By Reanna Spain
There are never enough hours in the day.
I repeat: there are never enough hours in the day, especially as a work-from-home mom.
The harsh realization of this sunk in when I got the bright idea to be an all-star mom, wife and business owner, all while maintaining a steady stream of clean clothes for everyone to wear. I found myself attempting to do everything, simultaneously. But each thing was only getting a fragment of my divided attention, meaning it was all sub par and my nerves were getting frayed.
Here I was rushing haphazardly from one task to the next and ending my day clinging to my husband as he walked in the door begging through mile-wide eyes for, “Just five minutes in a quiet room. Please.” It wasn’t fair to him to be greeted with that energy, or to my kids to watch me whirl by like a frenzied tornado all day. Nor was it fair to my job, or myself for that matter. We all deserved better.
I wanted to be more calm and less reactive. I wanted to be more focused and more productive when I work on the things that need to get done.
So, I started meditating during nap time.
Now understand naps at our house are 30 to 40 minutes tops. This isn’t meditating for two hours, four times a day. I’m not a crazy person, and I do have stuff to get done. But carving those 30-40 minutes out felt just as critical as all the other things I had on my to-do list.
I decided on mindfulness meditation for its simplicity and benefits, which include:
- Stress reduction
- Memory boost
- Increased focus
- Less emotional reactivity
- Relationship satisfaction
Based on this research, I might even argue that meditation is just as vital as productivity. Sure, if laundry doesn’t get done everyone’s wearing day old socks, but what’s a basket of clean laundry if your head has exploded from zero down time? Conversely, when you do meditate you don’t care about sock stink—you accept things as they are, non-judgmentally; that includes yourself and the things you are or aren’t able to get done. That’s not to say you just stop taking care of your family and being a generally clean person, it just means you see more clearly and thus give yourself and others more grace and compassion.
Here I am, sitting quietly, practicing with guided meditations at first and then alternating between guided and silent. The kiddo is asleep, my phone is somewhere far away, and I’m just focusing on my breath. But I’m reminded that there is no end goal with meditation. Sure, I want those things I mentioned above, less stress, less reactivity, more productivity.
But the very practice of mindfulness is just paying attention to what’s happening in this moment and not wishing it were any different or trying to change how it looks.
And you know what happened? It was like I suddenly had more time, and that time was quality. I was more settled, more engaged, and more productive, but I do know that there’s a reason it’s called meditation practice, and therefore I’ve got to keep at it.
Maybe your meditation doesn’t look like this nap time version I’ve explained. Maybe for you, it’s five minutes in the car when you’re waiting to pick your kids up from baseball practice, or while you cook dinner—quiet, uninterrupted, and in your element. Maybe you do sit quietly, cross legged for two hours in the wee morning hours before the sun and the kids have risen bright and loud.
Whatever it looks like, honor it and welcome it. Any opportunity for consciousness is an opportunity for growth, and maybe even a little more time in the day.
Reanna Spain is a wife, mother, and small business owner. Using her writing, she helps others hone their authority and make more money in their personal and professional ventures. A certified yoga teacher, student of mindfulness, and adventure seeker, she’s constantly fantasizing of international travel. You can occasionally find her hanging in a hammock on the beach; more often she’s hanging cloth diapers in her backyard. Connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter @reannawordsmith.
Editor: Dana Gornall
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