Mindfulness and Motherhood - A Way of Finding Calm
By Vanessa Carnevale - 9th September 2011
"I don't know how you do it."
I never quite know whether this comment equals pity or amazement, but my reply is usually, "I don't know. I just do it."
Often we look at working mothers of young children and wonder how they do it. Or we look at mothers who are at home full time with their children and wonder how they do it.
As mothers, we all have our days or weeks when our patience runs thin. We tell ourselves there has to be a better way to deal with the challenges of dealing with the daily pressures of life.
Nobody has a one-size-fits-all answer of how to stop the merry-go-round, but there are ways that we can gain renewed patience and calmness, that have a positive effect on our children’s wellbeing too.
Live in the Moment.
We can use mindfulness to help us with stress relief.
By becoming aware of and taking in the special moments, we can strengthen a deeper connection between ourselves and our children.
- Soak in the beautiful sounds of your child's laughter, and look into those beautiful eyes when you engage in conversation.
- Be aware of the moment when the letter d stopped being written as a b.
- Take notice of when the stick figure people changed to resemble more sophisticated human beings with ears and eyebrows and accessories.
- Look at the drawing your child has just shown you, and I mean really look at it... What is it telling you?
It's in the mindful moments that we can often feel overwhelmed with love; the kind of love you feel when you bring your new baby home from hospital and are in awe kind of love. Those times when nothing else matters, it's just you and your baby, and your baby sure doesn't care about the mess, or the washing, or that pesky list of to-dos you have in your head.
Look at Life Through the Eyes of a Child
Children have an incredible way of looking at things. It takes skill and conscious effort for many adults to do this. It can help keep you calmer and looking at life from a different perspective and can be quite refreshing. Children notice everything about the world around them, and then they put it all together in the most incredible ways. Children can help us see the world as remarkable, because the world, to a child, is remarkable.
Ride the Waves and Keep Calm
Equanimity - what a beautiful word that sums up the ability to get through the tough moments by riding the wave and keeping calm.
By actively focusing on our children and reminding ourselves to breathe, we can deal with tantrums and whinging without allowing the behaviour to send us off the dial.
Have you noticed how a young child can ask you the same question over and over again even if it's just an answer that calls for a simple 'yes' or a 'no'? We answer, and we keep getting asked the same question until we finally answer in frustration. If we turn our attention to the behaviour and focus only on the behaviour itself we have a better chance of dealing with it more calmly.
Finding the calm and sense of balance whilst juggling parenthood and life is achievable. Like all things, it takes practice. For some of us, it takes a lot of practice. But a visit into the world of amazement that's ticking along slowly for our children whilst we are racing is worth the practice.