Meditating While Your Baby Naps
Take a moment to find a comfortable position, whether it be sitting, lying down or standing. You may close your eyes or keep them slightly open, gazing downward. Take a breath in through your nose and release it through your mouth.
As we begin, move your head to the left. Take a moment here, feeling the stretch in your neck and into your shoulder. Drop your chin to your shoulder and gently move your head to the middle, so that you are looking down toward your belly. Take a breath in. Hold it here. If your eyes are open, go ahead and close them now. Refrain, please, from watching your belly rise and fall. Feel the sensation. Don’t judge your belly at this moment. Hold your judgment for another time. After you’re done meditating.
Now let your breath out through your mouth. Slowly. If you insist on keeping your eyes open, fine. Release your belly and let it go ahead and flop over the waistband of the sweatpants you’re wearing because, let’s face it, we all know you’re wearing sweatpants.
Drop your ear to your other shoulder and roll your head over to the other side. Keep your eyes closed. Please. If your eyes are open, disregard the laundry. Just disregard. Breathe in on “dis,” breathe out on “regard.” Disregard.
Bring your head back to center now. I’m not going to bother telling you to keep your eyes closed. But do. Please keep your eyes closed.
With your eyes closed and your sweatpants on, we’ll begin with a brief body scan before we get into –
Nope, that’s not the baby. The baby is still asleep. Of course he is; you put him down just 10 minutes ago. But then again, it’s possible you didn’t wait the correct amount of time before leaving the room. Maybe he wasn’t all the way asleep, you know? Maybe you should have waited longer. Which means you did it wrong.
And breathe. Let’s ignore the baby. He’s not making any sound right now. Keep your eyes closed and let’s consider the bottoms of your feet. Feel them where they are. Feel your ankles and your calves. Feel their warmth. Feel the prickly little hairs sprouting from your shins. Feel how your unshaven legs rub against the sweats you’ve worn every day since you’ve had enough energy and interest to wash them, or any other piece of clothing.
Now, you may feel you want to scratch at your legs. But don’t do that. Just notice that burning need. Notice it. And exhale. Not so fast; you’re not blowing out a candle.
We’ll move now to –
Oh, that’s definitely the baby. He’s for sure up now.
But here we notice our surroundings. We’re sensing and noticing and not judging. Just breathing. Slower than that. Stop breathing so fast. In through your nose, out through your mouth.
I told you to shut your eyes. You’re ruining everything.
And yes, the baby is screaming. Of course he is! You left him alone! He’s probably cold! Did you even put a blanket on him? I know the pediatrician told you not to put anything in his crib, but dang, he’s almost two years old. You’d think he can keep a blanket out of his mouth. But then again, the pediatrician knows best. You don’t. You’re just his mother.
And breathe. Now feel the buttocks, tensing like a rock. Just notice. I know it hurts. Find a way to relax. You know. Relax. When the toddler is screaming at you and you have exactly 10 minutes before you have to get on a very important call that is thank God not on video and you’re using meditation as a means to clear your mind and ready yourself to speak to these people. Relax.
Now let’s notice your belly.
Oh man, do we have to do this again?
Let’s move on, then, to your shoulders. Your shoulders that are attached to your ears now. And your chest. Breathe slower! You’re doing this wrong!
And on up to your jaw. Clench and unclench your jaw. Wait, there’s an unclench position for your jaw? Since when?
Breathe in through your –
Oh the baby. He’s absolutely trying to climb out now.
And the alarm you set on your watch is going off now. You must have set it for the wrong time. Wait, did you? Do you really have that call right now? It’s really right now?
No, you still have two minutes. All the time in the world to get the toddler, calm him down, get him back to sleep, and clear your head.
We’ll go ahead and close this meditation now.
Photo by Felipe Borges from Pexels