This weekend I went to visit my brother and sister in law and their beautiful 5 week old twins. They live in Manchester and with life being so hectic and full of visitors at weekends this was the first time we had managed to arrange a time to see them.
Whilst we were there we volunteered to babysit whilst they went and did their weekly shop. They were really grateful because it gave them some time together and a bit of a breather. Being a parent can be intense, especially with two! Getting even a few moments to yourself can seem like a luxury.
Once you have a child you find that you are giving yourself to others all of the time. Your child always comes first, even when you are worn out and in need of rest. Finding some time for yourself is important to enable you to be capable of giving all that attention.
Sometimes people ask me whether committing 20 minutes a day to meditation is perhaps a bit selfish given that everyone else needs time and attention from you. My answer is absolutely not! If you can commit just a few minutes a day to sitting and meditating you will be totally amazed at your increased patience and understanding. Rather than feeling like you are at the end of your tether you will find yourself more relaxed and in control, what ever situation you are facing.
Taking some time for yourself is one of the least selfish things you can do and I encourage every person I help with meditation to put in their intention at the beginning of a meditation session. So they sit and take a few deep breaths and then think, who will benefit from me taking this time? When I do this the answer that comes to me is usually Noah.
When I have done my meditation session in the morning before he gets up I am ready to greet him cheerfully when he gets out of bed and the day of demands begins. By taking some mindful moments during the day I have enough energy to keep me kind and loving until his bedtime. Mindfulness really does make me a better parent.
So find 5 minutes to yourself and try this simple meditation to get a glimpse of how it could help you and your family…
Set a timer for 5 minutes.
Sit up straight on a chair, feet flat on the floor, hands on your lap.
Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.
Ask yourself who will benefit from you taking this time.
Pay attention to your breath but try not to alter it, just watch it, you are an observer.
Notice it enter and leave your body.
Notice where your body rises and falls.
Notice the length of each breath.
Each time your mind wanders bring your attention back to your breath.
Each time you return your attention to your breath you are teaching your mind to pay attention. By taking this time you are letting your thoughts unwind and slow down, this will create some real headspace to allow you to be in the moment and enjoying every second with your little one.
If you want more ideas for being mindful through meditation sessions or in everyday life get booked onto a Revitalise Day. Mindfulness is an approach to life and it really can be life changing. Everything can be done mindfully, it isn’t all about sitting still but that is a great place to start. Have a go at the exercise and if you want to learn more get in touch.