I have been told and have read time and again that taking care of one’s children means taking care of one’s marriage, one’s spouse, oneself, and, of course, one’s children. It makes sense theoretically, but in practice, it can be quite a challenge when there are only 24 hours in one day.
What would I give for Hermione’s Time-Turner…
In lieu of that, I have come to greatly appreciate what I am referring to for now as the “layering” of needs. In other words, how can we, as a family, layer our needs together and answer them with one common activity?
One prime example that has become a precious part of our daily routine is baby’s need for naps, and mommy and daddy’s need to pray, meditate, and read Sacred Writings. Like all babies, ours need to unwind before she can settle into a restful nap. And like so many babies, she loves music.
Her father and I love music as well, so we put together a simple nap-time routine that helps baby unwind and give mommy and daddy some time to close their eyes, listen to Sacred Writings, and meditate.
Our ‘Layered’ Naptime Routine
It sounds ominous, but our routine is amazingly simple. We play the three videos below in the order I have embedded them, one of us holding the baby in our arms and cuddling her. She usually babbles her way during the first one, but by the end of the second one, she is completely relaxed. By the middle of the third, she is ready to be put down and she falls asleep, content and relaxed, shortly after its conclusion.
At the same time, her father and I have the time to reflect on the three quotes used in each of these videos of utmost importance to a life of service. The first reads: “Unite and bind together the hearts, join in accord all the souls. Oh Lord! Make these faces radiant through the light of Thy oneness.” While the main reason we love this song so much is that one of our dear friends put it together and another few dear friends feature in it, the quote seems so important to us in our efforts to build a vibrant community that we can’t reflect enough on it.
Similarly, the second video features a quote we find important to our efforts in becoming better individual members of our community. It is from The Hidden Words of Bahá’u’lláh and reads: “O son of Spirit! My first counsel is this: Possess a pure, kindly and radiant heart, that thine may be a sovereignty ancient, imperishable and everlasting.”
And yes, it features another one of our friends.
Wrapping It All Up
Finally, the last video is of a live performance of a song of great significance to many Bahá’ís. It also features a choir, which is quite uplifting and inspiring in itself. In very short, the song is a request for Divine Help, something that we all need when working for the betterment of both our communities and ourselves.
There you have it; a daily routine that we repeat at least twice, if not thrice, which helps baby nap well and allows mommy and daddy to regularly reflect on their life’s purpose.
Now that’s what I call being efficient.