Q: I’m finding it hard to maintain my chanting vows now that I have so many responsibilities maintaining a family. Do you have some advice?

A:  I would say its advantageous to reframe our mindset. “I value chanting my rounds because it has been such an asset in my life. Right now, I have many responsibilities and I would like to prioritize chanting.”

Focussing on how hard it is, makes it harder. Focussing on how beneficial it has been for us, makes it easier.

Srila Prabhupada once told Malati devi dasi, that chanting 16 rounds should be her topmost goal. If after that she had time in her busy life as a mother, she could add other devotional practices and services. That simultaneously took the pressure off trying to accommodate many services, while stressing the importance of chanting.

You try to take care of Lord Jagannatha as far as possible after doing your household duties, but you should be strict only in completing the 16 rounds of chanting. That will save you from all discrepancies. As a householder even there is some flaws in following the rules and regulations, it doesn’t matter. You should try your best and with Krishna’s help—Krishna will help you. If you keep your heart in that attitude, that you want to become a pure and sincere devotee, you must be a sincere devotee. And Krishna will help you. You have to keep your heart in that way, that is your business.” Letter to: Malati, LA, 23 November 1968

Once we have a good mindset, we will have a clearer vision on possible adjustments we can make in our schedules to accommodate our desires. Its hard to juggle so many things, so be kind to yourself, make small changes, and work towards your goals. Find allies- pair up and be accountable to a friend, find online japa partners, get a clicker to use while nursing small babies in the middle of the night- be creative. Finding time for activities we value gives us a sense of happiness.

We seek to support, strengthen, educate and enliven the individuals, couples and families who are or will be involved with the grihastha ashram.