Mama and baby screening at the local cinema? I don’t think so. Mama and baby yoga? It’s not gonna happen. Mama and baby pottery – seriously?? Well, ok I made the last one up, but it probably exists somewhere in West London. So, my point is I’ve never been a believer in tacking on ‘and baby’ to activities that require quiet, calm and your undivided attention. Call me a cynic, but often these activities don’t fit well with an unpredictable and often wailing baby who demands that the only attention you are allowed to give is to him/her. Having said all of that, I recently decided to put my ‘and baby’ activity prejudice aside and attempted my first mama and baby yoga class. It went a little something like this…
My first stumbling block was arriving only to discover this particular class was not in fact yoga with babies, but just me with my baby! Something somewhere was lost in translation when I signed up to the class. However, the sympathetic teacher was fine for me to have baby Leo in tow. So, with bubs safely tucked away in the corner all on his lonesome, I lay out my mat ready for the relaxation to begin.
Upon commencement the second problem arises. The class is to be conducted in Catalan & I barely understand Spanish. Determined not to be deterred I decide it’s not a problem as after all I just have to follow the actions. Ok, let the ‘om’ chanting soothe its way through my very core.
We close our eyes, shake out the stress (there’s a lot to be shaken) and I almost forget my little man in the corner. CLING! Hold on, what’s that?? Not wanting to interrupt the Zen like state being created, but simultaneously thinking loud noise and sleeping baby don’t mix well, I peek from the corner of one eye and see the teacher ringing some bells through a haze of incense. Every inch of me wants to yell NOOOO STOP WITH THE BELLS WOMAN, but I am already the foreign lady who turned up with her baby so I figure I should just let it go. Zen state out of the window, I start to briefly panic at the thought of bubs’s lungs being unleashed on my class, but much to my surprise he doesn’t even stir. Once again confirming there’s no rhyme or reason to these small creatures.
An incredible 20 minutes later and I’ve managed to complete downward dog with not even a hint of a cry from my guy in the corner. I start to think to myself, maybe this bring a baby to class thing isn’t such a bad idea after all. Moments later there is movement from the corner and I spot the buggy shaking and think to myself it’s all over, but hey it was good while it lasted. The teacher kindly goes over to the buggy to check. Little did she know before she started this class that along with her yoga teaching she would be honing her babysitting skills.The class continues and I am both shocked and happy to say on this particular occasion my little one did me proud and behaved well enough for me to complete the class undisturbed. Let’s not get too excited though, as the thing with being a parent is no matter what actually happens you are usually worrying about what could very well happen at any moment based on experience. So, whilst the class went as well as it could have, with every sound/movement I was distracted with thoughts of ‘is he ok’? ‘is it too hot in here for him?’ and if there was no movement I was wondering ‘why isn’t he moving?’ It’s a no win. It’s similar to when all you dream of as a parent is a good night’s sleep, the one night your kids do sleep soundly (so far it really has been the one night) you find yourself constantly checking on them due to the lack of noise and you don’t sleep anyway. So, I have to ask myself did I really enjoy my first ‘and baby’ class? Or, was I too preoccupied with feelings of guilt for having the only baby in the class, sticking him in the corner and turning the yoga teacher into a childcare practitioner, to be able to embrace my hour of ‘me time’?
Verdict? Well, let’s just put it this way – I don’t think I will be taking bubs with me to the mid-day screening of T2 Trainspotting.