I’ll be totally honest here: this morning was Not Good. My daughter woke up on the wrong side of the bed. I woke up with my son’s feet in my face. The waffles were all wrong. It was a crazy litany of things going haywire and wrong, and I was way happy to drop both kids off at school. Even in this hectic frenzy (OK, 15 minutes after the hectic frenzy), I realized that meditation for moms is so important for our self-care.
Over the past month, I’ve been participating in a meditation challenge led by my friend Ali Katz. I wasn’t always great at it, and I didn’t always hit my meditation goals for the day, but I did learn a thing or two about myself and the importance of meditation for moms through this process.
It is not hippy-dippy or weird to meditate.
So bear with me on this one. I Googled a bit about meditation for moms, and some of the links point to very Zen, centered women who practice yoga on the regular and love the connectedness they feel with their kids. And that is 100% great, but it’s also really hard for me to connect with. But what I can connect with right now that helps regulate my emotions and breathing is focusing on my breath for 5 minutes.
I have found some great apps to install on my phone, and I will listen to a guided meditation in my car. Heck, just the other day, when things were crazy spiraling as we left the house, I told the kids, “Listen, Mommy needs like 5 minutes to calm down and be a better mommy so we’re going to listen to what Mommy needs to listen to right now, OK?”
It wasn’t Moana (the music of choice for the past 3 months) but it did the job. Within those 5 minutes, I was calmer, more collected, more clear-headed, and better able to focus my attention and intentions with my kids.
Meditation for moms is sometimes about self-care and sometimes about survival.
Another thing that’s always at the forefront of my mind as a mother is modeling appropriate and acceptable behavior for my children. It doesn’t really fly in my house for me to tell my kids one thing and then go do something else. For me to ask them to be calm and use their “nice words,” I have to model the same. To that end, I have be cognizant and conscious of my choices, and sometimes that means taking a hot second to take care of me… even when my initial instinct is to take care of them, the dog, my husband, like everyone else.
An extension of that self-care is sometimes survival. Honest to goodness, some days as a mom, it feels like such a struggle just to get to the next minute. I just want one minute where I’m not in demand. I just want one minute where I’m not the only problem solver around. I just want one minute to hear and collect my own thoughts.
In those instances, that’s when it can become critical and imperative to reconnect and become mindful of my choices. In all honesty, I would rather take the 2-3 minutes to collect myself than stay up 2-3 hours, riddled with anxiety that I made the wrong choice.
I already suffer from a lack of sleep so even LESS sleep is no bueno for anyone.
Look, I’m not saying that this is easy, but I am saying that taking 5 minutes a day to simply breathe in a focused way is a worthwhile investment. So can you do that with me? Once you finish reading this, can you simply breathe for 5 minutes and let me know in the comments how that feels?