I’m ashamed to admit that a lot of the time when I’m with my kids, I’m thinking about the many, many other things I need to be doing. They’re talking to me, and I’m hearing them, but I’m not listening.
But in those moments when I really am able to let go of the to-do list or the chores or the stresses and pressures – or even the loneliness of being a stay-at-home-mom – I feel rejuvenated and full of love for my little people. And I wish with all my heart that I could be there, body and mind, all the time.
That ability – to be wholly and completely in one place – is called mindfulness. And I am all for more mindful parenting in my life. I’m sure that if I didn’t waste energy trying to be physically in one place and mentally in another (and, to be honest, emotionally in another place entirely), I could be less frazzled as a mom. I could be more fun and more loving. There would be less frustration with myself and with my children. And, at the end of the day when the kids are in bed and I’m free to work on my own projects, I would be less likely to feel like what I really need is a big bowl of ice cream and a couple of hours of TV before bed. I would be more fulfilled as a person.
In short, being mindful would solve a lot of the problems I run into as a mom – and as a human. With that in mind, I’ve come up with some tips to help me – and any parent who could use a clearer, calmer mind – develop the skills to quiet my brain and help me be in the same place all at once.
photos via istockphoto.com