Meditation Takes the Edge off Parenting August 2018
One group that may legitimately claim to have no time for meditation is the parents of young children; squeezing in all the needed daily tasks while also attending to children’s needs is quite demanding. But taking 20 minutes to meditate a few times a week can translate into infinite greater patience and calmness when things get tough. While meditation won’t eliminate all the frustrations that come with parenting, it can take the edge off, turning huge deals into manageable tasks.
One of the primary reasons that parenting can take us to our emotional limits is because children have not yet developed an awareness of adult needs. From the child’s perspective, parents are superhuman beings that provide everything for them when they need it. They don’t yet see parents as human beings with their own feelings and needs.
Being subjected to the emotional needs of kids all day everyday can erode our patience. It can simply feel like too much to handle, leading to moments of impatience and even explosive anger. Those that internalize their feelings rather than get angry might turn on themselves, becoming overly critical and anxious.
Those learning to meditate face the difficulty of wanting to benefit from the practice while feeling frustrated by the challenges every newbie encounters, namely relaxing and doing nothing. The mind often screams that there are so many better things that could be done during the time allocated for meditation.
Investing the energy needed to begin is an act of faith. Within a few weeks or possibly sooner, subtle shifts will become evident. Many parents report an odd sense of healthy detachment from every upsetting situation and a greater acceptance of family challenges.
The reason this occurs is because meditation acts as a timeout from the emotional demands of running the household. It is a very clear chunk of “me time” that defuses the stored tensions that may have accumulated over several days.
Deep breathing while making conscious effort to simplify our thoughts has a therapeutic effect. Upon emerging from a 20-minute meditation, most people report greater calmness and renewed ability to face challenging situations.
Andrew Shykofsky is the lead meditation instructor at Meditate Center for Healing Arts, in West Ashley, which offers meditation classes and course.. For more information, email Andrew@MeditateCenter.com or visit MeditateCenter.com.