Meditating with a Toddler – Can it be done?
Just a short while ago, I would have admitted that finding time to meditate with a toddler in toe was impossible. But this year I decided to start a new habit of finding time for 15-30 minutes of yoga and meditation every day, first thing in the morning.
It’s now been 3 weeks since I started doing this and I wanted to share what I have learned so far.
At first, I would try to get up a little bit earlier than usual. I wanted to have enough time alone before my daughter woke up. I have a pretty late riser on my hands so this really wasn’t much of a bother, and it just seemed logical to try and do this while she was still asleep.
This worked out well at first, particularly because it was still the holiday season and my husband was home as well as some visiting family. If my daughter woke up, she was kept busy by others. But as the family left and my husband went back to work, I had to start figuring out what to do in the case in which my daughter woke up before I was finished.
Instead of meditating in a different room as I had been, I decided to meditate in our bedroom close to where my daughter sleeps. I had been meditating downstairs by our larger window, but this felt too far away in case my daughter woke. The window in my bedroom has a much less pleasing view than that of the downstairs, but I figured some sunlight is better than none.
At first this change worked well, my daughter continued to sleep peacefully while I quietly did a simple sun salutation routine as well as a few minutes of meditation. See my earlier post for an example of my morning meditation. But eventually, after one particularly long night, I slept in, and barely snuck out of bed with enough time for my little routine.
I could hear my daughter moving around in bed as I tried to focus my attention and finish my morning routine. But as I sat down to meditate the jig was up. I was no longer alone. But instead of feeling defeated, I found I was already in a peaceful state of mind. My meditation time is usually about creating more awareness of the blessings in my life, particularly my family, so this morning, when my daughter came to embrace me while I was having my “quite time” I sudden appreciation for her unexpected presence.
She came up to from behind me and hugged my neck and I just soaked in the embrace and focused on how great it felt as opposed to thinking about how my “me time” had been cut short and interrupted.
This reaction came as a surprise to me. I had been dreading the thought of my daughter interrupting me since I had started meditating in the same room as she slept, but on that day I realized how silly this was! I was trying to be in tune with my blessings, and here she is, filled with joy and love, coming to greet me first thing in the morning.
Ever since that morning, I no longer feel stress over my daughter waking before I am finished. While I usually have to cut things a little short if she wakes, and my quiet time is a little less quiet, the energy she brings can be incredibly uplifting and more than makes up for a shorter session. If anything, they become more powerful.
So I realize now that when you mediate in the presence of young children it is important to harbor their positive energy instead of our instinctive negative reaction. Focus on the love you feel between yourself and your child and embrace it. Hug your child if they approach you. Welcome them into your space and invite them into your meditation. Perhaps they may want to join, or maybe they will simply observe. Sometimes your child may just wonder around the room entertaining themselves for a few moments as you finishing things up, they are still benefiting from the positive energy you are creating. Whatever works out, make use of your child’s energy in the room. Just as they feel your calm energy, embrace their loving attention and use it to expand your sense of joy and peace.
I wanted to share this experience in the hopes that it inspires others to give meditation a try, even with little ones in the home. It can bring much needed calm to the mind and heart and help you regain some sense of balance in our often messy days.
I would love to hear of other moms who meditate with their children. And if you have never tried it, I invite you to do so and share your experiences.
#divine mothering, mindful living, motherhood, spirituality, uplift, meditating with children