At my baby shower, one piece of advice that was repeated again and again was, “rest when the baby is resting.” It’s easier said than done in part because I’ve always been a very productive, project-oriented person. I’ve had to embrace raising my baby as the most important project in my life at this time, and I certainly try to rest when I can. Often this means lounging on the couch to catch up on reading or watching things with my husband.
Lately, that also means fitting in rituals or mini devotionals when baby is sleeping.
A couple weeks ago, after her umbilical chord fell off, I did a rite in which I formally introduced Baby Bee to my home altar*. She was awake at the time, but winding down. I sprinkled sacred water on her forehead and blessed her in the name of land, sea, and sky. She seemed to enjoy my soft chanting, prayers, and the jingle of my bell wand.
It was a good time of day for ritual. My husband was at work and she clearly enjoys napping then. I decided to set aside a few minutes in the early afternoons for devotionals. My devotionals are always fairly short. What would make them long would be more emphasis on meditation. I never utilize ADF’s liturgy unless I’m doing a public ADF rite or a more formal working at home (which tend to take on a more serious tone – requests for something or more “heavy” works of magic). A lot of what I do at home on a day-to-day basis is pretty relaxed anyway.
The point is, I used to do my devotionals in the evening. That’s become difficult now that I’m on baby’s schedule. Nighttimes are full of me trying to get as much sleep as possible between baby’s frequent evening feedings and her desire for cuddles. Until she gets a little older and ready for more order, I’m on baby’s schedule. There’s no way around that. And even when I introduce a new schedule into her life, it will be for her benefit and my wants will have to be scheduled around that. Thankfully, baby wearing seems to help so I’m sure I’ll do more of that as she grows ever more wakeful during the daylight. We’ll see what happens to my devotionals when work starts up again but, for now, I think I’ve found a way to once more make them a part of my daily life!