You’re in the middle of a huge fight with someone – partner or parents or boss. Tension and anger overpower you. The air is heavy with unresolved issues.
Baby wakes up crying.
What do you do now? Challenging, to say the least.
Would you feel frustrated at the interruption and hurl objects for a release before picking the baby? Would you let the baby cry for a few minutes before you gather yourself? Would you give the baby to another caregiver and rush to resolve the issue, because it just can’t wait? Would you pick the baby and cry with it because it is all just so overwhelming?
I believe in these answers lie clues about our future behavior with an adamant toddler.
The ideal reaction to the situation above would be option 2. It is ok to give yourself a few moments. It is in fact, needed. Babies need our love. Only. They are most finely attuned to us and pick on any negativity.
This behavior when extended to the toddler would mean, we pause before we react. We do not yell and rush to reprimand. Rather, we think what instigated that behavior? What is the feeling behind the behavior? We can then calmly talk and validate their feelings. We can wait to guide them about acceptable behavior after they have calmed down. This way we help them regulate their emotions better and role model expressing those emotions and acting on them.
Can we do this in a day? No. It takes years of practice. It demands that we let go of the ego and embrace self acceptance and self love.
Only when we lose the ego, we can set side our hurt and look at how the other person is feeling? The cause for the behavior.
Only when we feel secure about ourselves can we let issues remain unresolved till we can tackle them calmly.
Babies, in their demand for our undivided attention are the biggest teachers of being present in the moment. They provide us with no other option really.
But that is not sufficient practice. We need to make time for mindfulness, to watch our thoughts, resolve our own insecurities.
It takes about 10 minutes a day. Considering the benefits, can we not invest 10 minutes a day in ourselves for the benefit of our children?
I resolve to practice mindfulness starting today, right now! (Just downloaded an app for this). What about you? Let’s talk about that!