When I Nurse my Baby

When I Nurse my Baby

This morning I was nursing my baby and thinking what a lesson for life nursing is.

Sometimes, if I’m hungry and in a rush, I can stuff bigger spoonfuls into my mouth, or pack a bag of almonds and raisins as I run out the door to nosh on on the bus.

But with nursing, no matter how much I’d like to or need to sometimes, I can’t rush through it. I also can’t get anyone else to nurse the baby for me.

Wishing I could rush nursing or do it faster doesn’t help. In fact, wishing I wasn’t there nursing that baby, will ruin a potentially beautiful and relaxing Eema-Yonatan snuggle.

So why not let my mind be right where my body is? In the here and now.

Here’s what Jon Kabat-Zinn writes about the pleasures of living mindfully while doing all the things we human beings have to do:

“Peacefulness is something that can be felt in any moment, under any circumstances, if the commitment to practicing mindfulness is strong. It is a gift we can give to ourselves. It means we can reclaim our life rather than living for vacations or the other ‘special’ times when everything will be ‘perfectly arranged’ to bring on those hoped for feelings of well-being, inner peace, and serenity. Of course, it hardly ever works out that way anyway, even on vacation.

“The challenge is to make calmness, inner balance, and clear seeing a part of everyday life…We can attempt to bring moment-to-moment attention to the tasks, experiences, and encounters of ordinary living, such as cooking dinner, setting the table, eating, washing the dishes, doing the laundry, cleaning the house, taking out the garbage, working in the garden, moving the lawn, brushing our teeth, shaving, taking a shower or bath, drying off with a towel, playing with the children or helping them get ready for school, communicating through email or texting, talking on the phone, cleaning out the garage, taking the car in to be fixed or fixing it ourselves, riding a bike, taking the subway, getting on the bus, stroking the cat, walking the dog, hugging, kissing, touching, taking care of people who depend on us, going to work, working, or just sitting on the front steps or in the park…

“You will find that it is not only possible but actually enjoyable to be in the moment, even with ordinary tasks such as washing dishes. You come to see that you don’t have to rush to finish the dishes so that you can get on to something better or more important because, at the moment that you are doing the dishes, that is your life.

“As we have seen, if you miss these moments because your mind is somewhere else, in an important way you are shortchanging your life…

“You can follow a similar approach with anything and everything you find yourself doing, whether it be alone or with other people.

“As long as you are doing something, doesn’t it make sense to be fully present as you do it, with your whole being? If you choose to do things mindfully…it will feel more meaningful and requires less effort.”

Life, and all of its tasks and responsibilities–and nursing breaks:)–will be enhanced with a new calm and vividness.

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  1. So true. Multi- tasking sometimes leaves us feeling harried, rushed, and resentful. Unless we are mindfully paying attention to what we are doing while preparing for Shabbos – which of course means living like your logo!

  2. Fantastic. A good reminder as I stare at my messy kitchen and dirty dishes!

  3. I’ve found this approach helpful when I lose patience with my kids. I realize that what I am focusing on (in anger) is usually not as big as I think it is so I step back to get a better perspective. Then I realize that being angry is not the space I want to be in. (Now I just need to do this more often…)

  4. My friend’s favorite motto is: The main thing to remember is that the main thing is the main thing.

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