More like 'Be Fearsome'.
My poor, poor Lads can bear witness to that.
It had all started so well. I had worked right through the dragging, heavy pain in my pelvis to get them washed, dressed, breakfasted and suitably prepped for a drizzly Monday morning. All I had to do now was get them out the door and off to school and then I could nurse my sore body.
How was I to know they were going to push - hang on, no, make that CRUSH - my buttons at the final moment?
How was I to know that Little Lad would so vehemently detest the BRAND NEW school shoes he had approved only yesterday (the other pair having already been taken back to the shop because he had pulled the tongues out of them, and these ones being the replacements I had given up a whole day to go and get for him)?
How was I to know that Big Lad would passionately reject the BRAND NEW school jumper I had bought for him, despite the fact that I had already taken back another version to the shop and had this time bought him the style he liked because his best friend wore one just like it?
What, was it World-Reject-Everything-Your-Mother-Buys-You Day?
I packed them into the car, by now far too pissed off to do my usual pleasant morning saunter to school, Little Lad wearing fluorescent chavvy trainers and Big Lad shivering violently for lack of jumper. Near-obscenities streaming out of my mouth along with phrases like 'no sense of gratitude', 'bloody lucky to have a mum who cares', and 'from now on your are coming on EVERY SHOPPING TRIP EVER!' To this they screamed through the rooftop of the car which I'm sure helped propel us down the road to a screeching halt outside the school.
When we stopped I could feel them. Prickling at my eyes and clawing at my throat. The tears were coming.
Before the first one could slip out, I turned to the Lads and did a wobbly smile. "I'm so sorry Lads. I haven't been very nice to you this morning, have I? You know why, don't you?"
Big Lad sighed. "Yes, because we didn't like the things you bought us."
"Partly, yes. But do you know why else?"
Little Lad started jostling in his car seat and raising his hand as if he was in class already. "Oooh, I do, I do! It's because you've got your period and it's easy for you to get mad." He looked very chuffed with himself.
(By the way, I have a very open attitude with my Lads about my menstrual cycle. I figure it's part of raising them to be strong, dependable and empathetic men. Sorry if that's not your thang, but it's certainly mine and I'm sticking with it)
"You know, when it gets to this time of the month for me, I sometimes feel so short in patience. Like I can't handle much at a time. It's not your fault at all. It's not even my fault. It's just nature."
They nodded slowly and then quickly started asking questions about their packed lunches and whether their homework was in their bags and if it was takeaway night or not. Cool. They were over it.
But I wasn't. Having dropped them at school with extra big cuddles and bonus smooches, I still felt shit. Even with all my mindfulness skills and ability to put things in perspective, I still felt shit.
How did I know? It felt like I had a golfball in my throat. Shards of glass in my heart. A tonne weight in my solar plexus and chainmail draped all over my body. This, ladies and gentlemen, is part of what it's like to be hormonal.
This experience varies greatly from person to person but I just want to take this quiet moment of reflection to be honest about how truly dreadful it can feel to suffer from PMS. It doesn't matter how much people joke about it, how many inventive analogies for being 'on the blob' are out there, or how much you know that it will pass. When it's happening to you (and remember, most husbands, friends and kids think it's happening to them, but it's not, it's most definitely affecting you more), it is truly awful.
So when I stepped on my mat today, I felt like sobbing. When I inhaled and stretched up towards the sky, I didn't feel worthy of even that. When I rose up into my half-way lift and Adriene said "meet your appropriate edge here today", I was frightened because I didn't know where my edges were. Everything felt too wide open.
And whilst yoga is certainly no cure, it at least has a way of moving energy around. My mind might have had a hard time believing that I could be fearless today, but my body went through the swift, invigorating flow and by the time I was in shavasana, my heart open to the sky, I knew I had been brave, in a way.
Fearless I could do another day.
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