My Problematic Morning Mantra to my Kids:
“Come on. Let’s go.”
“Your socks aren’t on yet, and school starts soon. Let’s do this, kiddos.”
“You forgot what at home? We’ll have to hurry back to get it.”
“We’re late. Hurry, kids!”
Diagnosing the Problem
One morning, on our drive to school, I really reflected on the dialogue I have with my children in the morning. I bet if you asked my children when it was the least fun time to be my child, they would tell you weekday mornings. Like many parents, I wake up—at what I would call—an obscene time in the morning to get things ready for the day, grade, edit, write, and get dressed. By the time I wake my kids for school, I’m a coffee pot into a day that will be awesome, fulfilling, but demanding nonetheless. Like many moms, I can feel my stress projecting onto my children, and I wanted to change that.
It wasn’t until I was studying a health management program that I discovered tiny, ten minute meditations. I was required to breathe in a quiet room for ten minutes a day. It could have been guided or simply silent. I had to hide from my adorably loud family, or take some of my morning time to complete this task, but the benefits I experienced were overwhelmingly positive. I researched why I felt so great, reacted so much better to stressful situations, and slept so much deeper. The research proves my experience to be the norm. According to Forbes.com, meditation actually changes our brains. The benefits I experienced from just one week of breathing deeply for ten minutes a day were included in this article.
Some Benefits of Meditation
Helps Concentration and Attention
As with any mom, my mind bounces from one thing to another when there is so much to remember for everyone at any given time. Add 130 students to that equation, and there are quite a few people who depend on me to be on top of my game. When I took a break to purposefully breathe, I experienced clarity that had been quite rare prior to my meditation practice. I found myself with an organized “to do” this, and I was able to methodically cross each task off of my list. I was a better human.
The only time I feel anxious is when I have a ton to do but little time to do it. That’s almost every day, so when I felt an overwhelming calm during the time I took care of myself via breathing where I would normally be a mama-monster, my kids benefited, too. I was able to deal with each stress nugget as it came, and even though I wasn’t rushing my kids in the morning, we STILL made it to school on time and much happier I might add.
Reduces the Brain’s “Me” Center
Just like Rebekah mentioned in her article Boomerang Brain about the compulsive thoughts of a mom, meditation can quiet our thoughts and help us sort them out by calming what Forbes calls a “me center”. When we are able to remove our compulsion with what is going wrong in our lives, we are much more likely to focus on the good things outside of ourselves…like our families.
Meditation is known for helping with depression, addiction, and many other issues that plague us these days. In a world that is so loud, taking ten minutes for absolute silence and focus sounds daunting, but if you can find a way, it will benefit your beautiful family.
How To Begin
Because I only needed ten minutes of meditation a day, I used Deepak Chopra. He has short attention focusing Youtube videos, and his voice massages your ears the minute you hear it. He has guided meditation for a calm morning, overcoming obstacles, and my personal favorite: living carefree. If you don’t have a time or place for Youtube meditation, find a quiet place for five to ten minutes to close your eyes, focus your thoughts, and just breathe deeply.
Annabelle Fitzsimmons from Today’s Parent quoted Dr. Kim Foster as saying,
As moms, we’re not very good at taking care of ourselves. Meditation allows you to become connected with the present instead of constantly looking forward and planning the next several steps in your day.
Research proves deep breathing is good for our brains, our bodies, and our families. You deserve it, mama, and so do your kids.
How do you work in a daily meditation practice? We’d love to know.