When our baby came home it was go time. I was nervous as all get out and what was tough was that I didn’t have any means of comparison. My sense of timing, activity, eating — everything — had been reset and I was looking for answers. My head was constantly buzzing with things to do for the baby. Plus, I continually tried wrapping my mind around what I was doing as a dad and the fact that I was now a parent.
My wife and I were looking for answers to the crying, the noises and how to get sleep. We read books, watched videos and searched blogs. After the first few days of feeling a bit discombobulated, I knew I needed to change something. And what occurred to me was that I needed to get centered and quiet my thinking.
But when you feel so stirred up and there’s so much upheaval, how do you do that? For me, it was time for some old-fashioned prayer. Some people meditate, chant or do yoga. To me, praying is turning to God – who I think of as divine Love – for peace, help and retooling my thinking. It’s a simple acknowledging of the fact that there is an infinite and eternal God (or divine Love, Mind, Spirit) that has my back — and is watching over my whole family. This brings me peace.
Now, you may or may not consider yourself religious or spiritually-minded. But prayer, meditation or even quiet time can be very effective. And the one thing I’ve learned is that the time spent on it doesn’t have to be long. It can be as short as 90 seconds sometimes.
Here’s a recent example. My wife and I woke up with a start. Our baby was coughing and choking all at once on vomit. Scared? You bet. We had a “Nose Frieda” (aka snot sucker) downstairs so I leaped out of bed to go get it. But also within that time of going downstairs and heading back up, I prayed. In that brief period, I felt more peace and knew that this peace could help. I felt that we were all safe, and I knew in my heart that neither my wife, my baby nor I were helpless. I trusted, with my whole heart, that we were all protected.
For me, prayer isn’t theoretical — it’s practical help. So in that brief time, I knew that God’s intelligence, wisdom, and power was with us all — enabling me to think, my wife to fearlessly comfort our daughter and of course allowing her to catch her breath.
I don’t know how long it took for sure, but it was in under two minutes that our daughter was breathing normally; the crying had stopped and she was calm. My wife and I sat with her for a bit and just gratefully acknowledged her safety. We tidied up and made sure she was all cleaned up. And within the hour she was back to sleep.
I can see even better now that taking that quiet time helps me find peace throughout my day, even when things are rough. And when things are happening fast and there’s barely time to think, that quiet time training helps me find peace, no matter the situation.