Mindfulness is really about being in the present. And let’s face it. When you’ve got milk running down your leg and dirty diapers overpowering your Bath & Body perfume, it can be difficult to pause and say, “I want to be in this 100%.”
It’s okay to say that you maybe imagine yourself somewhere else for a minute. Maybe with a wine glass the size of Texas in your hand, but mindfulness is learning to be okay with where you are now, who you are, and what encompasses your life at this very time and place. And being a mindful mama is a natural extension of that.
Mindful parenting is intentional, and perhaps, even, a little difficult. But use these 10 simple steps to start to build mindfulness into your everyday routine, showing yourself, as well as your kiddos, that being in the moment is important.
Get Rid of Distractions.
We have a lot of distractions in this modern life. Cell phones. Televisions. The incessant knocking in our own heads of all the things we need to get done. Get rid of it, even if it’s only for a few minutes. And then challenge yourself to go longer. To go further, read over this article from Lifehack on limiting distractions in your life.
Focus on Your Child’s Words.
Or babble. Or singing. Whatever your little one is up to vocally, take a minute to let their words and sound sink in. Acknowledge how you feel about it, and let yourself feel something about it. Whether it’s joy or annoyance, take part in that moment with them.
Take a two minute Zen break.
For the moments when you really need to take a breather, take one. You may not be able to meditate for an hour, but a couple of minutes to refocus and center yourself will do wonders.
Breathe In. Breathe Out.
Breathing techniques take time to master, but the great thing is that you were born to do it. So do it. While you’re scrubbing toilets or reading stories at bedtime, breathe in deeply and exhale slowly.
Allow Yourself to Feel.
Moms and Dads can often feel guilty for emotions that pass through their mind. Instead of feeling guilty for an angry thought or a wish for a break, pay attention to when those thoughts come and practice identifying them and then truly letting them pass away.
Quit Planning – Sort Of.
For those mamas out there who love to plan, this can be especially difficult. Not looking to the future doesn’t mean that you can’t plan at all, it just means you should try to take a break and stop worrying about what’s going to happen in the next five minutes, 6 hours, 10 days, or 3 years. Enjoy where you are now.
Let Go of the Past.
Easier said than done, right? When you catch your mind going to a place in the past, redirect your thoughts to the present. Keeping hold of the past can be harmful to your present, so learn to let go of the things you can’t change. This article from Mary Darling Montero at the Huffington Post can give you further insight into letting go.
Being a mindful parent doesn’t just come to you the moment you think, “Hey. I should do that!” It takes some work. But it’s so worth it to be able to know that at the end of the day, you made every effort to be with your family.
You don’t need to be reminded that your kids are the age they are for just a moment. But if you stop to think about that and about the time that is passing, even as you read this article, that awareness really hits home, doesn’t it? Be aware of what’s happening around you, what people are doing and saying.
Get Out of the House with Your Kids.
Getting into new situations with your kids will take your relationships to different heights, allowing you all to experience and enjoy a new environment and all that comes with it. Pay attention to the wind in the trees and talk to one another about the sensory objects around you.
Parenting is difficult. But mindful parenting is even harder. Use these 10 simple steps to help you become a mindful mama today.