Meditating in Chaos
I have a (sweet, loving, curious, joyful) three year old little boy who is deep into a (developmentally appropriate...dammit) defiant, limit-testing stage.
I have a three year old. Ergo, I am tired. I am frustrated. I take him to time-out. A lot.
Here's the thing, though. Three year olds who are cleverly trying to figure out what they can get away with at any moment don't stay in time-out on their own. Nope. No chance. Not gonna happen.
So, lately I've found myself frequently sitting on the floor outside of my son's room, holding the door closed, while he yells and throws his toys and tries to bargain his way out of this momentary consequence of his actions.
These are seriously un-fun parenting moments.
If I'm not paying attention, these moments can become complete shame spirals and fuel for increased frustration.
Is this the right parenting choice?
Why won't he do what I ask?
Why won't he learn?
When is he going to outgrow this?
Maybe it's not him. Mabye it's me.
I'm not a good mother.
I'm too impatient with him.
I'm too impatient with everyone.
I'm just a bad person.
I hate this. I hate, hate, hate this.
Geez. Hating this makes me an even worse parent. A worse human, really.
I hate hating this.
Ugh. Why can't I stop hating this?!
Lately, to bring me back from crazy derailment I've chosen to drop into a short awareness of breath meditation while I'm sitting outside of my son's room. Simply being and breathing. In this moment. Right now. Noticing my thoughts without judgment and letting them pass.
It's far from the "perfect" mediation setting. I'm in an uncomfortable seat. It's loud. I only have a few minutes. Chaos surrounds me.
And yet, it works. Perfectly.
I pause. I reconnect with my body, with my love for son. And we begin again.