Being a parent is the greatest job and, at the same time, the most challenging job there is. It is your job to nurture young minds so that they will grow up to be responsible and upstanding members of society.
But the reality of being a parent, especially being a mother, can be challenging. And it is double the challenge if you are a mom juggling a career and family. The demand and stress of fulfilling the dual roles of a career woman and a mummy can cause you to be snappy and short-tempered when you’re rushing in the morning, the kids aren’t co-operating and there is still the business presentation awaiting you in the office.
Well, those kinds of mornings and days will not be ending any time soon. But there is a better way to cope with stress and put your life into perspective – and that is through the mindful way.
When practicing mindfulness, you are focused on living in the moment, and being more conscious of your thoughts and feelings without judging whether they are right or wrong. It is accepting the here and now – all that is happening at the moment – and just letting go. Here’s how to be a mindful mom:
Always remind yourself to take a deep breath when you feel the stress coming and mounting. Breathing properly reduces blood pressure, strengthens lung capacity, boosts the immune system, and even improves focus and concentration.
Simply stop whatever you are doing, close your eyes, and pay attention to your breathe and nothing else. Fill your abdomen with air first, followed by the chest. Take a deep sigh and utter a natural sound of relief as you exhale.
Connect with your Child
Children notice when parents are physically present yet their minds are elsewhere. Try to connect with your child every chance you get. If you are in the car driving them to school, unplug your mobile devices, turn off the radio, and just enjoy your few minutes of togetherness without thinking of what happened earlier in the morning and what will happen later that day.
It is also important to communicate with them. Find out what’s happening to them – about school, their friends and after-school activities. And when talking to them make sure to make eye contact.
Simplify your Life
Avoid packing your schedule with too many activities. You don’t need to go to every birthday party and social with friends or co-workers. You don’t even need to wash the dishes or fold the laundry right this minute.
Scrap your do-to list even for just an hour on a Saturday or Sunday and do an activity with your children; choose mindfully, of course. Listen to what your young ones are saying and really focus on the activity you are doing together.
Attend to your Non-Mum Persona
You are not just a mother; you are also an individual. Many mothers neglect their other self in the pursuit of being an ideal mother. Set aside a time for yourself and do what you love before children came into your life. Go to the bookstore. Pamper yourself in a day spa. Reconnect with friends. Whatever activity you choose, never feel guilty.
As a mom, you don’t need to do everything and know everything. It is okay not to know the answers to everything and it is okay not to do the laundry on the weekend. Focus on what you can do and don’t stress over things you can’t control. You will be happier and more content.