Motherhood is incredibly rewarding, yet one of the most draining, isolating and frustrating jobs as well. Some days you have no issue connecting with your family, but on others, they push all the wrong buttons and drive you up the wall.
We’ve all had those days. You’re frustrated from a long day at work, or the kids have been at each other all morning. You’re behind on your to-do list and just can’t handle one more thing. Of course, that’s when you discover they’ve clogged the toilet by shoving toys in or they’ve created a mural in permanent marker on the living room wall.
On other days you zone out, lost in your phone or the endless list of tasks running through your head. You snap back to reality only to find your child has been talking to you for a while and they’re in the middle of a story you didn’t hear a single word of.
Both types of real-life mom days can improve with a bit of mindfulness. Now, you probably aren’t going to start practicing yoga three times a week or sitting for long meditation sessions. After all, you’re a busy mom with a lot on your plate. However, could you spare five to 10 minutes here and there if it meant being a more present and calm mom?
Benefits of Mindfulness for Moms
Taking a handful of minutes from your day to practice centering yourself in the present can change how you parent and treat yourself. The benefits of mindfulness for moms are further reaching than you’d expect from the small time commitment.
- Lowered rates of depression and anxiety
- Better control over your emotions and temper
- Closer family bonds
- More joy in the everyday
- Better sleep
- Lowered heart rate
- Improved blood pressure
- More focused
- Increased sense of calm
- Better self-worth and self-confidence
- Improved decision-making
How to Practice Mindfulness as a Mom
If your head is reeling from the myriad benefits mindfulness can bring, you’re probably wondering how to make this shift without wasting too much of your precious time. You can accomplish any of the items on this list in 10 minutes or less. Mindfulness should work for you, not the other way around.
Writing out your thoughts for just a few minutes daily can significantly impact your mood and ability to connect with yourself and others. You can fit it in whenever you have a spare moment.
Try starting your morning before the kids get up and journaling about things you’re grateful for or your intentions for the day. You could also wind down in the evening with a brain dump, getting everything on paper that’s spiraling through your head.
If your kids still nap, that’s also a great time to journal. You could reflect on the day so far. In what ways have you stayed present in the moment? Where could you make some shifts?
Linger in the Little Moments
So few of us take the time to savor the little moments and experience how they make us feel. Our society places a ton of pressure on us to go, go, go, but our minds need time to slow down and rest.
You can’t be the best mom you can be if your mind is stuck in overdrive. You’ll have to practice being more present in the mundane of everyday life. Savor your first sip of coffee in the morning, experiencing how it feels in your mouth and as you swallow. Open up all your senses.
Next time your kid asks for attention or you’re feeding a little one, snuggle a bit and look into their eyes. When you’re making supper, take in the warm sensations from the stove and breathe in each smell. With practice, you’ll gain gratitude and ground yourself in the present moment.
Slow Your Breathing
When you’re in the midst of dealing with a tantrum or some serious attitude, take a step back and slow your breathing. Avoid the urge to react — you won’t end up helping yourself, the situation or your child.
Changing your breathing pattern will pull you briefly from the moment and allow you to view the situation objectively. Deep breathing can also lower your heart rate and bring down your blood pressure. You’ll be healthier and better able to make rational decisions.
Spend Time Outside
It can be easy to feel disconnected from the world when you spend all your time in an office or at home. Spending time in nature can help you feel grounded and one with the world.
Even in a busy schedule, you can find time to get some fresh air. Can you take your lunch break outside the office? When you’re waiting to pick up your kids from school, can you get out of the car, stretch your legs, and do some breathwork?
To really hone in on your oneness with nature, stop and appreciate your surroundings. Hobbies like hiking and birdwatching in a local park can remind you of the beautiful world around you. There’s more to life than running errands, taking kids to practices, buying groceries and so on. Find your center by reuniting with the natural world.
Leave Your Phone Alone
Our smartphone habits tend to turn us into zombies. We zone into the scroll and out of our daily responsibilities. You lose time with your kids or the ability to knock those all-important tasks off your list.
Let’s be honest — most of your time on your phone is probably wasted on social media. You likely don’t gain anything, you lose precious minutes, and all those edited photos and lives of so-called “super-moms” make you feel less than.
Try leaving your phone in a location away from you when spending time with your family. Decide on a few times of the day when you can feel free to scroll with abandon. Just remember, every moment you spend on your phone is a moment you can’t get back. You have to sort your priorities.
Shift Your Mindset
Our minds are constantly running through all the things we “have to do,” and all too often, spending time with our kids ends up on that list. The problem with all that “have to” talk is that it forces you to think only on the negative side. You end up resenting your daily tasks and, worse yet, annoyed by the time you spend with your family.
One slight shift can get you on a more positive track and enjoying your life and family time again. Whenever you notice yourself saying or thinking “I have to,” switch your phrasing to “I get to.” Now, instead of “I have to make supper,” you get, “I get to watch my kids color at the counter while I prepare a delicious and nutritious meal we can share.” Which of these mindsets would you prefer?
Trade Your Full Mind for Mindfulness
As a busy mom, your mind is constantly full of a million and one things — errands to run, shopping lists, family schedules, meal plans and countless other items you must remember. On top of that, your kids ask you endless questions and need more of your attention. You feel pulled in too many directions.
Trade in your full mind for a more mindful one. Use these tips to be present in your daily life and learn to keep your thoughts calm and focused.