December 27, 2016

How Motherhood Improved my Morning Ritual.

Motherhood hits hard.

It surely turned my world upside down.

One day I was one soul walking at my own pace on the face of the Earth and boom—suddenly we were two, just like that.

I became responsible for absolutely everything that both my baby and myself needed. Suddenly I was not only in charge of taking care, feeding, keeping safe and warm both myself and my little one, but also on call to wake up whenever my mini-person decided to wake up.

Everything I’ve ever done, everything I was used to, everything I knew changed forever in what seemed an instant, because well, I know I will love this little person for more than just a couple of years—it’s a love that will last forever.

And even on the worst sleepless nights, it is beautiful.

So when I read all the blogs about beautiful self-caring morning rituals, it was like looking through a mirror into a distant past, almost another reality that seems far away, like a dream.

In this alternative universe I see myself waking up to a routine of long minutes of mindfulness with a cup of tea or coffee, quietly sitting down by my window in my blue chair, my dog at my feet. I close my eyes and listen to my breath, I meditate for a while, then I go into the kitchen to make a delicious smoothie and work on the computer or take some time to catch up on the news.

This was my reality, a long, long 18 months ago.

It was scrumptious and self-caring. It was quiet and almost like a postcard. But not to complain, I have given it up in exchange for the slow pace routine, for more messy mornings full of smiles, cuddles and lots of kisses.

Today my mommy morning ritual can change from one day to another, but it more or less starts when I open my eyes in the darkness and I have maybe four seconds of adapting to my body before that little voice coming from the next room calls again, “Mami.”

His voice always makes me smile and I roll over for a quick stretch. Then I come through a quick child pose and reach long with my arms so that my spine gets ready for the new day to come. I look over to my husband who is now under the sheets and will wait for his portion of kisses to be served in bed.

Another “Mami” comes from next door and I shake off my sleepyhead and go to the bathroom and wash my teeth, this is the only thing that has never changed. I am a freak about washing my teeth before absolutely anything else in the morning.

Exactly a couple of minutes have gone by now, usually there is no screaming or crying from the next room, just another loud “Mami” while I open the door to see him standing in his crib in his pajamas, smiling at me, the biggest most honest and full-hearted smile. My heart jumps every morning as I pick him up and kiss him.

We go to the window, open the curtains to let the sunlight in and every morning since he was born I sing him the lines of a popular Mexican song by the late singer Juan Gabriel until he is laughing and jumping in my arms.

“Buenos días Alegría! (Good morning happiness),

Buenos días Señor Sol! (Good morning mister Sun),

Buenos días Vida Mía (Good morning my life),

Buenos días mi Amor (Good morning my love)’’ 

Then he asks for his “leche,” meaning he wants to breastfeed, so we sit on the floor and everything is quiet. This is the only moment of silence in this routine, two souls breathing together, nursing life.

When he is done he gets up from my lap and toddles his way into the toy box while I go to the iPad and press play to our morning music playlist.

All this takes about 15 minutes. Time enough to remember what moves my heart, what moves my days, what makes me dance.

Becoming a mom has been the best mindfulness teacher. I have learned to listen, to be present, to let the past rituals go and accept that everything can change and it will always be good.

I know this dance will not last forever. I know this ritual will change sooner than I want it to. I know that my child will grow up and I will be back to my solo self-care ritual with cups of tea and meditation, and that will be okay, because I will never be lonely again.

But meanwhile…we dance.

Buenos Dias Playlist:

Here Comes The Sun by: The Beatles

Beautiful Day by: U2

Here Comes The Sun by: Nina Simone (yes twice)

People Watching by: Jack Johnson

We’re Going to be Friends by: Jack White

The Sharing Song by: Jack Johnson

The 3 R’s by: Jack Johnson

You Are My Sunshine by: Elizabeth Mitchell

Feeling Good by: Nina Simone (I also play this while my husband changes my son’s diaper.)

Magnificent by: U2

Somewhere Over the Rainbow by: Israel Kamakawiwo’ole

You’re My Best Friend by: Queen

Beautiful Boy by: John Lennon

Take Me With You When You Go by: Jack White

Yellow Submarine by: The Beatles

Cowtown by: They Might Be Giants

Three Little Birds by: Bob Marley

Rocket Man by: Elton John

Happy by: Pharrell Williams



Author:  Montse Leon

Images: courtesy of the author

Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock

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