March came in a like a stress lion for me; daily I found myself struggling to catch my breath and promising myself that things would settle soon, that I’d find time for a yoga class, that I’d stop hating myself for forgetting simple things.
When I found out family would be in town last Saturday, I called it: a day off. Even reserving it a month in advance does little to stem the mom guilt, that suffocation I feel whenever I leave my house without my girl. Mom guilt is the worst part of motherhood but the good news it it’s fleeting; by the time I picked up a coffee at a local bakery, I’d mostly moved on. I was ready for a day of nothing.
Nothing always begins with yoga. I tagged along to my sister’s favorite class, deep in Park Slope, a hefty hike away in the rain. I had taken a class the previous weekend, but it was at the Y, and it was restorative, which is basically an hour-long nap in various positions, so let’s not pretend that counted as any real workout. This, though, was a real class, one where my legs and shoulders burned and I panted. My head cleared. Poof. Namaste-urday.
Nothing continued with leftover pizza and magazine reading in my sister’s cozy apartment. She had work to do so, still in the rain, I left and found a coffee shop and enjoyed a latte and a croissant and a solitary hour with my laptop and no wifi, and got some writing done.
That is a midday treat, my friends.
In said coffee shop I saw a poster for "A Streetcar Named Desire" starring Gillian Anderson and coming to Brooklyn in just a few weeks. I texted a picture to my mom and sisters; last summer, I’d bought us all tickets for that very show and wrote about how it was one of the first times post-baby I’d said yes to future plans.
By mid afternoon, I felt fully restored. Also, my mom guilt had come roaring back. Sometimes it feels like it’s fine to leave my kid if I have actual things to do – work, of course, or a weekend vacation with friends, or a specific event. But when it’s just a Saturday in Brooklyn in the rain, when you’re just looking for something to fill the remaining hours, well…it starts to feel excessive.
It was time to go home.
Also, I couldn't stop playing peek-a-boo with the baby in the cafe.