There are so many How To guides, articles and friends/family who are ready to dish out advice on what to do with our children.
Whether it’s what to do when our babies have a diaper rash, what kind of car seats to get, how to breast fed, how to sleep train, there’s a plethora of information, but very little do I see topics of who to be and how to be mindful during these chaotic and emotional moments of motherhood.
There’s far more to motherhood than the How To part.
We are so consumed with the what to do questions but not asking who to be, not understanding the significance of being mindful and becoming more aware is a gift we give not only to ourselves but creates a positive foundation in children’s lives.
In order for us to raise emotionally and mentally healthy children, we must take the time to become mindful and aware ourselves.
4 Tips to Become a Mindful Mom
1. Be Present
Being present means to not allow your emotions and feelings to consume and dictate your actions, give yourself some time to think before responding to your child.
Right away, we respond with some sort of punishment or we yell at our children if our child is jumping on the coach, or if they’ve broken something they weren’t supposed to be playing with to begin with.
Being in the moment means you get to tell your child assertively & calmly, what you expect from them when they’re on the couch, “couch is made for sitting not for jumping, sit down on the couch or get off.”
Once they’ve followed direction, acknowledge and thank them.
If they’ve broken something, being in the moment means you get to look at why does your child have that item to break any way? Were you not paying attention to your child, were you busy doing something else?
If that’s the case, punishment is not warranted.. you get to check yourself and pay attention to what your child is doing or playing with so that they’re not in the position to break that item.
Be honest and take ownership of your lack of awareness… it’s ok, don’t be hard on yourself, we’ve all done this.. but make honest corrections and be better in the future.
2. Understand Your Emotional Triggers
This means you get to know your hot buttons and determine moments when you’ve been triggered by someone, so that you don’t take it out on your children.
Instead of allowing your negative mood to loom into the interactions with your child, taking some time to get to know your hot buttons is extremely valuable to your inner health and how you communicate with your child.
Take time to understand your mood and knowing where it comes from will allow you to shift your feelings from negative to a neutral state.. becoming aware of this allows you to be present with your child, give your child the attention they require and shift your energy into a more positive place.
Its easier to separate yourself from negative attitude when you know that the cause was just a simple an emotional trigger, this allows you to have a level of control on your emotions and instead of your negativity running wild, you can accept it and move on.
3. Become a Resilient Parent
Resilient; noun. The ability to bounce back, develop strength and happiness even after something bad has happened.
Becoming a resilient parent means never giving up on your end goal with your child.
If your goal is teach your child how to sleep in his room, god knows I’ve had my share of sleepless nights enforcing this nightly regiment. But I know value for her and for me once she overcomes this hurdle of separation and it’s up to me to enforce. Within three days, she was sleeping in her room.
Being resilient means, not cracking at the sign of a wailing child on their first night of sleeping in their room for the first time, sticking to your plan and your end goal.
Being resilient parents means being consistent and seeing things through. Whether that be teaching your child to put away her toys, or making his bed in the morning, or brushing their teeth everyday.
Don’t crack and give up on your end goal just because they throw a tantrum, cry or complain. Stick to these things because you know it’s valuable lesson for your child to learn and all these things we teach them all come down to developing who they are, their ability to problem solve and is a foundational tool for their adult lives.
4. Become Reflective
Reflect on your day. Do you journal now? I recommend to write down 1-3 goals per week for yourself and write down 1-3 goals a week for your child.
On a daily basis reflect on your day, what worked, what didn’t work? What challenges did you face and how did you respond to them?
Where you able to implement some of these mindful tips?
If so, how did it turn out?
If not, how did it turn out?
What are you looking to do better tomorrow?
Being reflective allows you to take an honest inventory of how well you’re doing, what you need work on and what you’re doing well at. Being reflective allows you to express your stresses, fears, challenges… a great way to analyze and release this energy for problem solving.
In conclusion, becoming a mindful momma means you get to be deliberate and consistent on developing awareness on how we respond to our children, day in and day out.. good mood or bad mood.
I get it, no one is perfect, but a little shift of mindfulness can cut out some of those quick negative responses, perhaps change the trajectory of your parenting that can make a huge impact on the rest of your child’s life.
Your inner work and developing awareness for yourself ripples into your child’s life, into who they are, their beliefs about themselves and how they handle relationships when they get older.
The work we put in towards how we raise them and how we show up for them is their foundation to their identity, why not become more mindful in the process and teach them the same.
If we make a small shift in understanding who to be in the chaos of motherhood, perhaps things can come full circle, answers come to us easier and more clear. Life becomes peaceful and we can literally enjoy this amazing journey of motherhood.