Who has time to meditate?...You do! I promise, my sweet friend you really do have time to meditate or to be mindful! Are you thinking about becoming a parent? Are you a soon to be mama*? Are you a soon to be a mama again? Are you already mama or parent? Are you a currently a caregiver of any beings in your life? Believe me. You need this.
The amount of time is minimal and the effects are monumental. I thought, geez, right...I need one more thing to add to my crazy long "to do" list kinda a like I need a hole in my head! But, seriously hear me out:
Lots of apps have suggestions for you and they are not a huge time suck. Headspace is popular, and so is Calm. They both have free trials, so not tons of commitment initially. After you start though, you may feel that having the ability to connect with yourself will be something you actually want to commit to long term with a daily practice. Try it and see to what you can bring to and for yourself and as a side effect, to your whole family.
For myself, meditation has given me increased patience. I already felt like a had a lot toward my baby-toddler, but meditation and mindfulness increased the amount of patience I have with my partner and now with myself. Also, some days as we continue our journey into toddler-hood I really need extra patience. My now two year old is requesting increased independence, control over her space and let's say "exploring boundaries."
Anyway you as a caregiver deserve care too! You don't need to be super organized about this. No guilt allowed and no perfection (ever) required. You also absolutely don't need to wake up one hour before your family. When I see those suggestions, of even less sleep, on various sites I just run away! You don't even need a special dedicated space. Meditation can be: come as you are, when you are able.
You don't need fancy stuff at all. All you need is you and your breath.
The app I have been loving is 10% Happier. It is free for a week and I am cheap, I mean frugal, that those seven days were what I needed to jump-start my meditation. The meditations last about ten minutes. Now, if you are really newly postpartum give yourself a break and listen to what you are truly craving. (So, possibly a shower, a meal, a hot tea, a nap....you get the idea) For those of us a bit past the fresh, shiny, new baby phase, please give this a go.
I do my meditation when putting my daughter down for her nap or at bedtime. I still nurse her to sleep. During that sleepy-time routine, I become really mindful and focus on my breath. It makes me feel like a renewed person.
However you decide to connect with yourself and do some self-care is awesome. Please just allow yourself the time. Just sharing what I have been really enjoying. Meditation...we really do have time! Happy you and happy parenting!
*please know that the term mama is inclusive to all people and parents in any way that they identify