In this post, I will discuss what mindfulness looks like through the lens of motherhood and the unique ways being mindful matters for moms.
I don’t know about you, but when I’m spending time with my kids, my head is usually swarming with thoughts of my mental to-do list and I often find it challenging to stay engaged and present in the moment.
In addition to thinking about what I could be doing in that moment to be productive, I’m also daydreaming about that next block of time I can carve out to do something that I enjoy.
Needless to say, I’m often distracted or pre-occupied and unable to relax and enjoy the moment. Not exactly crushing my mom goals here…
But for the past few months, I’ve been setting my intentions each morning to be mindful throughout my day so as to help me feel more calm and centered and thus more engaged and present with my kids.
The Unique Ways Being Mindful Matters for Moms
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is about simply noticing and accepting what is going on in the present moment without judgment. By having this present-moment non-judgmental awareness, you’re allowing yourself to step back and slow down so you can notice what you didn’t notice before.
3 Reasons Being Mindful Matters for Moms
Mindfulness helps you focus on what matters most
As moms we tend to operate in reactive mode, always ready to put out the next fire or cross that next item off our to-do lists. However, if we can take a moment to step back and notice our environments and reflect, rather than react, it helps us focus on what matters most and operate more intentionally.
By doing so, you’re able to respond to what’s going on clearly and make better choices throughout your day. It just might help you respond to your child with patience, rather than annoyance, when he tells you he’s bored for the 50th time that day.
Thus, being mindful matters for moms because it fosters better relationships with those you love and makes you more intentional with your time and energy.
Mindfulness reduces your stress and anxiety
Another reason being mindful matters is because it helps reduce stress, anxiety, and overwhelm that busy moms often feel. This is because mindfulness gives you awareness of when you’re feeling stressed or anxious and also provides tools for dealing with these feelings.
We often hold stress in a particular part of our bodies. Some common areas are in the jaw, head, neck/shoulders, and stomach. For example, I usually feel a tightening in my throat when I’m feeling stressed. Once you know where you hold stress and anxiety, you can use it as a warning sign.
Being mindful grants us the space to get to know ourselves better and recognize our stress signals. We can become aware of the feeling and acknowledge it, while also having confidence that we have practices to help manage these feelings. This in itself can help to ease part of the anxiety.
By helping to reduce stress and anxiety, mindfulness can make you more patient and create more opportunity for joyful moments. This benefits everyone in your family because when you’re less stressed, you’re less likely to snap at your partner or kids, you have more physical and mental energy, and you’re able to be more engaged and present with your family.
AND the bonus is that when you’re less stressed, your entire family is happier! Amiright?
Mindfulness allows for moments of self-care in your day
Think back to before you had kids. You likely enjoyed long, spacious blocks of time to do the things that brought you joy and made you feel energized and refreshed.
But now that you’re a mom and you can barely go to the bathroom without a little person following you, that’s not so easy to come by, right?
Or perhaps you have kids a little older whose activities leave little room in the schedule for “you time”, making it nearly impossible to take that 45 minute yoga class you used to love.
As a busy mom, it can be quite challenging to find the time to focus on yourself and that is why a lot of us struggle with the concept of self-care. With the lack of time to dedicate to elaborate self-care practices, how do we find the rejuvenation we need?
We must reframe self-care not as something cumbersome that we need to step away from our lives to do, but as something that we learn to naturally weave into our day-to-day by establishing habits and practices that ground us and add joy to our days.
This is where mindfulness can play a unique role for us as moms.
Finding mindful moments throughout your day allows you to practice self-care in a way that naturally integrates it into your daily life, rather than you having to “escape” in order to find it.
How do we use mindfulness to practice self-care?
The idea is to learn how to use mindfulness in small ways throughout your day so that you can capture the essence of the longer self-care practices for which you simply don’t have the time.
We can take anything we do and create a mindful moment out of it and this can replenish us. Some examples would include:
- Having your morning coffee while focusing on the taste, scent, and warmth in your mouth. Engage your 5 senses and don’t read or look at your phone while drinking your coffee; simply be in the moment without multitasking.
- Taking a few moments to just breathe each day. When we do this we slow down and clear our minds. Practice breathing in through your nose, hold it for a few seconds, and then exhale through your mouth. Repeat this a few times and you will feel a sense of calm.
- Walking outside while focusing on the world around you. Pay attention to what you see, hear, and smell and how your body feels as you’re walking.
These are all ways to slow down and be mindful of what you’re experiencing in order to add little moments of self-care throughout your day.
You can use mindfulness to practice self-care however it suits you best. Get started by bringing awareness to and acknowledging how you’re feeling and what you might need to feel restored.
It may be necessary to try different things to find what works for you. Is it breath work as described above? Do you prefer traditional meditation, saying mantras, or exercise?
What helps center you? This part is completely individual and you only need to find that one thing that works for you and then make it a routine, habit and practice that you bring into your daily life.
Also keep in mind that what you need to feel restored can change from day to day.
Did you enjoy reading about why being mindful matters for moms?
By using mindfulness throughout your day, you’re able to weave small moments of self-care into your busy mom life that nourish and restore you and allow you to parent in a more calm, intentional, and joyful way. Will you give mindfulness a try?
Taking it a step further….
Bringing mindfulness into your life will do wonders for your sense of well-being. You will find that by making small, simple changes, you will see a big impact on your wellness.
However, although an important component, mindfulness is only part of overall wellness. True wellness is a result of taking care of your body, inside and out, and is based on intentional daily actions and consistent habits.
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Carly is a wife, mom, and former fashion industry executive turned blogger, who is on a journey to live life as the best version of herself. Through her website, littlevoicebigmatter.com, she shares practical advice and heartfelt insights to inspire and support women in motherhood, relationships, wellness, and life.