Recently, I’ve been trying to be a more mindful mama. If you don’t know what I mean by this, mindfulness is the practice of bringing one’s attention to experiences occurring in the present moment and appreciating it.
As parents, it can be hard to focus on the right now. We have so many things to remember and to look forward to, it becomes to easy to get caught up planning that next holiday or feeling like we’re missing the younger years, that we miss the moment we have.
We see the warnings every day: don’t blink, slow down, enjoy it, babies don’t keep, you’ll miss this mess, and so on. But in the day to day hustle and bustle of caring for kids, houses, cars, pets, and grown ups, it can be hard to make time for just the moment.
Here are a few ways to be a more mindful mama:
1. Three Picture Rule
We all want to snap pictures of important milestones and memorable moments, but it becomes easy to take hundreds of pictures as the moment flies by. Every occasion is not a photoshoot. A few pictures of any event is enough to spark memories. You won’t always get the magic moment shot, but you’ll have that memory to keep because you were there, with nothing in your hand, experiencing it. Challenge yourself to only take three pictures next time, and see what you come up with and how you feel when you remember the event.
2. Quality Time
Often, I feel torn between spending time with my kids and getting things done. But the truth is, you can be with a child all day and not give them the engagement they need. It’s also important for kids to learn to entertain themselves. So, set aside time each day where you focus on each other: no distractions, no excuses, no taking it away as punishment or reward. Remember, it’s quality over quantity. Here are some tips.
3. Early Wake Up
This one sounds the opposite of enjoyable for many of us. However, like most I have found that going to bed and getting up at a regular time helps regulate my diet and energy levels. Rather than make mornings harder, waking up before everyone allows me ease into things in quiet instead of chaos. It’s a truly beautiful moment, even if it is short. You can always wake up 15 earlier than you think.
4. Parent Gratitude Journal
While keeping a journal might be hard, writing one line a day in a joy journal or gratitude diary can help in a lot of ways. When you focus on writing one positive memory of your family each day, you’ll begin to notice how many things you have been forgetting. Giving time to acknowledge the positive things cements them in our minds and has positive effects on our overall mood and mental health.
5. Me Time Ritual
Whether it’s coffee alone, the great outdoors, the occasional beach trip with friends, or just jamming to music, allow yourself a time each day for you. Not just for you, but a time for you with no goals and no expectations. Make that time – a weekly message, a yearly trip, or a daily soak in the tub – a sacred part of a natural routine that you protect. Your schedule reflects your values. You should be a part of your schedule. Taking this moment to not do can help us do more in other moments.
Hope you get in you Zen!