6 Beginner-Friendly Meditation Strategies To Help Calm Your Child
It’s amazing how much the smallest thing can change your whole outlook on life. To me, those were kind words from a stranger.
I was coming out of a gym class, mom and I, on my way to pick up my preschooler, holding my toddler in one hand and the car seat with my newborn in the other. I opened the door and my toddler walked into the parking lot – he just slipped out of my hands and ran away.
By a wonder of mama-power, I was able to catch him before he arrived, without dropping my newborn baby, but not without falling, tearing my pants and scratching both of my knees.
I just sat on the sidewalk and cried. I was relieved that he was going of course, but I felt so tired, so defeated. That’s when she arrived – another mom I barely knew, from the class I had just left.
She knelt down next to me, put her hand on my back and said, “You‘don’t do it wrong. It’s just this hard.”
At that moment, with my hair tangled against my tear-soaked cheeks and a searing pain down my legs, she made me realize it wasn’t my fault. That I could try as hard as possible every day, but sometimes things just got messy.
As mothers, we often start to believe that if something is wrong, it is our fault.
‘I’m clearly missing something that would make it easier.
“Other moms seem to have understood this, why not me? “
‘If only I were [fill in the blank]- um, that wouldn’t be a problem at the moment. ‘
And so, dear mum, I mean loud and clear—It’s not your fault.
If you try so hard to limit your kids’ screen time, but you literally have no other way to make a phone call, cook dinner, or have a quiet time – you’re not doing it wrong, that’s just so difficult.
If you miss your partner desperately and want to spend more time together, but you find yourself collapsing in your bed—alone-because you are too touch consider something romantic – you’re not doing it wrong, it’s just so hard.
If you spend hours a day washing, folding, and wiping, but every night your floors are still covered in Legos, crumbs, and little socks, you’re not mistaken, it’s just that hard.
If you’d like to run a 5k, but can’t even find five minutes to work out, let alone get to the gym, you don’t go wrong, it’s just that hard.
If you’ve read three and a half books about sleep, tried everything and your baby always I’m just not going to sleep through the night – you’re not doing it wrong, it’s just so hard.
If you receive so much conflicting parenting advice from all over your life that all you can hear is a noise so loud that it drowns your confidence that you are the best person to make decisions about your child, you’re not doing it wrong, it’s just so hard.
If you’ve been living on Pinterest for weeks looking party ideas for baby’s first birth, stayed awake until 2 a.m. several nights in a row tinkering with decorations and cupcakes, only to have to cancel it at the last minute because the baby has conjunctivitis – you make no mistake, it is just so difficult.
If every time you cross something off your to-do list you add two more to-do’s, you’re not doing it wrong, it’s just that hard.
If you love your job but feel like you can’t devote yourself to it like you used to, you’re not doing it wrong, it’s just so hard.
If you really don’t like your job but can’t leave because you need the money / insurance / money order, you’re not doing it wrong, it’s just so hard.
If you love being a stay-at-home mom but are fed up with feeling like you have to stand up for your choice in front of everyone else, you’re not doing it wrong, it’s just that hard.
If you thought you wanted to be a stay-at-home mom, but now that you’re here you find that it’s really not what you imagined – you’re not doing it wrong, it’s just so hard.
If you love your kids so much that it hurts, but check the clock repeatedly to see if it’s still bedtime – you’re not doing it wrong, it’s just so hard.
At that moment when I felt like a complete and utter failure, the stranger outside of gym class saw an exhausted mom trying so difficult to care for her children, even if it left her bleeding and crying on a sidewalk. She saw me more clearly than I saw myself, like a mom doing a good job.
And so, darling mom, let me pay the next one—
Finding time as a mother is simply difficult.
Working on relationships when you’re a mom is just plain tough.
Keeping the house clean when you’re a mother is just hard.
Exercising as a mother is just plain hard.
Making parenting decisions when you’re a mom is just plain hard.
Feeling like you can get things done when you are a mom is just hard.
Figuring out if and how to balance a career when you’re a mom is just plain tough.
Sometimes everything is really difficult. Not because you’re doing it wrong, just because is.
The fact that you keep going, keep cuddling, keep cleaning, keep planning, and keep loving despite how hard it is, is your super power. You do the hardest work on the planet with dedication, grace and love, and there is nothing wrong into it.
Ask for help, be gentle with yourself, and know that you are not alone.
This story was originally published on December 11, 2017.