Every day has so much to offer as a mother. At any moment the unexpected can happen. And every day is filled with joy, adventure, excitement, achievement, pride, sadness, guilt, anxiety, anger. Being a mother is like being on an emotional roller-coaster sometimes. From highs to lows, with scary moments and exciting moments in between. In reading the book 'Buddhism for Mothers' I am learning to take stock of every moment. To live in the present instead of languishing in the past or racing into the future. As a parent it is often so easy to be so busy racing around, trying to get everything done, that instead of enjoying every moment with our children we are so busy thinking about whats next and racing ahead with life. Every mother knows that when we don't take enough time out of chores to enjoy our children, we feel guilty; but if we do take time to sit and enjoy our children we chastise ourselves for not getting things done! Mothers can be so hard on themselves!
A young child is not aware of time. They don't feel the desperation to get everything done as we do. And so they can take as long as they like to do anything. A short walk for a toddler can be spread over a full morning as they examine every leaf, every bug, every flower or twig. They are filled with so much wonder, and so much time. What a shame that we lose this timeless ability to enjoy life as we get older!
So taking note of the advise in my mothering book (which I am only about a third of the way through reading) I am trying to be mindful of every moment. Taking time to see the joy in every moment. Taking time to watch and enjoy each of my children. Living in the present. As the book says, "watching our children more closely affords us a more satisfying experience of motherhood."
The best parts of every day, for me, are the mornings when little Rosie opens her eyes and immediately gives me a big smile through the bars of her cot. If it is the weekend this is followed by a boisterous Barney who loves to clamber up into the bed for 'mummy snuggles' with me. But also last thing at night, as Rosie starts to get tired and grizzly. She has a certain grizzle about her when it's time for her night sleep. I change her nappy, put on her babygro, and hold her close in my arms against my chest. She looks at me with a tired face, turns her head in towards me to snuggle close, and goes to sleep. She looks so content, and trusting, and peaceful, to just be in the arms of her mother. And this moment always gives me great joy.
If you are a busy mother who would like to learn how to experience more calm in her life, I'd really recommend giving the book 'Buddhism for Mothers' a go. You don't need to be a Buddhist to read it. It is not a religious book. It simply shows how the Buddhist teachings can promote equanimity in the life of Mums. (And Equanimity, as I have learned today, is the ability to keep calm no matter what is happening!)
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