The following is an excerpt from Julie M. Gentile’s book “108 Yoga and Self-Care Practices for Busy Mamas.” Reprinted with permission from MSI Press, LLC.
I am going to start by taking a deep breath.
Motherhood brings patience to a new level, and being a working mama raising little ones has taken my patience to heights I have never seen. Let me give you an example.
When I’m feeling pressed for time, I find myself rushing my son, who I take to preschool in the morning before work. He likes to take his time. He doesn’t have meetings to attend or deadlines to meet. If it snows, he will pick up a ball of snow and study it. He’ll feel the cold through his mittens and notice that the snow slowly melts the longer he holds it. In the summer, he will find the tiniest ant hill in a crack in the driveway, see ants crawling in and out of their home, and say, “Mama, look at the baby ants. They’re so cute!” Meanwhile, I sometimes find myself responding, “Hurry up. Come on. Let’s go,” trying to get him to sit in his car seat faster.
What message does this send him? That his observations aren’t important or that I don’t have the time to notice the little things that make his world big and exciting? Although my son tests my patience the most, I learn the most about patience from him. He notices the most minor details and is never in a hurry. When I’m trying to get somewhere on time, I don’t always see it his way.
These miniature moments in life are beautiful stopping points that allow time for reflection on what really matters — the little things that my son notices and that I often graze past. If you are constantly whizzing through your day, you too are missing out on a lot of beauty and the opportunity to practice patience.
I get that it’s hard to maintain your patience when your kids are taking their time or not listening, but these are the very interactions that are needed to allow your patience to blossom.
It’s challenging to be patient when you’re not sleeping well, not eating well, not exercising, you have piles of dishes to wash or you’re trying to meet a deadline. These are all reasons why practicing self-care is even more essential to your life.
Julie’s book includes 54 writing prompts, as well as yoga, meditation, breathing exercises and other self-care practices to help you live well in a busy world.
Photo reprinted from 108 Yoga and Self-Care Practices for Busy Mamas (MSI Press, 2019).