Motherhood is many times a love-hate battle with yourself. Can you be a mindful mother?
You’re often torn between feeling you aren’t spending enough time with your children and dedicating all your time to them. It can feel like your peace of mind is a thing of the past now you’ve completed bringing children into this world.
Mothering With Mindfulness
There’s no need to get frayed on the edges of your existence if you’re a mother. You could be full of life and vigor by practicing mindfulness.
Even if you practice the highest levels of self-care, coming back to a stressful home is a difficult thing to do. But with a still mind, you can mentally organize all the things you need to take care of. You can take them up one by one, even if they hit you all at once.
Through mindfulness, achieving the stillness of mind is possible. Mothers around the world know how having a still mind can lead to:
- Lower stress and anxiety
- Their children feeling less stress
- More fulfilling relationships with their children
- Less overwhelming by the constant pressures of motherhood
How To Stay Mindfully Present
The present is exactly where life is happening, always. And mindfulness allows us to stay fully present in each moment.
You must sometimes feel lost in all the new emotions motherhood brings. With mindfulness, you realize the unpleasant moments are not there to stay forever. The pleasant moments also become more enjoyable.
It is the present moment you must focus and be attentive to. It’s the only place where you have time for yourself. It’s also where you can choose to feel separated from the hustle and bustle of motherhood.
Mindfulness is the act of staying present with non-judgmental intent.
It is moving into a space where you can feel yourself found. It’s here you can connect with yourself on more levels than just the physical. It’s where you can look deep into your mental, emotional and spiritual needs.
There’s no need to feel completely frazzled if you’re a mother. You could practice staying present in the moment through mindfulness. This can help you cut the amount of time you spend feeling impulsive and hyperactive.
When you’re mindful, you feel the emotions in a neutral way, and process them with a natural ease. This is passive awareness. In this, you don’t become attached to your emotions; instead, you observe them appear and let them go with calmness.
For a few minutes daily, mindfully meditate to reconnect with yourself. Get yourself comfortable. Close your eyes and bring your awareness to your breath. Stop trying to control your thoughts; simply allow them to come and go. Keep your focus on your breathing.
Using Mindfulness To Enjoy Motherhood
Mindfulness could become your key to build up more loving moments with your little ones.
You know how tired the moments of blunders and flounders, and the resulting anger, makes you. Now, they don’t have to play such a large role in your motherhood, nor in their childhood. Be the mother you want to become with mindfulness.
Children’s tantrums are major points of battle for many mothers. They cause a lot of emotional distress. Through mindfulness, you can realize your motherhood need not be as difficult as it seems.
You can connect with your stressed-out toddler in a calm way to soothe them with your peaceful self. The usual overwhelming and stressful experience of mothering is not a necessary experience. You can move past it with a little practice, and can truly become a mindful mother.
Using Mindfulness To Connect With Yourself
Mindfulness meditation is something easy to tap into and quite practicable. You don’t have to go anywhere to get access to it. You can do it wherever you are.
The problem could perhaps be of time. There is a limited amount of time in a day for a mother to fit everything in. This makes self-care something you often assign less priority than you should.
Mindfulness may seem futile or time-wasting at first. But with regular practice, you begin noticing you feel happier more often. You start to have calmer reactions to things in your life. You feel a greater sense of compassion and appreciation for things in your life.
As a mother, if you allot regular time for mindfulness practice, it will help you resort less to anger. It can help you develop better methods of discipline. This will allow you to access your inner peace more often, even every when you want to.
Using Mindfulness To Connect With Others
Mindfulness enhances your relationships with your spouse, your child, and even strangers.
You know how it feels when your spouse doesn’t pay attention as you’re talking to them. Then you must also understand how it feels to the other person when you aren’t listening to them either.
But when you start mindfulness meditation, within days you start to feel more relaxed. Mindfulness helps you have a greater ability to empathize with others. This includes your spouse. You begin to listen to them with pure attention.
Using Mindfulness To Connect With Children
With mindfulness, your relationship with your children improves since you are more calm and relaxed. You are able to notice all their idiosyncrasies and still have fun conversing with them.
When you and your child are playing together, your mind may start to wander.
Perhaps you go thinking about all the chores you have to do later. At such times, just notice the thought. Write it down if you worry you’ll forget it. Then let go of the thought.
And try to stay aware of the game you’re playing together and have fun.
Using Mindfulness To Reduce Overreactions
After getting into a regular practice of mindfulness, you increase your ability to control your reactions. You find you’re even able to understand the events leading up to them.
For example, imagine your child spills some orange juice on your favorite cushion, or tears off a few pages from a library book. With mindfulness, you’ll be able to rise above the situation. You won’t need to yell at them.
You just need to tell them what they can do to avoid making the same mistake again. After all, it’s likely they spilled the juice or tore the library book by accident. It could have been too much for them to carry the glass or turn the pages with ease.
With mindfulness, you will be able to spot the chain of events leading up to these minor disasters. You might even anticipate them and prevent them.
Using Mindfulness To Find Your Purpose
When you instill a regular habit of mindfulness into your life, you gain a newfound ability to understand your meaning and purpose in life. Once you grasp that, you become a better person. It helps you take better mothering decisions.
The people around may sometimes make you doubt your motherhood role as your true meaning of your life. Mindfulness can help you realize whether it really is your true purpose till your child grows into a self-sufficient adult.
Practicing Mindfulness With Your Child
Like any mother, you surely enjoy private moments away from your child. But you might be better off not making mindfulness meditation a part of those moments of privy. Mindfulness is not a complicated pastime, to practice in exclusive privacy.
In fact, you and your child may have meditated together already, without realizing it. When your child was younger, you called them to listen and savor the sound of gentle rain on the roof. When they were tiny, you lay beside them and sang them to sleep.
If your child is older, they might already be doing a great job of calming themselves down. But if they are still too young, they might interrupt you while you’re meditating by yourself.
So, why not get the habit of mindfulness ingrained into them right at young age? It would help your child become more grounded and less reactive. They would also go on to enjoy it.
This does not have to be tedious or complicated – you could do the normal things you already do while being mindful.
You could walk on the beach together, both of you counting your breathing and taking slow steps.
You could both lie on the grass with your hands on your hearts, and watch the sky and smell the air.
Mindfulness is being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different, and experiencing the present without holding on to it. You can become a mindful mother and step up your parenting skills.
Motherhood and mindfulness are both a journey, never a destination.
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Authors’ Bio: Molly Crockett is a health blogger at Academized. She shares her latest ideas on personal development through articles in online magazines. Sandip Roy is psychology writer, happiness researcher, and medical doctor. Founder of Happiness India Project, and chief editor of its blog. He writes popular-science articles on positive psychology and related topics.
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