All parents have undoubtedly felt guilty at some point for not spending enough time with their children. A large part of this guilt comes from our culture. American parents are pressured to dedicate superhuman levels of time and energy to caring for their children to ensure optimal development.
As with everything in life, successful parenting involves finding a healthy balance between caring for your kids and caring for yourself. It’s vital—for you and your children—to develop a self-care routine that allows you to devote regular moments each day to relaxing and recharging your mental, physical, and spiritual resources.
If you’re nagged by guilt, there’s good news. Research suggests that worrying about the amount of time you spend with your kids is unwarranted. A 2015 study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family found that for children aged 3 to 11, there was no statistically significant association between the amount of time they spent with their mothers and their outcomes in terms of behavioral health, emotional health, or academic performance.
What’s more, the study found when parents are stressed, anxious, and guilty, spending time with kids can even be harmful. Perhaps becoming aware of this now can let you off the hook and free up your time for self-care first.
There are countless self-care methods, but one of the easiest, least expensive, and most effective practices is mindfulness meditation. Although the word often conjures up images of monks, monasteries, and mountaintops, meditation is no longer the sole domain of celibate yogis and wandering ascetics.
Today, meditation is practiced by millions of Americans, regardless of religious affiliation or lack thereof. And it’s not just childless hipsters who meditate. Even the busiest parents are sitting quietly each day to reduce stress and cultivate mindfulness—the ability to maintain non-judgmental awareness of one’s moment-to-moment experience.
The reason meditation has grown so popular? It works. Dozens of clinical studies have shown that meditation offers myriad benefits: stress reduction, decreased emotional reactivity, increased relationship satisfaction, enhanced memory, sharper focus, and expanded cognitive flexibility.
Some of you are probably thinking you can’t possibly add another item to your daily to-do list; however, meditating for just 10 to 15 minutes a day is enough to generate results. And once you experience meditation’s benefits, you’ll likely wonder how you ever got by without it.
Maintaining perspective on life’s big picture is a critical part of estate planning as well. During a Family Wealth Planning Session, we’ll help you assess what’s most important for your family’s well-being and security and protect those assets in a comprehensive estate plan. To this end, estate planning—like meditation—can reduce anxiety and stress over your children’s future, allowing you to take better care of both your kids and yourself.