Mindfulness and Parenting

Last weekend I went to the Wisdom 2.0 conference (which was incredible!) and found myself hanging on every word spoken by Jon Kabat-Zinn, a renowned meditation teacher, scientist and writer.  I was inspired to take up my meditation practice a notch, and at the same time I was internally berating myself a bit for not already having a regular practice. I took up meditation six years ago when I was pregnant with my daughter, but my practice since then has been irregular (at best!).

Then I read a Q&A with Jon Kabat-Zinn in Mindful where in response to a mom with three children who hasn’t had a mindfulness practice since her children were born says, “...you’re not likely to have all that much time for a formal practice.  The real practice, when you have a two-year-old, a five-year-old, and a seven-year-old is being with them fully. Mindfulness deepens just by consistently being in relationship to them and to yourself with awareness, no matter what is happening.”

He goes on to talk about how we can cultivate a mindfulness practice by being fully present and not being in a hurry when we are putting the kids to bed, or getting them ready in the morning and says, “You couldn’t pay a person enough money to teach you those lessons, and your children are going to give them to you for free whether you want them or not.”

After reading this the light bulb went off…of course!  This is my life…all of it…and my job is to be present for it.  So I’m being less of a slave to my phone and email when I’m with my daughter and I’m actually on my 10th straight day of meditation!

Nancy Larocca Hedley