Quote of the week….Each week I will try to post one of my favorite quotes that guides me in my living and parenting, or something funny or wonderful that the kids say, and tell you about it. I hope you’ll find them helpful to you!
“Love is Patient, Love is Kind, though tired and harried.”
I have this quote posted in my car, on my fridge, on my computer, in front of my potty (Why not make good use of even a few seconds? It’s a good opportunity to take in a deep calming breath and “check” my parenting attitude, especially if I’ve managed to sneak away for a wonderful solo pee.)
I try to “breathe” this mantra every morning when I get up and stretch before the kiddos awaken. (Trying to relieve my lower back aches.) We are lucky to have a nice bay window in our living room through which I can see the morning sunrise, the painted pink sky, and the green leaves of the oak tree swaying in the breeze, so I look out and up, and breathe in and out. Inhale on “Love is patient“, exhale on “Love is kind.” Try it now, thinking the words in your head, and sending the love and kindness all the way into your hands and fingertips, and down to your toes…Feeling better? You deserve one…deep…breath, at least! Go ahead, take another…
Mind you, sometimes this peaceful “Minute for Mommy” doesn’t happen - I roll over and sleep in, or MJ is up first, I overhear Ellie fussing, “I dropped my pacifier“, or I wake up needing to type up an idea before it leaves my head. But I find if I take the time for it, this ritual really helps me feel refreshed to start my day, and the smile and good feeling last at least until the first whine or complaint. “No! I want my oatmeal in the birdie bowl!” (Apparently, not everyone in my family employs this sort of calming morning ritual. My daughter often wakes up on the wrong side of her crib, but crib days are soon coming to a close, so maybe we’ll have better luck with a toddler bed.) When I miss my chance for the morning calm before the chaos, I cram in a quick “meditation” at the coffee maker while the kids are eating breakfast. On the occasions that MJ wakes up early, and catches me stretching, after a couple of mornings of feeling frustrated, trying to control the situation as I had envisioned it – MY time, I decided to breathe deeply, let go, and let him join me! Make it a meaningful moment, Mommy. It has become a good opportunity for me to model this stretching, this deep breathing, and to repeat this mantra in a quiet voice, and he joins me in saying it. We even enjoy some tandem stretches. I figure it can’t hurt for him to see that Mommy takes time to take care of herself, too, and to tell him that I am filling my body with love for the day ahead.
I talk a lot about connecting with your kids, but I have found it is perhaps even more important to connect with yourself. Something as simple as taking deep breaths is good for this. I also like to sneak out for an early morning walk sometimes, without earplugs, to listen to nature, breathe, and think.
Let me know…What activity have you found for connecting with yourself? What is your centering mantra or quote that helps you get back to the best self and parent you can be?