One topic I am always curious about is how other practitioners find time to “do their thing” while also taking care of young children. It just seems that there are not enough hours in a day to meditate – practice psychic development – do coven work – read enriching books – learn a new skill – insert desired practice here – especially while taking care of young children who are apt to need your attention.
As a stay at home mother I have always worked my craft around my daughter’s schedule, but this became increasingly difficult over the summer as she began to stop napping and needing more stimulation, especially outside the house. I’m not going to lie, I am greatly looking forward to school starting up again in a few weeks, even if she only attends half day for four days a week. But, in the meantime I’ve collected and utilized a variety of methods to get where I am today. I thought I’d share them with you and see if you have any of your own tips that I haven’t come across.
Nap time is the right time
Some of you may know that I started my public tarot journey with the username naptimemystic. There is a good reason for this – I used my daughter’s nap time as my time to do readings and learn my trade. I remember the “good old days” when my daughter took two glorious naps a day. I would use the first nap to take a shower and do tarot readings and the second nap was reserved for the intensive astrology class I took. Let’s just say I got a lot accomplished during this time.
Wake up early or stay up late
Now that my daughter has decided to stop taking naps (and yes, I know I am lucky that we lasted this long), I have found that I need to use the strategy of getting up early in order to keep my mind and energy in a good place. For me this means waking up between 5am or 6am depending on what I want to accomplish or what tasks need to be completed. This is my time to meditate and find a little piece and quiet myself.
I am not a night owl so for me staying up late is not usually a good option. But when I am really busy I will stay up to that late late hour of ten o’clock (I know not really late at all). For others of you, you might find yourself to be more productive at this time and you should definitely take advantage of what works for you.
Take a time out
There are also times when you need to allow yourself to just take a time out from your practice – and this is totally okay. For me I found that I needed to take about six months after my daughter was born just to focus on getting by day to day – meditation wasn’t really an option during that time. I can’t even remember if a shuffled a deck of cards during those six months. Just allow yourself the time and energy to function as a normal (or as normal as possible) human being and don’t worry about your other practices if that is causing you stress.
This summer, I have also found that I needed to take a time out from learning new material. I usually devour books in a day or two, but this summer I have been slowly reading through the same two books – and I’m okay with that. There is no reason to push my studies when I know I won’t remember the words on the page the next day. I can pick up my books again when school is back in session – for now, they just sit next to my bed waiting for that time.
Find the little moments
Another useful tool trick I use is to find those little bits of time when you are actually alone or the little one is distracted to get your spirituality on. During the school year I like to meditate while waiting in the car for my daughter to be released – those few minutes can really revitalize me. I have also been known to write entire blog posts during my daughter’s ipad time (hint hint – that is what is going on now). These little moments where I could easily be checking social media – these are the times that I have found that if I can be productive I feel a lot better.
This is possibly my favorite piece of advice I’ve heard. If you can’t find time to practice by yourself – include your little one in your practice. There have been numerous occasions when I couldn’t get a moment alone to pull some cards for my social media accounts – so instead I will just ask my daughter if she wants to pick a card. Inevitably she will choose one that sparks a message from my guides – plus little hands are pretty cute in Instagram photos.
I have also been known to take my daughter to metaphysical stores and have her pick out her own crystals – this trick also works if you don’t want them touching your crystals. And it is not a surprise that one of her favorite books that she sleeps with in her bed is her “rock book”.
There are also a ton of resources out there to include your little one in Sabbats/pagan holidays if that is your jam. My very favorite resource is Little Pagan Acorns which have different printouts for each witchy holiday – I can’t wait until she is old enough to do the word puzzles they have!
But one task I have found almost impossible to do with a small child around is meditate. Just doesn’t work for me and my daughter, but maybe your child is different. I tried to teach her how to use mala beads (she likes to wear mine sometimes) and I asked what her mantra was. In case you are wondering – her mantra is “I like toys”.
What are your tips and tricks for fitting in time for spiritual work with a little one underfoot? Can you meditate with a young child around? How do you include your child in your spiritual practice?