When the alarm clock goes off around 6:15am, I can feel anxiety creeping in as I wipe the sleep from my eyes… it’s time to meditate.
It’s still dark outside and the day is full of possibility. It’s like I’m lined up on a runner’s track, waiting for the countdown and gunshot to begin the days’ race. Instead of running like the hare, I try to start my day off like the tortoise and meditate.
There are no lazy days when you have little kids and even if it’s a work day, I’m thinking about getting ready for work while awaiting the call of my babies to get them from their rooms. I sound like I am complaining, but this is just my reality. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the expectations of the day and I usually wake up thinking, “What does today have in store for me? What do I want to accomplish?”
When I hear my alarm go off I can:
- jump out of bed and get my day started, hoping to get a head start on brushing my teeth before I hear my kids call for me (this is the equivalent of starting the race at the head of the pack)
- hit snooze and get an extra 5 minutes of sleep (usually happens more often than not)
- hit snooze, sit up and meditate for 5 minutes in bed
On the mornings I meditate, I can feel the difference in how my day goes. My outlook on life is much calmer, I feel peaceful and prepared to handle anything that comes my way. Cups full of milk getting knocked over my little hands, children crying for inexplicable reasons, and kids fighting over toys do not rattle me.
The key to a happy kid is a patient parent. I find my patience through meditation
When I meditate, I feel incredibly patient with my kids. In the past few years, I have come to learn (and tested repeatedly, like a million times a day) the best way for me to find my patience is meditating for 5 minutes (or more) in the morning before the hussle and bustle of the day comes rushing through my bedroom door in the form of three adorable pajama-clad little ladies (sometimes without pajamas because they love “nakey time” too).
Interestingly, I have noticed my girls are much calmer on the days I meditate. They are not clamoring for my attention while I try to get food prepped or do some straightening up. They are happy playing together nicely and fights over toys are easily squashed or redirected. It’s a win-win for everyone. To back this up scientifically, there’s a ton of research on how kids are affected by their parents’ moods and mental state. If you are suffering from anxiety or depression, your kid knows it (even babies) and it’s making a difference in their life too.
When I began really practicing meditation, my instructor said the children of yogis are very lucky and blessed. This rubbed me the wrong way. I was mildly offended thinking, “Hey! My kids are lucky to have me, yogini or not!” Now, I totally get it. My kids are lucky to have a mama who is calm when things get crazy and will not perpetuate anxiety, anger or frustration in any given situation. It doesn’t serve us well and I would rather be an example of what to do and how to behave when things get rough.
Becoming a meditating mama is not something I pegged myself to be, but I feel really good about it. Give it a try, all I have to do is sit (lying down makes me sleepy), close my eyes and pay attention to nothing else but breathing in and out. It’s the gentlest way to wake up my mind in the morning and it gives my body a chance to wake up calmly too. Then seeing toddlers walk into my room with nothing but super soggy diapers on is comical and the most adorable way to get my day going.