We hear you moms: you don’t have time to meditate. And even if you did, where would you start? There are meals to cook, errands to run, kids to take care of.
And let’s say you did have the time, how could you possibly concentrate with the endless cries of “MOM!” coming from the other room, the dog barking and the kids yelling at each other? Maybe other people are able to meditate, in their quiet, peaceful, stress-free homes, but certainly not you.
Believe me, I get it. I’ve come up with all sorts of reasons (read: excuses) for why I just couldn’t meditate.
I thought meditation was a one size fits all kind of thing, and it just wasn’t fitting me. I thought it had to be silent, it had to be done on my own, it had to be the same time every day and for a long period of time, all of which was completely unrealistic as a busy mom.
I’ve got good news for you.
Moms Can – And Should – Meditate
Meditation isn’t a one size fits all kind of thing. There are tons of different ways to do it, and the only absolutely right way is the WAY THAT WORKS FOR YOU!
But why do it? What’s in it for you? Meditation has some awesome benefits that you, as a mom, are going to want to take advantage of. For starters, meditation helps you to get in the present moment and stay there for longer. Don’t we all wish we could be a little more present with our kids?
Meditation also serves as a great way to help manage stress and anxiety, as well as increase patience and tolerance for all those little things that come up during the day that drive us crazy!
So the benefits sound good but you’re still not convinced you can do it? Here are a few things to consider before you throw in the towel.
Here are 3 Momma Meditation Tips:
1. You Aren’t a Failure If Your Mind Wanders
Have you ever had the timer go off at the end of a meditation session only to realize you spent the entire time thinking about the pile of laundry waiting for you in the basement?
You probably figured, “well this isn’t working anyway so I may as well just quit!” Yup, me too.
But here’s the good news: if you noticed that your mind was wandering then you were doing the hardest work of meditation. Instead of calling yourself a failure you should be throwing yourself a party!
Here’s the first meditation tip for you mommas. During meditation, the goal is to focus on one particular thing or subject, for example, the breath.
The work of meditation is to notice when your mind wanders. It doesn’t matter if it happens one time or one thousand times.
When you notice your thoughts have drifted off to something else, acknowledge whatever it was that caught your attention (sensations in your body, thoughts in your mind, sounds in the environment) and then tell yourself, “I am letting that go and returning my focus to my breath.”
The work of meditation is to notice when your mind wanders.
This is how you train your brain to focus.
So don’t be so quick to bail on a meditation session thinking you have messed it up. Every single time you catch your mind wandering, give yourself a mental high five for a job well done.
2. You Don’t Have To Go It Alone
Have you found yourself thinking that if you listen to guided meditations, you’re not really doing it right? Or even worse, had someone else tell you that you’re cheating? (Damn the meditation shamers!)
Well guess what … meditation doesn’t have to be a lonely and silent experience.
Listening to someone else guide you through your meditation can actually ease any anxiety you may be feeling about the practice.
There is no hard and fast rule that says you have to sit in complete silence or else your meditation practice is a sham.
As a matter of fact, listening to someone else guide you through your meditation can actually ease any anxiety you may be feeling about the practice, help you to feel more relaxed, and allow you to focus more intently and stay in the present moment.
Those sound like some pretty good reasons to pop in your ear buds and have a listen!
3. You Don’t Need A Lot of Time
Some people think that if they aren’t able to carve out a full 30 minutes or more every day to meditate that it isn’t even worth it.
I mean, less than 30 minutes isn’t really meditating, right? WRONG! Besides, when was the last time you found 30 minutes to do something for yourself, anyway?
Let’s be honest here. As moms, free time doesn’t always come easily. Or at all. So when it does, we take what we can get. Here’s your next meditation tip.
When it comes to meditating, every second counts. And I mean, it really really counts.
If brushing your teeth in the morning is the only uninterrupted time you can find today, then allow it to be a moving meditation where you brush slower, breathe deeper and allow all of your focus to settle on the tooth brushing.
As soon as you find your mind drifting off to something else, acknowledge what caught your attention and then come right back to the sensation of the toothbrush on your gums and your teeth.
When it comes to meditating, every second counts.
If 60 seconds later you have three children and a husband lined up outside the bathroom door shouting their demands and ruining the mood, then pat yourself on the back for a meditation well done and get on with your day.
One day you may find that you have 15 minutes to devote to meditating and the next it may be 15 seconds. Any time you spend focusing your mind and living in the present moment has its benefits.
Meditation Made Easy: Tips for the Busy Mom
So before you take meditation off the to-do list for the day because you “just don’t have time,” (which, by the way, is the BIGGEST excuse in the book) remember that you don’t need a lot of time. A little bit goes a long way.
The next time you find yourself on the meditation cushion feeling discouraged because you think you’re doing it all wrong, remember this: You can’t do it wrong and you can’t mess it up.
Just remind yourself of the three tips above and soon you will find yourself with a little more patience and tolerance, a new tool for managing stress, and the ability to be in the present moment.
Now take a deep breath and go get your meditation on.