As a new mom this year, I’ve noticed many changes in my spiritual practices. For one thing, there seems to be less time to do them! “Free time” is when our baby goes to sleep (for however long that lasts) and that time is usually spent accomplishing other things like cleaning, eating, working, and spending time with my husband. If our baby skips a nap, these duties get skipped too, but our meditation practice has always been a priority.
Before my husband and I had a baby we spent much of our free time meditating each morning and evening. We developed a strong habit of doing a long meditation twice a week as well. Having been regular meditators for over 8 years, we were determined to keep our practice going even with a baby joining our family. Even though we had no idea what becoming parents would mean, we went into our new roles with the agreement that we would help each other to meditate no matter what the circumstances were. By the grace of God, we haven’t missed a day!
Meeting this goal hasn’t been easy, but it has brought forth several opportunities for further growth, adaptability, and acceptance. Without meditation, I don’t think we could be the parents we are today. Being a mom has required patience, compassion, and unconditional love—all qualities that I feel I have developed from deepening my meditations.
My main window for getting things done happens at night time when our baby goes to bed. If I get right to my meditation before doing all of the other duties on my list, then I have more time dedicated to meditation, but it’s difficult to ignore those other needs.
Because there is so much to accomplish in one day, I am challenged with a busy mind. When I sit still in meditation my mind is very aware of those activities. It wants to continue reviewing the projects from the day and begin planning the next ones. This is why I like to practice Ananda Yoga before my meditations. It helps me redirect my energy from action to stillness. Paramhansa Yogananda said that Hatha Yoga can be very helpful to prepare the body for meditation, but it is not essential for spiritual growth. So if I have limited time and have to choose between doing yoga or meditation, then meditation it is.
What I’ve realized in this first year of motherhood is that my focus in meditation needs to shift from quantity to quality. There isn’t space in my life to have those three-hour meditations every week. It’s more important to me to sit in the stillness and feel God’s presence for one minute than to sit for one hour thinking about everything else but the present moment. So, even though I have much less time to meditate these days, I can see that God is teaching me to use my “free time” wisely by going deeper in Him. The situations He gives each of us are truly for our highest good!
Nice, Melody, thanks!
How wonderful to hear in detail how you accomplish your meditation! It’s wonderful to hear that a couple is so dedicated to supporting each other in their meditation eve with a new baby! I think you should post this in Mothering Magazine!!! also to encourage other new mothers! Many blessings on your lovely family. Diane Marie
Thanks Diane. I’ll look into it. We’re grateful to have the opportunity to inspire other parents, for sure!
Beautiful article Melody! I agree that quality if definitely the right approach! I’ve also found that with a child, meditative moments steal upon you even in the midst of activity. If you can expand your definition of meditation to include these moments your practice will be so much richer. (And your child will feel it too). On our campout with Liam’s class last May, Liam was awake much earlier than the rest of our group. So as not to disturb the group, he and I took a quiet walk on the boardwalk through the wetlands that was part of the campground. We looked at the mist (that looked like frost) settling on the leaves and the early morning sunrays coming through the tall sequoias. We ended sitting on a bench overlooking the wetlands in a quiet moment of reflection. It was magical.
Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful experience with your son. It gave me a glimpse into the future where I can see Japa teaching me to be calm, quiet, and centered in nature, which he is already doing!
I have also felt random moments and deep devotion and gratitude to God when serving my family in simple ways like washing the dishes or putting away Japa’s toys. We just never know when God is going to remind us that Divine Mother is the real mom!
Thanks for the reminder to feel God’s presence all the time!
You are an inspiration not only to mothers but to the rest of us, who take for granted the
extra time we have…….thinking………..well, I’ll meditate later and then …….well you get the picture!
So thank you for this great article! You and Kalidas and Japa are a Joy to see!
Love is always surrounding each of you!
Love, and a Blessed New Year !
Thank you Brindey, what sweet words.
I know you are an amazing mom too! I can see it in the joy that you always share.
I’m so glad you enjoyed the article.
Thank you for your ongoing support to our new family!
Thank you for your lovely article, Melodyji :) <3
You’re welcome Premi!
What sweet friends we have!
Motherhood and meditation perfectly go with each other. I must say that even with the lineup of tasks that one has to do, it will really help a lot if there will still be time left for meditation so that thoughts will be organized and tasks will be accomplished with lesser difficulty.
You are so blessed to be this wise at such a young age! I am so blessed to be your Mama-ji!