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Pickle Me This

March 29, 2010

On Mothering and Mindfulness

“If feels ridiculous even to write about this, about Buddhism and yoga. I do not meditate, although I know I should and I have periodically tried. The voices in my head are as multitudinous and persistent as the lice that infest my children’s hair at the beginning of every school year. Moreover, I actually kind of hate the people who talk about things like mindfulness, or at least the ones I run into around here… Why is it that the most self-actualized people seem so often to be the most self-absorbed?

I’m no Buddhist, but still I wish I were a more mindful mother. A mindful mother would not get so knotted up about breast-feeding that she would forget that her job was simply to love her baby and keep him healthy, without torturing herself herself and him with that infernal pump. A mindful mother would not be so worried about her children being bipolar that she would be too afraid to laugh when her daughter reported hearing a voice in her head…

The thing to remember, in our quest to do right by our children and by ourselves, is that while we struggle to conform to an indeal or to achieve a goal, our life is happening around us, without our noticing. If we are too busy or too anxious to pay attention, it will all be gone before we have time to appreciate it.” –Ayelet Waldman, Bad Mother

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