Being a first-time mom, I found myself struggling to get out of the house. I found every reason not to leave.
“My daughter is too young still. She’s too small; she could get sick.”
“I need to stay home and clean up the house while she’s napping.”
“Getting ready takes too much time and effort.”
“There are piles of laundry to do.”
“It could rain. Or snow. It’s cold outside.”
You name it, and I decided it was a reason not to leave our house. This continued for weeks until I started to realize how lonely I felt. Isolated, really.
My husband mentioned returning to yoga. However, I just wasn’t ready to leave my baby yet for an entire hour. I knew there had to be another way and sure enough, there was.
After searching for baby and me yoga classes, I came across Toula Yoga. Toula Yoga, sure enough, had Baby and Me Yoga classes. Toula likes to refer to the class as BYOB (Bring Your Own Baby). The class is held for postpartum moms and their babies from newborn to crawling and is led by Stacey Schmitt.
Feeling Like me Again
Returning to similar activities after having my daughter was crucial to feeling like me again. The Baby and Me yoga classes allowed me to be as active as my postpartum body would allow. The class helped me build a bond of trust with my daughter as we did different yoga moves together.
I enjoyed doing Downward Dogs over my little peanut, watching her smile back at me while I made funny faces at her. Singing the airplane song over and over while I raised her up and down on my legs created a memory I will never forget. Watching her grow and seeing her try to do her own Downward Dog made my heart smile.
Truly, the best thing about the classes was the mama group time afterward. Stacey did a remarkable job of creating a safe environment where we all felt safe and comfortable to share our struggles and successes. Getting to talk with other moms about the struggles that motherhood brings was more than I could have asked for.
Never Alone on this Journey of Motherhood
They too, had feelings of isolation and need to get out of the house, but lacked the motivation and honest will power to do it. We found it’s easier to stay in and be alone than to get out of the house. Why? Maybe because as a new mom the effort you’re already putting into keeping a tiny human alive is more than you anticipated, so any extra effort to pull yourself together and go somewhere was just too much.
Even on the days I felt this way, I made myself leave the house with my daughter and head to yoga. There was no judgment there. Whether I had spilled breast milk all over my clothes or hadn’t washed my hair in over a week, they didn’t care. They were in the same boat as I was and realizing I had a community around me lifted my spirits and gave me motivation.
I started to form friendships. Week after week, as we all shared our successes and failures, I started to bond with the other moms. Realizing you aren’t the only one looking like a hot mess, or not wanting to leave the house, or crying all day because you spilled milk made me feel like I belonged.
Learning and Sharing Builds Community
The group also shared resources they found helpful. As I was newer to Cedar Rapids, I wasn’t aware of many resources for new moms. There were times I didn’t know what to do or who to call, and I tell you, someone in the class always gave me an idea.
The community that was formed through the class and the motherhood group is something I will always look back on fondly. Prior to going, I never realized how isolated I truly was. I now realize how this class pulled me out from a postpartum lull and helped me see the benefits of a shared motherhood community.
Consider Baby and Me Yoga
If you are feeling lonely or isolated and need a great activity to get you out of the house, consider Baby and Me yoga classes. Even if you don’t do yoga, this class is very laid back and beginner friendly. The most important part won’t be learning the yoga poses, but the friendships you’ll make along the way.
Toula Yoga holds the Baby and Me Yoga classes on Thursdays at 11am.
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