I didn’t drink coffee until my first child was about 12 months old and stopped sleeping through the night. By the time our second child was 18 months I was looking for a second and third cup each day.
Today I am thinking about vodka….my three year old just threw a hum dinger of a tantrum about a soft toy being lonely at home, she already had six with her and we were only going out for a short time and the toy was in her room along with about 20 other soft toys…none of it was rational but of course I insisted on trying to reason with her, then I gave up went back home and got the soft toy in question. Not feeling particularly fond of Spot the stuffed toy horse right now.
How did yoga and Buddhism help me deal with this common parenting scenario? Well to be completely honest I’m not sure I did either of these enlightening traditions any justice today…however, it did help to remind myself of a few key concepts along the way:
– nothing lasts forever, no matter how loud or intensely my daughter screamed I could keep in mind that everything is temporary, her mood, my reaction to it, the horrible, soul wrenching scream , the kicking and scratching….yep, it would all be over in a relatively short period of time….
– I get to choose how I respond to the tantrum, I can let myself get caught up in the tsunami of negative energy or I can step aside, keep my cool and try to think clearly about how I can best spend the time it takes for the tantrum to run its course. This way I can also work out the best way to keep my daughter safe during the process.
– with the space created from the two practices above I can then practice loving kindness toward my screaming banchee…I mean beautiful daughter. I can try and focus on all the good things I know exist inside her and wish her happiness, wish her safety, health, wellbeing and pray that she may be free of suffering, now and always. All the things a parent wants for their child anyway, but it makes a huge difference to us to just sit with this thought in mind, it helps us to respond to our children rather than react to their behavior.
And of course now she is off playing happily (with Spot the stuffed horse in tow), and rather than sitting here fuming about the past half hour, reliving it and allowing it to continue to affect my mind and body, I can practice letting go, I can enjoy this happy moment watching her play, calming myself and knowing that I will do an even better job of dealing with the ups and downs of parenting after having had this opportunity to practice today…it’s all in the framing 🙂
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