We are beginning to settle into a new life of lockdown and restricted movement, where work, play, socialising and downtime all happen within the home and garden. I am currently in the middle of a reiki 3rd Degree Masters course, and my practice must continue even though I am now home alone with two children and a dog 24/7. So how will I manage to meditate with the children at home? Here are some ideas, although I appreciate they will not work for everyone.
1, Meditate while the children are in bed. In theory this is a good idea. I used to meditate at night when my children were toddlers, after I had put them to bed. It seemed the easiest option back then. Now, however, they insist on waiting up to see their daddy when he gets home from work, which invariably is around 9pm every night. Then I have to chase them upstairs and into bed, by which time I am so exhausted with parenting that I would simply fall asleep as soon I got into my meditation space. Maybe that is not the answer right now.
2, Ask your partner to keep the children out of the room for twenty minutes while you meditate. This is not practical for me except perhaps on weekends. If your partner is also working from home or is currently out of work due to lockdown, set a time for each of you every day for yourselves. This could be quiet time to rest, to read, or to meditate, depending on your preferences. I would love to have this opportunity.
3, If your children are older, perhaps they will stay in their bedroom while you meditate? My older daughter is nine, and she spends a lot of time in her room playing with Lego and watching YouTube videos. Sometimes my younger daughter (aged 6) does the same, but not very often. If you can explain to your children the importance of time alone for yourself, they will be considerate and leave you alone. My older daughter has recognised that leaving mummy alone for a while during the day can make a big difference between “shouty Mummy” and “happy Mummy!”
4, Get up early while the children are asleep. This is something that I have tried to do in the past, but I am not really a morning person. Most parents recognise the sleep habits of their children and can generally estimate when they are likely to wake up. If you could try and get up half an hour before your children, you could sit quietly and meditate which would hopefully give you a much more peaceful and relaxed start to the day. It might also give you a sense of purpose, so you feel more positive and less stressed as the day unfolds.
5, Teach the children to meditate with you. This depends on the age of your children. I have tried to encourage my daughters to meditate, and I have allowed them to watch while I do it. This usually lasts for around ten minutes, but it is better than nothing. My daughters have also received reiki treatments on my therapy bed recently, and I was impressed that they could both lie still for twenty minutes – well, mostly! My girls enjoy listening to relaxing music, so we do occasionally manage to meditate and relax.
There we go, just a few suggestions based on my personal experience. Have you managed to maintain your meditation practice with your children at home? What works for you? Please share in the comments below.
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