Ever had one of those days where your reality seems a really, really long way from your vision of how life should be?
I’d had a few.
I’m well aware of the benefits of living mindfully and compassionately. I love to read about stuff like that during sleepless nights with small people, or whilst collapsed on the sofa dunking chocolate into tea.
I’m on board with all that stuff: yoga, meditation, being in the moment, all of it. I might even have trained as a yoga teacher, if I were younger, bendier and liked other people more. The problem is, how to hang on to that vibe amidst the clamour and chaos of life with a toddler and a baby? And how to be the kind, empathic parent I want to be when I’m so tired I can’t remember my kids’ names?
Most days I receive about 36,657 email newsletters from various clean-living types (I’m an easy sign up) with helpful tips on developing morning practices that will transform me into a sylph-like zen goddess, simply by rising at 4am, sipping hot lemon water with a serene face and getting down with some stretching and morning meditation.
My ‘morning practice’ rarely includes any of these things. More often it involves a rapid response to cries for ‘Mummy’ followed by cartoons, cuddles and caffeine cravings. And, being realistic, I don’t really need the zen goddess thing anyway – I’d just like to be nicer to my husband and not lose my shit when it takes three hours to negotiate a nappy change.
This year I completed an 8-week mindfulness course and I’ve since aimed to incorporate a short mindfulness and meditation practice most days, even if it means hiding out in the loo (easier said than done; they will hunt you down and find you). But, with a new baby attached to me for much of the day, formal practices are increasingly tough to find time for.
So, this year, aware that these tired days are likely to be the ones I remember most happily as I reminisce with my friends in our beachside retirement mansion staffed by muscular male nurses, this year I decided to explore simple ways to become a calmer, more mindful and more effective parent.
Parenting Calm is a blog about:
- Bringing mindfulness into busy family life.
- Using positive parenting techniques; to strengthen family bonds and build a happier, more peaceful home.
- Recognising the importance of taking care of ourselves, and finding easy ways to recharge, and to lighten and brighten the day after the sleepless night before. Things that don’t include wine, coffee or chocolate, or at least not all at the same time.
I’d love you to join me – you can sign up for weekly emails here.
You can read about the moment Parenting Calm was born here.
And there’s more about me here.
And a bit about mindfulness here.