Mindfulness and multi-tasking are incompatible – so say Mindfulness Gurus like Jon Kabat-Zinn and Mark Williams. And of course they are right. Who am I to argue with eminent professors from two of the world’s leading universities?
However if you are a busy parent like me (and I’m guessing you are otherwise you probably wouldn’t be visiting this blog) trying your best to approach the craziness mindfully, then sometimes we have to deviate from the ‘purist’ approach.
So this week’s Wicked Wednesday post are some old photos that I have dug out to show a Mum simply trying to be mindful of all her children’s needs and focusing on meeting them all at the same time.
Excuse me that I’m not staring into the eyes of any of my children lovingly or indeed mindfully (and also excuse just how knackered I’m looking – these are certainly not glamorous photos of motherhood) but this was ‘feeding and reading’ time that took over our lives for the first half of 2015.
Every few hours life would stop so that I could breastfeed a baby, bottle feed another and read to my son. We hit upon ‘feeding and reading’ as I was acutely aware of the need to somehow include our eldest in this important but potentially tedious time (in his view) and to therefore try and stop resentment of his baby twin sisters building up.
Empathising with our children (or anyone for that matter) when we’re ‘running on empty’ is certainly a challenge. However it is something that Mindfulness can help us with (basically by being as open as possible to considering situations from someone else’s perspective).
Hence why I think these pictures demonstrate how mindful multi-tasking does have a place in busy households!
NB: My Wicked Wednesdays posts are inspired by the fabulous Brummy Mummy of 2 and her encouragement of us to share‘real’ family photos and this week’s is extra special.
Not only is it demonstrating how mindfulness and multi-tasking can’t always be separated. It is also reinforcing Brummy Mummy of 2’s point made in her superb post in response to the Guardian that Mums are not to be categorised or pigeonholed.
You will see from these photos that I was a bottle feeding Mum as well as a breast feeder, a ‘slummy’ Mummy (look at the state of me after all) and a ‘smug’ Mum (look at the proud smile across my face – I felt like Supermum at times during those sessions!)
Nothing is ever as black and white and this applies to any attempts by anyone, including the media, to try and divide parents into different and conflicting camps.