I believe in the power of customs, cultures and family values. Maybe this firm belief stems from the fact that I hail from India – a country known for its ancient and deep rooted culture or maybe that I have grown up in a family that has established its own set of family customs and values over the years.
Continuing with what I have learnt and seen in my family while growing up, I have tried to set up our own family rules with my husband and child.
For example – he never leaves home without telling me where he is going. We try our best to not disagree in public, especially around those who aren’t close to us. We have two meals together – breakfast and dinner. We begin and end the day with a kiss. And we give space to each other.
But my favorite family custom is the daily ritual of 2 minutes of ‘mum-ditation’ – a word I coined from mumma and meditation.
Mum-ditation is a practice where my 6 year old daughter and I hug each other tightly and sit still while enjoying our warm embrace.
During mum-ditation, she climbs onto my lap facing me and clings to me like a newborn baby monkey clings to his mom. We sit in this position for minimum 2 minutes. Here are the other rules:
- We do not speak anything other than ‘I love you’; it is meditation after all
- We sit together cuddling each other and gyrating in one direction
- Minimum duration is 2 minutes though it can last for any longer we want it to
We try to do it as first thing in the morning but any other time works just as well for us. Sometimes we mum-ditate while I put her to bed.
We have been doing it religiously for more than four months now and this has become my most favorite activity of the day.
I absolutely love how innocuously she clenches me while resting her head on my shoulder and I rest mine on her head. It feels like our shoulders exactly fit each others’, as if she was meant to be born out of me and I was born to cuddle her like this.
This simple art of holding your child so close for few minutes may not seem like anything special or extra ordinary at first but once you get to doing it, it feels like the only thing you ever want to do.
More so because deep inside we are aware that this privilege will not be available to us after couple of years. That this hug will only become more distant with time. That few months (or years) down the line, this kind of cuddling and clinging will seem foolish, overly emotional and weakening to your child. That as a mother you want your child to grow fast but at the same time you wish for her to remain that same small girl who could fit properly in your arms.
In times when physical proximity is being fast replaced with technological communication, mum-ditation has become extremely crucial. It makes me feel alive and self connected – like an amoeba.
As I look at my swiftly growing 6 year old girl, I feel the only thing that matters to me is the ability and the opportunity to hold her for just a little longer.
And my ritual of 2 minutes of mum-ditation gives me that pleasure.