Name: Sonia Dovedy
Number of kids and ages: Rami (2)
Location: Bethesda, MD
The most surprising thing about being a first-time mom is how I met a totally new side of myself, that I never knew existed before. Who is this patient, authoritative, overly affectionate, okay-with-messes person I have become? I remember at my son's birth, feeling astounded by the amount of love I felt for him. It was as if my ability to love expanded drastically the moment I became a mother. I realized and continue to realize that my intuition and instinct are much more valuable than endless planning. My priorities have shifted so dramatically, that now, I find I can make myself more efficient in so many areas of my life - in decision-making, in getting myself dressed, in preparing to teach a yoga class, in getting dinner on the table, and much more. I have had to let go of my love for productivity, organization, and neatness, and instead welcome spontaneity, chaos, and leaving things "up to the universe". While the transition has not always been easy, I do feel like I am building a new muscle.
My expectation vs. experience breastfeeding was I always knew I wanted to breastfeed my children for a long time, and I am happy to share that I had a really beautiful first-time breastfeeding experience. My son was an excellent nurser from Day 1, and once we got our rhythm, breastfeeding became an enjoyable and relaxing event that we both looked forward to throughout the day. I loved how I could instantaneously pacify him as well as feel so much warmth inside in a split-second. For 22 months I savored his smiling eyes and our silent conversations that we had while nursing. What I did not expect was how hard it would be to wean. It took me a long time to warm up to the idea of no longer nursing one day - I was just as attached as he was. As he got older and nursed less regularly, I began to get horrendous migraines (he was still waking several times to nurse at this point). I attempted to wean gradually three times, and each time it backfired. So finally, I weaned cold turkey. It was extremely hard on my body and my emotional system, but my son took it very well. After the dust settled, what surprised me most was how wonderful I felt after weaning. My son was sleeping through the night, I had more energy now that my body wasn’t working so hard, and I felt oddly happy to regain a sense of my identity that I had missed.
The best piece of advice about motherhood is accept all the help you can get with open arms! Friends, family, neighbors, anyone who is willing to lend an extra pair of hands. When my son was born, it took me a long time to learn to ask for help. I was very attached and wanted to be the one who was there for every moment of his life. Well, I certainly struggled in trying to fly solo and did not personally give myself the time I needed to heal and recover postpartum. I learned slowly that letting others give their love to your children makes them even better versions of themselves. And in the process, I have realized that I am a much better version of myself when I make time for self-care and rest.
About Sonia Dovedy: Sonia is a certified Iyengar yoga instructor at the Junior 1 level. Her classes incorporate the intelligence of alignment and stability with the exploration of strength and flexibility, in order to cultivate a lively quality within the body and mind. She believes that yoga is a universal gift; she enjoys finding ways to make the poses meaningful for all who walk into her class and is passionate in sharing the gift of this practice with as many as possible.
Sonia also holds a B.A. in Media Studies from UC Berkeley and a M.A. in Gastronomy from Boston University. When not on the yoga mat, you can find her experimenting in the kitchen, trying out a new restaurant, or journaling about food, health, and Indian philosophy.
You can view her website at www.soniadovedy.com where she offers virtual yoga classes.