Parenting is Hard

Parenting is Hard

This page is written for any non-parent meditation teachers interested in presenting this approach, however I hope there will be something useful here for parent-meditation-teachers.

Parenting is hard. Bloody hard. It can hit you like a sledgehammer. Gradually, your freedoms and abilities seep away as you (or your partner) become less able physically. Then, at a time when the mother’s body is exhausted by pregnancy, she gives birth, and is now responsible for the life of another being, with no prior training. This being requires constant attention, initially 24×7, meaning exhaustion is common. These tensions can test even the strongest adult relationships.

If we teach meditation to adults, let’s say we had a participant with some mental health issues. It is quite possible that it could take months for this to become apparent. Until then, they seem much the same as everyone else. This is often not the case when teaching meditation to parents. When a parent sits to meditate with their child, it can seem like all of their parenting struggles will be visible, right there in front of you, played out in their interactions with their child.

This can at first be daunting, and overwhelming. Remember that you aren’t there to fix it, and that to the parent, this is their normality so it won’t necessarily be as big a deal to them as it seems to you. So your task will be simply to allow the whole of the parent to be there, with their struggles, with their disruptive child who just wants to climb on her parent, pull mum’s hair, run around the room at high speed. So long as no-one is in danger, perhaps this is okay, for now? Simply modelling to the parent that their child’s behaviour is acceptable to you can in itself be a huge gift.