Between playdates, dinner, potty training, activities, exercise, nap time and midnight feedings, it’s easy to see why parents get stressed out.
Sometimes the hectic pace of parenting needs a pause button. No matter your views on faith, taking the time to think about the wonder of the things in your life can bring a certain joy to the everyday routine. Sometimes we need to remember to slow down and enjoy this special time in all of our lives. Here are three tips to help you press pause, embrace all that you have and bring a touch of spirituality to your routine.
Appreciate the rhythm of time
Parents of babies and toddlers often feel uber scheduled. The day is divided into nap routines and feeding times, so much so that you become really in tune with the rhythm of time. When your children are young is a wonderful chapter in life to get in touch with how you move through the day, the week, the months and the year.
When you pay attention to the cycle of the moon, the changing of the seasons, the holidays coming up and when sunrises or sunsets occur, you feel the awesome place of humanity in nature. Being aware of your place in time can be powerful and help you feel in control at once (a nice feeling when so much of parenting can leave you feeling out of control). At the same time, it opens you up to the mystery of life. Even though using your calendar on your phones is easy, try having a physical calendar in the kitchen as a visual representation of how the month will unfold around birthdays, special days and the seasons.
Articulate the blessings all around us
When you are sleep deprived, frustrated and feel like your last nerve is being tested, it can be hard to have perspective. It’s important to remind yourselves of the blessings around you. This helps you feel grounded, allows you to feel joy and gratitude, and can sustain you during challenges. When you articulate the blessings in your lives, you remind yourselves that parenting is a sacred task and you are partners with the one of the universe (however you talk about that). Try to keep a gratitude journal and write down one thing each morning, each lunch break or each evening (or at all three times) that feeds your soul and touches your heart. It will be fun, inspiring and telling to look back on this.
Sing, recite poetry, pray or use a mantra
One way to bring spirituality to parenting is to find the beauty and poetry in it. When you sing to your children, sing to yourself or share verses that have been pivotal to your moral upbringing and current beliefs, you infuse the mundane tasks that take up our days with meaning, connectedness and joy. Pick a verse to write on a poster to hang in your playroom. It could be the golden rule, a line from Dr. Seuss or just a quote you love. Even if your children can’t yet read, seeing the words you live by will remind you about the kind of parent you hope to be.
Join InterfaithFamily/Chicago for a four-part, free workshop on spiritual parenting (for families with one Jewish parent and one parent who is newer to Judaism or of a different faith). Lauren Bondy LCSW, well-known Chicago area parenting coach will be joining Rabbi Ari Moffic from InterfaithFamily/Chicago to talk about finding balance while raising young children. All four sessions take place around Evanston.