Fathers are often the unsung heroes at home. While moms typically get all the credit for running a smooth household (which is no small feat — high five, moms), the fathers are often quietly helping to keep things running in the background.
And fathers are more involved now than ever before. In fact, dads spend an average of eight hours a week on child care — tripling the time they provided in 1965.
Research also shows that dads feel some #dadguilt because even today, moms are still doing a bit more. A whopping half of dads wish they could be spending more time at home, but struggle with work-life barriers.
So until paternity leave is as robust as maternity leave, and cultural norms allow dads to be more flexible with their schedules, how can dads optimize their time with their kids?
By becoming more present in the time they are at home.
Fatherhood and Meditation: what do these two things have to do with each other?
SO many of us struggle with maintaining presence when so many things are on our mind. But so many of my students say that increased presence is a massive benefit to their meditation practice — and it’s vital to the health of their homes.
Today, we’re sharing a q+a with Robert Zeitlin, a great friend and Ziva meditator who says that meditating has greatly impacted his life as a father and a person. Read on below about his experience with fatherhood and meditation:
Father Highlight: Robert Zeitlin
How long have you been practicing the Ziva technique?
Two and a half years. I started with the online program but wanted to know more. Even though I’m based in Philly, I made the time to come to learn with Emily in New York for zivaLIVE.
How has your daily meditation practice affected your experience as a father?
Being more mindful is a huge benefit to meditating that has made me a much better father. It’s hard for anyone, especially parents, to carve out time for themselves. Having a daily practice has shown me the value of investing in my own well-being twice a day. It’s super powerful to make the statement that everything else in my life — my phone, my thoughts, and even my kids — can wait 20 minutes. The benefit for my family and everyone I work with has been enormous.
Have you noticed a change in your kids as a result of your meditation?
Since our kids are older, the benefit has been direct: I have inspired them both to begin meditating. Making more meditators, especially with them starting in their 20s, feels like a huge parenting win!
Outside of how it’s affected your parenting experience, how else has The Ziva Technique impacted your life?
Practicing The Ziva Technique has lowered my stress level, which changes everything. I approach decisions (even little decisions) carrying less of a stress burden. So now I do things for the right reasons.
Ziva has also given me the energy I need to finish my days strong. Before Ziva, I didn’t realize how many silly things I was doing just to stay awake! Satisfying cravings for food and stimulation used to be a part-time job. Now I feel more rested in my waking hours.
What would you say to other men who may be on the fence about beginning a daily meditation practice?
I get it. I was very hesitant, too. Meditating, manifesting, mindfulness, even therapy at some point all had a connotation of weakness/vulnerability that pushed me away. Here’s what I would say: try it. You could always decide that isn’t for you. But you might find, like I did, that it is a critical piece that was missing before. If you’re like me (and all these other people who get a huge benefit from The Ziva Technique), you are depriving yourself of a secret weapon that can increase your energy, allow you to make better decisions, and help you to be a better father/partner/brother/uncle.
If you haven’t yet found a gift for the dads in your life, may we humbly suggest the gift of meditation? You can click here to set him up with a gift certificate to zivaONLINE. He can even choose his own start date.
Just think how revolutionary it could be if we get more dads meditating. Let’s see if we can make it happen.