I’m a firm believer that you’ll be a “new parent” forever. Being a parent brings a host of new experiences and new challenges for every year your child gets older. Parenting completely disrupts the way you used to live your life before children were in the picture. That alone can make you feel like you’re taking crazy pills on certain days. I used to consider myself a patient person, until I had a child and realized that I was absolutely wrong. Children test your patience on an entirely different level. They learn how to push your buttons shockingly early in their lives, and definitely know how to test their boundaries with you.
I’m sure most of you parents already know all of this. However, the tough part about parenting is figuring out how to deal with all of it in a healthy way that leaves your child happy and you feeling sane. You need an outlet! I have a few outlets, but without a doubt the most reliable one has been practicing meditation. I meditate daily for 10–20 minutes. For me, that means sitting in a quiet room, listening to a guided session. I use the Headspace app, but it’s easy to search guided meditations on the internet as well. When people hear the word “meditate”, they tend to assume you’re sitting outside in the woods somewhere chanting “ohm” every few seconds. Albeit, some people do meditate that way, however the act of meditation can mean any number of things for different people. I personally like to define it more as a short period of time you’ve taken for yourself, where you can take some deep breaths, reflect, and train yourself to just let things go.
Blocking out a just few minutes every day to simply breathe can make a world of difference in your overall quality of life and your general performance as a parent. Make sure to mark it on your calendar so you don’t forget or neglect it. It may seem like you don’t have any time for it, but you do and you should take that time. You deserve it!
Here are the reasons why I meditate, and why I think it makes me a better parent:
Meditation helps you practice many things, but patience is one of the big ones. Not losing your shit when your kid draws all over the walls is hard to do, but regular meditation can teach you how to handle a particularly frustrating or overwhelming situation without going off the deep end.
Beyond patience, it teaches you self-awareness and communication. Communication is one of the more challenging things to deal with as a parent. You’re in a constant struggle of trying to determine what your child is trying to say to you as well as how to say something to your child in a way that they will understand. It’s in these moments where your meditation habits kick in.
Meditation will teach you how to slow down and walk through a particular situation step-by-step with your child. I can confidently say that meditation has helped me develop a much better and much healthier relationship with my son because I am better equipped to handle his emotions as well as my own.
Parenting is hard…duh. It’s important to carve out time in your daily schedule to participate in relaxing activities. Finding extra time isn’t always easy to do, but if you commit to putting it in your calendar and hold yourself accountable to it, you’ll be a much happier parent, which in turn leads to a happier home life. Meditation has been effective for me but you can do any number of things to help you unwind.
What are some of your favorite things to help you kick back and recharge? Let us know in the comments!