Moms Say: Taking Time to Meditate is Good for Kids
Having watched the “Mommy Wars” from the safe perspective of one who has no children of my own, I do wonder how moms these days keep up with their jobs, their marriages, their kids, staying fit and posting on Facebook every day.
In a sometimes funny, sometimes poignant piece in the Sunday Review opinion column of the New York Times, Heather Havrilesky, journalist and mother, comes down squarely on the side of “enough is enough is enough.”
In Our ‘Mommy’ Problem, she writes, “The current culture demands that every mother be all in, all the time. Not only is this impossible, Havrilesky maintains, it’s demoralizing.
“Somehow, as we’ve learned to treat children as people with desires and rights of their own, we’ve stopped treating ourselves and one another as such,” she says.
That, to me, is the important point. When I look around at my friends and relatives, the moms who seem the happiest, and whose children also seem the happiest, are the mothers who do make time for themselves, who care for their children and enjoy spending time with them, but not to the point of excess. They have friends and pursuits of their own.
One of the most important pursuits for many of these mothers is finding some quiet time for themselves every day, no matter how hectic the schedule or the demands. In fact, the more heavy the demands, the more need for “me” time.
The importance of good sleep and daily meditation cannot be overestimated. “There is a tendency for women to do so much for others, to get tired, so you need to make sure you schedule time to rest and rejuvenate with your daily meditation,” says Sankari Wegman, a mother of two and consultant at The Raj Health Spa in Fairfield, Iowa. “Even though time is tight, you can juggle your schedule to make time. Alternate with your spouse, or meditate before the children come home. When you make the time in your schedule to meditate, the deep relaxation you get will go a long way to support the rest of the day.”
Sankari and her husband, Keith, follow a set morning routine, where one practices the Transcendental Meditation technique and the other starts the children with their morning showers and breakfast. Then they switch roles, so they both get to meditate.
“They see us meditating, and they see it as Daddy’s turn, Mommy’s turn,” she says. “And now that they are old enough to meditate, they take their turn too.”
She says she doesn’t feel guilty about the time she spends meditating, because by giving her mental and physical health a boost, she can be a better mom. “When you’re rested, you dive within yourself and replenish, and you come out with more love, more to give,” she points out.
Sankari is also an advocate for scheduling time to exercise or have a date with friends. “Once or twice a week, arrange for your husband or friend to take care of the kids so you can take a break from your chores and responsibilities,” she says. “I think it’s really healthy for women to take a break, to do something that brings joy, whether it’s taking a painting class, meeting friends for breakfast, or going to the gym.”
Worried that you don’t have time to meditate? Moms who meditate say it helps them think more clearly, so they actually get more done than before. Ask Soledad O’Brien, who manages a career in broadcast journalism while parenting four children.
“I truly didn’t think I could do it,” she says. “I have a crazy schedule. I am always going. But I was able to learn Transcendental Meditation, and it’s sometimes a lifesaver in a crazy world. It helps relieve stress and pressure when trying to balance being a wife and mother and journalist. And I feel healthier and have fewer stressful days and more energy and clarity of mind.”
About the Author
Linda Egenes writes about green and healthy living and is the author of six books, including The Ramayana: A New Retelling of Valmiki’s Ancient Epic—Complete and Comprehensive, co-authored with Kumuda Reddy, M.D.
More Posts by Linda
- Tired and Burned Out? Transcendental Meditation Can Help: An Interview with Dr. Nancy Lonsdorf, MD
- Worried About the Future? Six Ways to Calm Your Anxiety
- What Do You Carry in Your Self-Care Tool Kit?
- Five Strategies for Family Caregivers
- From the Streets to College in Four Months: The Communiversity of South Africa Empowers Underserved Youth in Cape Town