When we talk about being mindful, we start with the breath and move on from there; towards eating mindfully, walking mindfully or driving with intention; listening to our hearts.
When we are parenting children, our hearts are often intertwined with the hearts of our kids as well as our spouses’ heart. Having different interests, needs and priorities gets amplified with the number of personalities that constitute ones family.
My first step towards being a connected parent is being sure that some of my desires are met. Yes, some not all. Since some of my needs are not aligned with the needs of my children or my spouse, I listen to my heart to find the ways that I can balance our needs daily, therefore simplifying our lives.
Hard to do? Yes but possible!
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Once a week I am a dorm parent to eighteen teenage boys; it is a totally fascinating experience. I watch them navigate space with their bodies and their interactions are so awkward – full of uncertainty, strength and confusion.
When I feed my daughters everything is homemade, organic and nutritious. The boys know this (I think) since when I am in their space I read books like Mindful Birthing, The Birth Partner or I sit and crochet. They usually stay clear of me; just the way my brothers stay clear of me when I drink nursing tea.
Looking up to teenage spontaneity
A few weeks ago the boys were studying for exams, so I prepared 40 of those Pillsbury instant croissants and biscuits that come out of pop out tubes. I also had carrots, almonds and juice.
Well, Pillsbury doughy goodness brought all the boys to my feet. They congregated around the table, eating with abandon and joy. Seeing this level of sheer bliss reminded me that as parents we try to control everything. I wanted to feel this freedom they were experiencing from biting into something without thinking anything. I wanted to be able to just mindfully enjoying the flavor, texture and moment of filling my stomach without thinking about nutrition or the corporation that brought me the product.
So a week later I took a big step, I bought one of those Pillsbury croissant tubes and let it sit in my refrigerator. Then a week after that, once the girls were asleep, I baked the 8 croissants, sat in my bed and ate 4 of them. It was divine! I left the other 4 for my husband who was returning late from hockey and he agreed; they were divine.
Being around these boys on a weekly basis often teaches me about letting go, about just being our awkward selves. For the most part each one of these boys are very different from each other, yet they cohabitate at such a young age and are still accepting of each other (sort of!). I often want to scoop them up and bring them home. Make them my pet sons. I know this is not a possibility but at least I get to learn from them every Sunday evening.
Becoming a Parent-Heidi Ahrens
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This is a short blog because it is about something we all hold so dear: time.
I am too busy
I have been so busy
I did not have the time
Where did it go?
Hold on a minute…
Maybe in an hour I will have time
We make our own time. We are the creator of our own time fillers.
When I think of some statements around time like “ I have been busy” or “ I had no time”, I realize that it really means that I did not make xyz a priority, or xyz was not something I wanted to do with my time. I know that often these honest answers would be hurtful to the person questioning me about my day, but most of the time I am very much in control of my day and fill them with things that bring me happiness. Often, I can’t fill the day with all the things I would love to do, but I prioritize. This does not mean that I am unhappy with my busy life, it just means that I filled my time with things that bring me joy or closer to understanding.
Do you know of another way to say “I have been busy” or “I had no time” that does not carry the negative connotations of time wasted or stress?
What is your relationship with time? Why are we so protective of our time? Why are we so busy, yet we want to have more time to do?
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