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Butterfly Fly Away

My eldest just went to college - finally - after the Covid crisis of last year. I’m lucky. I got a bonus year with her, right? Except, it didn’t feel like a bonus navigating all the losses of 2020. I’m so happy she’s finally on her way - and she is too! I’m not an empty nester. My 16 year old is at home, so how do I explain this weird sensation in my body and in my household?

As I sat with a group of new moms for the IYK® Baby + Toddler class, I was struck by something unexpected. I remember that feeling of being SO ready for my baby to get out of my body. She can’t stay there forever; at full-term, it’s time for her to be out! Yet, after birth, there was this odd vacancy in my body and I was left with the squishy leftovers of her having been there. With my last birth, I remember thinking I’ll never feel that again, and I was sad because I loved being pregnant.

Leaping years forward, no one explained that strange sensation would happen again when she left the house. She packed her room. We got her into the on-campus apartment. It all went smoothly. She was all set. Then, I came home. The house felt different. It didn’t matter how many sleepovers, trips taken or camps she attended, she always landed back here. But this time, it felt different. I walked through her room and gathered the remnants she’d left behind. It was that same squishy leftover feeling of her no longer living in my vessel.

That hit me hard. I was fortunate to be spared of postpartum depression with both of my pregnancies. I work with so many moms who experience it intensely and it’s hard to overcome those challenges. I’ve always empathized, but now I identify with them in this new way. It’s postpartum part 2 for me, and it’s real!

Fortunately, there’s always a silver lining and a metaphor with yoga:

  • Feel the feels - the vacancy. In yoga, it’s the exhale to the bottom of your breath.
  • Let go. In yoga, release any tension you are holding in your body and mind.
  • Love yourself fully. In yoga, be with yourself in every state with care.

Within a week, I was delighted to hear Kate had enrolled in some yoga classes. She was taking off navigating new experiences - another metamorphosis complete.

Learn all sorts of useful tips about Yoga for Kids!

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