focus here is the concept she mentions about The Tunnel – this crazy season of life place that exists when you have children in your home age five and under, and how demanding and difficult this age range is for parents. And the best part (and most truest of truthy truth in it?) is how she explains that for each kid you add in the window of Aged 0-5 at the same time, your Tunnel intensifies. You are physically and emotionally and mentally needed. All. The. Time. It’s amazing and it’s exhausting. It is Life in the Tunnel.
Thankfully, last fall, I found a spot for myself in the middle of our crazy and chaos. As you know, after a little trial and error, I found my way back to the yoga mat and it was an instant fit. I felt at home and felt like a real live individual again for the first time in a long time. And now I have very-soon-to-be plans for being able to share that practice and peace with others which has me super excited and jazzed about everything to come. However, when I say peace, please don’t think I’m walking around all zen all the time. Did you not just read my brief explanation of the Tunnel? I’m in it, times three, so even though I have something that helps me feel like me on a regular basis, I still have plenty of struggles with sanity and perspective that keep me humble and keep me striving for improvement.
One of my current struggles, which feels amplified by my current season of life not to mention my teaching part-time and getting ready to be a weekly commuter student for a month, is that I feel like I hardly ever see anyone. Whereas we used to go visit our parents every other month or so, I’m now lucky if I make it to SoDak more than twice a year, and even getting to my in-laws (which isn’t all that far away) is tricky; the sheer amount of stuff that is required to schlep three kids anywhere is intense and so we stay put as much as possible to keep the kids in their routines and ourselves in our right minds. And as for getting together with friends? Well, unless they happen to show up at the yoga studio (where, man, I love seeing people!) or we arrange a play date with our kiddos, I just haven’t had much social time lately. Having sick kids never helps and let’s face it, everyone gets crazy busy in spring and summer.
But as I was just saying (OK, writing in a Facebook message because fb is about the only way I seem to keep in touch with people right now, even my friends who live in the same town as me) to a friend the other day, I am struggling with this lack of face time (real face time, not on a phone or via the computer) because my current season of life has also given me a fierce need for friendship. Let’s face it – Mamahood can be terribly isolating. For me, my first two years as a mama were hard. I didn’t know many stay-at-home mamas at the time and so during the weekdays, my interaction with other adults was pretty darn limited. Thanks to some time and stepping out of my comfort zones, I have since met a wide range of mamas and made many great mama friends. We don’t all walk the same path and we don’t all do things the same way when it comes to our kids, but I’m grateful for all the love, support, and “Me too!”s I have gotten in the last two and a half years from these women – from you. So while part of me wants to start humming the lines, “Don’t wanna be, all by myself” (which that recent viral video totally got stuck in my head anyway) because I feel so busy and so disconnected from people right now, I know that many of the mamas I know are doing the exact same thing as me – slogging through their own Tunnels, doing the best they know how for themselves and their Littles. I am right there with you, Mama, waving my flashlight and saying, “Wanna grab coffee? In like five years?”
So I wrote this Saturday morning and then found this link on HuffPo tonight. Holy majoly. It fits.