Silence. It’s hard to come by. Especially as a mom. If your house is anything like mine it’s LOUD. My kids are loud. You hear us before you see us. And it’s constant. The older I get and the more children I have, the more I crave time to myself in silence.
In 2019, I began the process of finding ways to implement times of silence in my life and it is a process that has continued to grow and develop over the last 4 years.
There are 3 things that I have found essential for me to strive to make time for that help me to cultivate silence physically in my home, but also within my mind and heart.
As a Catholic, prayer is an essential part of my everyday life. Before I had kids it was something I could find time for and could do spontaneously. But when I became a mom I found it hard to make time for prayer. And so I had to create time. In 2019, I decided to dedicate at least 10 minutes of my morning to sitting silently and praying.
This has meant waking up before my kids each day. And it does not always go perfectly. My kids are known to wake up because I’m awake. It’s some sixth sense they have. And so to preserve my silence and my prayer I created boundaries for my kids. They can sit with me. They can play on the floor in front of me. But they have to be quiet. This has taken a lot of work over the last 4 years, but it has become such an ingrained part of my life and our household that my kids know exactly what to expect.
I love to read. I always have. And so I make time almost every day to read at least 10 pages of whatever book I’m working through, fiction or nonfiction. Oftentimes this happens in the morning after my prayer time. Other times it’s after my kids go to bed, or while they are playing independently (when those moments magically occur). This is something I really work to make time for throughout my week. It brings me so much peace and joy. And overall has been the easiest habit to form and maintain.
This is the most recent development and definitely the hardest. Our third child was born in February and I had the hardest recovery that I’ve ever had for a multitude of reasons. In May, I decided that I needed to find ways to just move every single day. Going to a gym is not feasible for me right now. Going for walks or runs is sometimes a possibility, but I needed to find ways to exercise that were simple and doable each day. And so when I changed my mindset of exercise from “working out” to “moving” everything changed. The main way that I exercise is by just getting steps in. I make breakfast, start laundry, and fix my hair while I march in place. I look absolutely ridiculous while I’m doing it, but it really does give me peace of mind. When I’m anxious or frustrated, moving in any way shape or form can always seem to help center me. My kids love it and love to do it alongside me when they see me starting it up. While the world around me is often noisy in these moments, I’m able to find some silence within as I listen to my heart and breathing and it brings a peace of mind with it.
Cultivating silence is important for all of us. Setting our phones down, turning off the TV, and just being in tune to the needs of our bodies, hearts, and minds can really help to ease some of the anxieties and frustrations we feel as women. I encourage you to find your own ways to cultivate silence into your daily routine.