Becoming A Mindful Mum
Considering it's all relative, I have no clue how you can make it happen. What I can tell you is how I'm trying to make it work. It might work for you the same way, or maybe not.
If you are already a mindful sister, give us your perspective!
I always had a bit of an issue with perspectives. Like I take all perspectives, I really do. And that doesn't help much when I need to be strict and decide which way to go. In this case though, I'm a believer. In order to become a mindful person, you need to pay attention to your physical condition. No meditation, coach, or mentor can take you anywhere if you don't take care of yourself.
So here's what I know:
- We exercise daily - everyday. Some days more, some days less. Be consistent. It needs to be part of our daily life. This one is huge. You need to do that. Sometimes this might be the only "me-time" you get. Take advantage of it, use it to your benefit. I'm not going to elaborate much on this one. It's kind of my favourite subject (hello #fitsisters) and you'll be reading about it many times.
- We eat no junk except for those few times we really feel like it. You know how I feel about food. Whatever you eat has 100% effect on how you feel. You eat bad? You won't make a happy mum-person, especially if you are over 35. You get this insulin rise and then you are on your lows really soon. Anyway being mindful is about accepting your wishes, so be ready to break good healthy habits if you feel like it. Somedays. It's O.K. Just don't eat your kids leftovers lol.
- We sleep more. This is the only thing from this list I have some difficulties with. I sleep late. And when I don't sleep enough, strange things happen the next day. Try to sleep early (cause we all know we can't sleep in anymore), use tracking apps, candles, relaxing oils, whatever works for you. We can't think straight or be mindful when we're tired. Stress hormones take over. And yes, leave your phone out of your bedroom.
- We decide the times we go first. And stick to it. Don't get this mummy guilt. Make plans so that it's not as easy to break them. Go out, have dinners, whatever makes your heart sing. Just don't postpone your time. I have it easy because my partner is in this as much as I am, so it's a really 50-50 work. I know how easy it is to wear the mum's role all the time. Don't fall for it. It needs effort. Go out and do your thing.
- We accept unpredictability. Like really accept it for a fact. You can prepare as much as possible the day before-if that makes you feel better. And be prepared for it to go the other way. Working mum or not. Accept it. I remember the times I had to run home during working hours. I remember being ready for a trip and then...we-never-flew-because-of-a-flu. Prepare for tomorrow but don't count on it.
- We establish a routine in order to break it often (dinner time, meals, school activities, playdates, drinks with friends). My first mum years I was so into keeping a routine for my son. I wanted him to eat exclusively cooked food (thank you freezer), have a fixed bedtime, a fixed day programme. If I'd see him getting tired, while we were out, I'd immediately decide to take him home. And maybe that was the way to go, he was a routine type of baby. I'm a different person now. It's not because he's grown and things are easier (yes, things do get easier when little people grow older). He still has a routine on school days but I'm fine if he wants to eat only bread, or if he reads a book later at night. I'm fine if he doesn't want to go places, I'm fine for him to choose which sport he likes, which language he wants to learn; I'm even fine with TV and iPad. I mean, there are rules and he knows them, but I'm very happy to break them if that will make us happier at that moment. The more relaxed I am about choices, the more cooperative he gets, the happier our life. Nothing new, right?
- We pick our mum battles. The only think I mean to say with this one is that you should accept you'll have a messy home. And part of you becoming more mindful is to understand that messy is not a bad thing. Messy is great! It takes your imagination places lol.
- We live together with our kids. I don't know if it's because we don't have family help or if it's because we're not what you'd call "young parents", but we do most things together. We decide things together, we go places together. There's no option for my son to stay back, he has to adjust. The faster he adjusts, the easier our life, the more mindful I become. Jet-lag or not, mosquitos, later flights, it's all part of the game. I refuse to be intimidated. I wasn't like this a few years ago. Now? I don't bat an eye.
So sisters, take care of your body. Then put yourself first sometimes. Give your kids responsibilities they can handle. Enjoy being you. Talk about your feelings. Accept you can't control everything.
And remember: "relaxed mum" means different things to different people. You define yourself.
I understand this is a bit of a theoretical piece. I promise I'll be sharing a new post with practical tips and the tools/products I use when I need some peace of mind. Till then...sending you love.