Today we went to visit our lovely family in Manchester. I had a really nice time catching up and cuddling the new born twins.
Talking to my sister in law about her beautiful new borns brought back lots of memories of my early days with Noah. It got me thinking about what a steep learning curve having a baby is.
When I was pregnant I focussed on being pregnant, I didn’t really think any further ahead than giving birth. It seemed quite sudden then, when I had a baby to care for, I felt underprepared! Arriving home with a baby seemed like a huge responsibility and perhaps one that I wasn’t quite ready for!
However, as time has gone on I have realised that you could never really be prepared to be a parent, you have to learn as you go along. No two babies are the same and no two sets of circumstances are either. You simply have to see what comes your way and cope with it as best you can when it happens.
For a while the worry was about the baby not sleeping, then about nappy rash, cradle cap, weaning, injections…the list goes on. For a while the worry about one particular issue takes up all of your attention. After a while you realise that you haven’t worried about that thing and that your concerns have moved on! Talking to all of my friends who have children this seems to be fairly typical.
Since I have got into mindfulness I have discovered a much better way to live with the worries that parenthood brings. Of course the worries still crop up but mindfulness helps me to see them in perspective. Rather than the worries taking over I have learnt to watch them come and go. I recognise them as completely normal rather than worrying about worrying. I am able to enjoy life despite worries appearing every now and then.
Mindfulness teaches you to recognise that thoughts are just thoughts. Rather than being stuck with a worrying thought you learn to realise that they do come and go. You might think that you have been worrying like crazy about something but then mindfulness helps you to see moments of lightness and joy in your day too so life seems a little lighter.
Parenting is full of joyful moments. It can be easy to let those moments get swallowed up by more difficult emotions and thoughts that come our way. Mindfulness helps you to be present in each moment so that you experience the full range of emotions and appreciate every one. It really does make the world a bit clearer and a bit more enjoyable. Something most parents would welcome!
Come on a Revitalise Day to get committed to a more mindful life. Getting started and building meditation into your daily life is a challenge but one that is worth it in so many ways. The day itself is a lovely period of peace and calm that allows you to recharge your batteries and to learn new techniques to keep yourself on top form at the same time.