Stefanie Zito: 500 Hour YogaWorks Certified Yoga Instructor
Motherhood. It is a journey, and while I am only 17 months into it, I have gleaned some wisdom through the unity of mothers and rich conversations with those who have been there before me. And I have stumbled upon some perspective of my own that I am humbled to share with those who continue after (and beside) me along this path. From the trenches of tender and tired newborn days, to the intoxicating exhilaration of firsts, there is an unrivaled frenzy that motherhood introduces. When your baby becomes your world, the experiential shift that occurs is powerful—equal parts beautiful, yet also raw, primal, and crushing.
These tiny people are completely dependent on you, their primary caregiver, and as such, nothing will ever be quite as it was. To say this can be overwhelming at times is perhaps an understatement. Each transition into parenthood looks different because we are all uniquely different, and there is no one right way to go about this path. Depending on how you sit with this notion (or perhaps how that resonates with your personality type), the lack of one upstanding parenting modality can be either liberating or maddening.
With all this into consideration, I find it more helpful to offer perception considerations rather than parenting dos and don’ts. This is simply to suggest becoming more aware of the lens through which you perceive. Polish your lens and adjust your zoom appropriately.
Zoom In. Zoom out.
Becoming intimately close to what we observe in the moment is imperative to take action. To address a particular situation, we’ve got to lean into it and be present. But equally important is our ability to zoom out to not be overwhelmed by the task at hand. Our capacity to reel back and pan out helps balance the Now as it pertains to the broader context of your journey.
Zooming in, however, is not only important to address the seemingly urgent matters. Particular phases, both pleasant and trying, are here for just a little while. Things will shift, the pendulum continues to swing on its own terms and timeline, despite our desire to speed things up or to desperately cling to what’s before us. Zooming in can assure we appreciate the tenderness of the moment, and the profoundness of now.
Zooming out can seem distancing, but it can actually be about connecting. We can not only connect the dots of our experiences within the context of our own lives, but we can gain perspective on how those dots connect to the wider scope of humanity and existence. Parenthood can sometimes feel isolating, so take time to pan out—know that even when you feel alone at times, you are connected by the beautiful, complex, and interconnected web of the human experience. While your particular experience is unique, you are connected to the generations past and present of those who have walked and are walking this delicate, yet strong and resilient space.
Discover ways to explore connection as you continue along your path. Taking time out to move and breathe in community can be a great way to seek out that connection, and Pittsburgh Fitness Project now offers a unique opportunity to do so with Jill Chittester‘s class New Mom Fitness each Wednesday at noon. I also offer prenatal and postnatal-friendly classes, which you can learn more about on my website. While I hope to connect with you in person together with you at Jill’s class or elsewhere, I am delighted still to acknowledge our shared connection on perhaps a less tangible level, and of course through the world wide web which grants the sharing of these words and sentiments through blog form!