Every new mother has high standards and I was no different. Who doesn’t want the best for their kids? I put unnecessary pressure on myself and allowed others to define motherhood for me, setting my intuition aside and believing that someone else knew what was best for me. I trolled websites, I polled friends, I tried to soak up as much wisdom and insight as I could. It started to feel like every suggestion became another thing make me feel inferior.
The ripple effect was major: I lost sleep, I worried, I snapped at my husband, I was unable to relate to other moms, and I was disconnected from the people in my life who mattered most. My vision of motherhood, perfect or otherwise, was no longer mine. I had allowed my journey to be defined by society’s expectations instead my own.
In the time since my first child, I had endured major heartache with the loss of twin baby girls two days before my third trimester, the death of my mother, the dissolution of my marriage, and the end of my career. I was in a personal and professional tailspin when a friend asked me to join her at a yoga retreat.
That was when my life and my idea of motherhood changed completely. Meditation found me, and within it I found an infinite source of balance and reassurance. I rediscovered my voice and restored my purpose as a mother. I went from judging my actions, to listening to my intuition. I stopped snapping at my loved ones and started practicing patience. I went from multitasking to being present. I slept. I laughed. I became whole again.
Perfection, especially in the context of motherhood, still eludes me, but now I have a set of tools to support me as I grow into the mother, woman, partner, and professional, I want to be instead of the one I’m told to be. And with the guidance of meditation, that’s exactly what I’m doing.
3 Simple Tips for Starting A Meditation Practice:
- Set realistic expectations. Schedules are tight, jobs are demanding, moms work around the clock. Perfection is truly an illusion. You don’t have to escape to a four-day retreat to start meditating, just take those ten minutes before the kids get up to sit with yourself in silence. This will give you enough space and time to realign and find confidence in this practice.
- Just breathe. Calming the mind is one of the hardest things for parents to do and one of the most basic tenets of meditation. Focus on your breath and its feeling, its sounds, its sensations. Before you know it your ten minutes will be up!
- Find a routine. There’s a reason why habits are hard to break. Commit yourself to yourself by choosing the same time everyday to meditate. Whether first thing in the morning or last night at night, having a routine that you can rely on will make meditation easier and something you look forward to.
Lynne Goldberg is a certified meditation coach and co-founder of OMG. I Can Meditate!, a mobile and web app that can teach anybody how to meditate in just 10 minutes a day. Lynne’s simple and clear teaching style has brought the joy of meditation to stressed-out business executives, soccer moms, 80-year olds, kindergarten kids, and everyone in between. She is the author of Get Balanced. Get Blissed. Visit Lynne at OMG. I Can Meditate! Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.