ways to practice being mindful — as a mom


I always hear “live in the moment” but lately I have been really chewing on that thought over and over in my head. The word that comes to me now is being “mind-full”. I left feeling like I need to keep my mind “full” of the present—not looking forward or backward, and just focusing on what’s happening right in front of me. Often we spend half our time feeling bad about the past, or the other half of the time worrying about the future. No wonder we have no time left over to live in the now. No wonder at the end of the day I feel a hollowness.

court and mom

Being a mom can be such a hard and self-destructive job.  Some days I feel like I am “nailing” this mom thing.  Others (actually most), I go to bed replaying all the things I wish I could have done differently. Things I wish I would have said. Moments where I wish I would’ve been more patient.  Words I wish I wouldn’t have yelled. The time I wasted caring about messes and loud noises. 

What if the best gift we can give to our kids and to ourselves is to be mindful?  What if we stopped feeling bad for missing field trips or forgetting to have them brush their teeth?  What if we didn’t wish away the “witching hour” or tune out that question they’ve already asked 1000 times?  What if we stopped trying so hard to be the mom we always thought we ought to be and we embraced the mom that we can be?  What if we focused on the now; the reality, what’s true.

thisverymomentis enough

A truth I can stand on right now is that this very moment is enough.  I got the morning with my two littles.  There were some fights and there were some smiles.  We sang with the windows down and I also fought with my kid as he kept trying to slide across the grocery store floor. This very minute I am breathing (which in itself is a miracle), there are clouds coming in after the rain; the sun is starting to shine through the room; I have a cup of coffee and while the smallest one sleeps; I’m trying to get work done but I’m also listening to my 4 year old convince me that magic is real.

Being mindful to me means taking the good with the hard. Accepting it for what it is. This moment is real and true and pure and beautiful.

courtplaying

sitget outsidegratitude journal (1)

sit – just be.  close your eyes or pick something to focus on.  breathe in some deep breaths and pay attention to the sounds and smells around you.

create – when your hands move your mind slows down.  let your own expressions out as you make and busy your hands.  be aware of the colors, the textures, the mediums. enjoy your work

get outside – nature is so healing.  even when my babies were fussy, i could get them to calm down when we went outside.  take a walk and look for beauty and surprises in the world out there.

gratitude journal – this is my favorite. when i feel life getting to me, i come back to this tool all the time.  I write down a bulleted list of the things that i was thankful for that day or recently.  It usually involves the simple things like a cute thing said by my kids or a text from a friend or a quote in a book or that extra help i didn’t expect.  when i get into the pattern of writing these small things down, i start looking for more moments in the everyday.

-Erin

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