The Zen Parent Guide by Amy Giustino Talbot
My daughter recently asked me, “Mommy, what is it like to be a Mom?”
I thought about it for a minute.
“Honey, it’s like going to the best party ever, except when it’s over, you don’t get to leave with your friends. You have to stay to clean up—alone.” And so it is with being a parent.
My best friend has one kid. She can travel around the world. Literally. I have three, and I successfully travel around town. On a daily basis I need to remind myself that one day, I will, in fact, miss the constant state of chaos.
I lose my cool, misplace my peace. Sometimes I forget to put my son’s shoes on before we go to the store. I often turn the car around because I’ve left my purse at home. But, that’s not who I am, that’s the result of being completely entrenched in this wonderful and chaotic life I have chosen.
I am an evolving spirit searching for peace and enlightenment every day, not only for my own sanity, but to set the best example for my children.
In life before kids, I had a career that didn’t involve the humans I made. I happily worked my days and nights away. I traveled, taught, saw clients. I was inspired to go to work. I have a Bachelor’s degree in food and nutrition. I was really good at my job. I was the one who went into the offices of healthcare practitioners and helped them to integrate nutrition, supplements, and nutrition education into their practices. Fun, right?
One day, this little person entered (well, exited my body … entered my life) and everything changed. I changed. There was nothing more important than this little girl. I told my husband that there was no way I could leave her to start traveling again. Being the accepting man that he is, he understood that this meant a bigger burden for him to financially care for our growing family, but that my work at home was important at this time.
Amy Giustino Talbot
So, who am I? And what makes me think I'm qualified to write a book on becoming a zen parent? I am you. I'm your girlfriend, your sister, your next-door neighbor. We are all the same. We have all made the decision (consciously or subconsciously) to teach a child the guidelines for this crazy thing we call life. We are all zen at the core of our being. I am hoping this guide will help you find the perfect balance to reclaim it.
Today, I am a mom. I am a Reiki Master and a Karuna ® Reiki Practitioner. I am a daily seeker of zen, a yoga student, and a student of life.
I was blessed to be able to walk away from a successful career so that I could spend every day watching this awesome, powerful little person unfold before my very eyes. Then came her amazing brother, and a couple years later, a spunky little sister, too.
Yup, you counted right; three kids in four years (yes, I’m insane, I mean zen, I mean yikes!!)
I am so awed by the fact that I am able to call them my family, my kids. And here's what the decision to be just a mom has taught me: Kids are born zen. This crazy world they are born into zaps their zen. It’s our job as their parents to find peace ourselves so they can learn to re-zen themselves.
Finding my Zen, my inner calm, was the ultimate challenge of my life and is something I still consciously work on pretty much daily.
I started out seriously appalled by myself—and how I couldn’t get my act together. I went from feeling like I had this Mommy thing down, to being certain that my children were going to be emotionally scarred for life by my sudden inability to get them to school on time.
It took me three kids to figure out that using a nursing cover was not going to smother my baby; nor was my baby going to come to any other kind of harm from using one. I nursed my first two babies in my car for fear that my failure to figure out a nursing cover meant failure as a parent—and everyone around me would see my failure.
Baby # 3 brought a whole new ballgame. I fought the nursing cover, and I won! My first two babies were very close in age, so running back to the car was no big deal, and neither was staying home. Once baby three arrived, neither running to the car nor staying home were options any longer. With two active preschoolers, play dates, gymnastics, soccer, basketball, and way too much energy for any of our own good, we had to be on-the-go, with baby sister in tow.
This book is a tool to help us (those of us with a minimum of one kid ruling our life) regain a bit of sanity. For those who have ever thought: These things only happen to me! I can assure you, it is not you.
Craziness happens to all of us!
You are never alone.
A Peak Inside
I live a life full of gratitude.
I am grateful for all the love around me.
I am strong and resilient.
I can handle anything that comes my way.
1. Write a letter to your child remembering the first thing you noticed about your partner. Tell them one trait you hope they get from your partner and one you hope they get from you. Go on to tell them your hopes and dreams for their future.
2. The human mind is like water in a lake. When it is restless, it gets muddy and becomes hard to see clearly. If you let it settle, things become much clearer. Clarity of mind helps to improve communication skills and brings about more creativity. Commit to trying guided meditation for one week at bedtime or first thing in the morning before you get out of bed. Nothing crazy, not too long. Just google meditation for relaxation or meditation for parents, sit back or lie down, and let the magic happen. The worst thing that can happen is that you spent a few minutes of your day focusing on yourself and becoming more relaxed. The best thing is that you have created a daily habit that clears your mind and helps you in every aspect of your life (no pressure though).