- Start with a few normal breaths. Even if “normal” is anxiety-ridden and jagged. Take a deep breath in and as you exhale, focus on the chakra on the crown of your head. Don’t think about how long it’s been since you washed your hair. Your eyebrows desperately need plucking too. File that away for later.
2. Continue breathing and move down to your forehead. Focus on the third eye chakra between your eyebrows. Your children are quiet, too quiet. Repress the urge to check if your six-year-old has started sprinkling glitter all over the house in the name of craft again, or if your toddler has got into the pantry. This can be dealt with later — with lots of yelling, but later.
3. On to your throat. Check for any constriction. Don’t think about snarky comebacks to three year old arguments during which you were tongue-tied..Acknowledge the words you didn’t say to your aunt before she passed last week. Convince yourself that it’s okay; you couldn’t travel anyway. Forgive yourself. Try to tune out your partner’s work voice. Stop wondering why he says words like “essentially” and “strategy” so many times.
4. Breathe and move down to your heart chakra. Focus. Don’t fidget and think about when this will be over and you can check your Twitter feed. Ignore the constant pinging of WhatsApp notifications. It’s probably the school parents group, everyone ranting about something. You also have to home-school kid #1. Remember you are a calm and composed adult human being. When you draw a pizza to explain fractions to six-year-old and she asks you to draw pepperoni on it (because how else will it be a proper pizza?), just breathe,. Keep your heart chakra in balance.
5. Three more to go. Crap! Concentrate on your solar plexus, where your hulk toddler kicked you yesterday and knocked the air out of you when you were trying to write.The kids are yelling for some reason. They will sort it out by themselves. Right? Right.
6. Let your breath travel down towards your belly button. Don’t think about eating. You are not hungry, you just had breakfast. Stop thinking about what to cook for the next meal and then the next one and then…They’re really yelling now, husband is also sort of yelling over the kids voices. Kids are now in your face, complaining about something. Ignore. Breathe. Even your breath is calling “Mama, Mama, Mama.”..You are a calm and composed adult human bei…goddamit, toddler is trying to climb on to your shoulders.
7. Breathing is out of whack. Quickly visualize the root chakra by your tailbone which is also out of whack, The universe is determined to uproot you from stillness. Yell “Can I just have two minutes to myself?” into the void.
Image by Ben Johnson from Pixabay
The numbered steps works well here. When reading, I wondered how it would look on the page if the calm, guiding voice moving through the chakras contrasted with the stream of consciousness by setting off one of them in italics. The set-up builds nicely, but the punch line/ending is a “so what.” I want to be surprised and entertained, I want an ah-ha moment. “Can I just have two minutes to myself?” is every mother’s lament and is as old as motherhood. If I were a teacher and writing in the margins, I would say dig deeper and add more sensory details. Nice work! Maybe a YeahWrite 2020 piece? Did you read Scary Mommy’s, “From Full-Time Work to Stay-at-Home Mom: The Realities of Child Care During COVID-19”
Thanks for the read.
This is great, Hema 🙂 (I don’t have kids, but last year I lived in a house with four of them between 2 & 8, so I’ve glimpsed this reality.) Kudos for getting on the grids in the midst of the craziness.
This was so entertaining. The constant blending of the sublime and the mundane, that’s motherhood all right! The details were great, like thinking how long it’s been since your last hair wash while focusing on your head, and the business buzzwords (at my job we say “leverage” way too damn often). Also, I adore that image, which manages to look like both a flower and speeding car tail-lights, perfect for the subject matter.
I feel for you, Hema. It’s hard to have a moment to yourself in the best of times with little ones, much less right now.
Oh lord, I do not miss my kids being this young. But then again… now the kids are bigger and the problems are bigger. This was so nicely done. The interruptions to your calm worked in well and were very relatable. The typos let you down though.
Thank you so much, Asha! I’m overdue for an eye appointment, my vision probs are letting in lots of grammar and spelling errors, unfortunately.