Guilt may very well be a universal part of the human experience, and is often compounded and heightened after becoming a parent. Suddenly, you are entrusted with the absolute care of another human being, while continuing to balance all the other aspects of your life from before becoming a parent. It can feel impossible at times to succeed at all the varied roles you must take on during a given day—as a parent, a spouse or partner, child, sibling, friend, and co-worker.
Many of us have the intention to parent mindfully, but our lives are busy and we get swept along with the tide of action and doing. Meditation helps remind a parent to slow down, to notice the world around her, as well as to notice what is going on in her own mind, heart, and body. Perhaps meditation’s finest gift though is the ability to learn about yourself—what agitates you, inspires you, soothes you? You can then take these lessons into your daily life, helping to enrich your relationships in the process. My intent with this article is to give parents some simple ways to introduce a meditation practice into their daily lives.
Picture this holiday moment: you’re getting in the car to attend a long-awaited holiday event when things quickly go south. One child is writhing in her car seat, refusing to be buckled in. The other child is whining loudly about her itchy dress. Suddenly, the magic and wonder of the season is eclipsed by the very real challenges of parenting young children.
We just finished our first full week of the school year, and like many families, the transition has not been smooth. No matter how much we stick to routines during the summer, keep early bedtimes, and discuss and plan for the new year, we often find ourselves hanging on for the wild ride that ensues during these early weeks. By Friday night, I felt as if I deserved a medal for just surviving, and flipping my lid just a wee bit less than I might have.