Are you mindful of your baby?

Posted Tuesday 4th February 2014   By Ericka Waller

I have never been very good at ‘living in the now’. I am one of those people who always looks two steps ahead. And in my two steps ahead, there is normally something to worry about. Something that has not even happened yet, may probably never happen.

I worry about things I have no control over even if they do or do not happen. I am so preoccupied with this future I am arrogant enough to think I can predict, I miss what is actually really happening, right under my nose.

My baby girl started pre-school today. She is not a baby anymore.

I am sat at home with the same mess around me that there has always been, and only now do I realise how much care and attention I gave it, while my baby quietly grew up next to me. She is potato painting with her sister in the community centre, and I am missing her like mad.

I became so used to doing things quickly in the small windows of opportunity one gets with small children, that I do not know how to stop. 

There is no need to run round at fifty-miles an hour anymore, my girls will not be home for hours. There is no reason to drink my tea standing up, whilst wiping the kitchen sides, but I can’t sit down.

Mindfulness is about stopping to focus on your breath as it enters and leaves your body. About connecting with the second you are in now, because “The only thing that is ultimately real is the step you are in at this moment.”

It’s not easy. My mind ricochets off in a million different directions when I try. I forget my breathing and start to worry about drama kits and money for school trips and washing to dry. Texts to respond to, emails to send.

My daughters are incredibly mindful. They notice the shapes the sun makes on the floor, or the patterns in the clouds. They stop to admire leaves on the ground, or interesting looking sticks (normally without warning so I walk into them and knock them over).

Because I am always in a hurry. A child of the ‘want it now’ generation. I push buttons on white goods, watch ‘on demand’ TV.  I don’t ever turn the pages on the books, just flick my index finger across the screen instead. I think myself so busy and important.

I chivvy and chase and chide my children. I push them to stop seeing the wonders of the world and just GET A BLOODY MOVE ON.

And what have I got to show for my rushing? Three children who grew up too quickly, and a slightly broken heart.

What I should say to my children is that I am sorry, and not to mind me.