How To Remain A Mindful Parent In The Face Of Stressful Times

R for the last few weeks has been very cranky.  As mentioned in a previous post, we have discovered that she has two new teeth poking through her bottom gums.  This morning she woke up with her first cold.  To say she is irritable would be putting it mildly.  She is cranky.  She wants you next to her 24/7 and if you try to slip away after nursing her to sleep, she gets awake and furious very quickly.  To get anything done, I have to wear her and be constantly moving.  Then after a long day of crying and fussiness, J comes home from school.  It sometimes takes us 2-3 hours to get through homework, because of focus issues.  By the end of homework, I can usually feel my blood start to boil, my patience wearing thin and my thoughts racing everywhere.

How to stay mindful when things around you are going crazy?

I always try to bring myself back to my breath.  I focus on the rise and fall of my breath and nothing else.  I might say a mantra to myself like, “It’s Okay.  You are not going crazy, it just feels that way,” or, “Just Breathe, they don’t mean to act like wild animals.”  There is something about the feeling of your breath going through your body that is wonderfully centering.

On days that I am completely losing it, Mommy has to have a time-out.  Now as crazy as this might seem, I literally will go have a mini meditation session in the bathroom.  And yes, usually I will sit on the toilet!  I will go sit in the bathroom for 10 minutes and just focus on my breathing.  When I emerge, I know my family can sense that I am calmer.  I am then able to go back to whatever it is that we were doing when I noticed I was getting caught up in the chaos.

So when you feel like you are slipping down the slippery slope of anger, go to the bathroom.  Breathe for a little bit.  Re-center.  Then move back into whatever the situation may be, peacefully and calmly.

Bathroom Meditation Mini Poem
When my phone just went floatin’
And appears to be broken
My children are joking,
Now I feel like I’m choking
When I’m losing my grip,
And feel I might slip
I rescue myself from the fall
And get away from it all
I found sanity for me
In the same place that I pee!

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