When you've got a little one at home, quiet time alone is rare. Finding a moment meditate has been a challenge for me while balancing the needs of an infant. It's tempting to just let it go until I have more consistent schedule--but I know that a daily meditation practice is too important to give it up altogether. I had to find a compromise so I can get in everything I need to do each day.
Let me explain. I've been meditating while I do other things. Last week, I asked my husband to take care of the baby while I took a quick shower. I sat down in the tub, and felt the water run over me while I closed my eyes for 15 deep, conscious breaths. I often wear my babe in a carrier and take mindful walks when I need to get out of the house. I pay attention to the warm suds on my hands as I do dishes, and take deep breaths as I wash and fold what seems like endless heaps of diapers. I meditate from time to time while I'm holding my baby in my arms. And on those occasions when I can put my baby down for a nap (or, more often, down for some playtime since she wakes up the second I put her down) I unroll my yoga mat and I let my asana practice be a blissful moving meditation.
But do these things really "count" as a meditation practice? It's not the same as sitting for a stretch while completely focused on meditating. I feel better when I'm done, but it's a different feeling. I think it's because each of my mini-meditation sessions throughout the day can be interrupted at a moment's notice: I break my focus to answer my baby's cooing if she's awake. And when she's sleeping I stop what I'm doing to peek at the baby monitor or plant a kiss on the top of her head. It's also inconsistent. Some days all I can do is take a few mindful breaths and be grateful for this beautiful life I've been given. It's not the same as a seated meditation practice, but in a lot of ways it's better. For now, that will have to be enough.
What are some of the ways you bring meditation into your daily tasks?