The headlines are very clear.
We need to be mindful parents.
What does that even mean?
Well, it doesn’t mean sitting on your cushion and meditating each day instead of taking care of more important matters like washing dishes and keeping your children fed. It doesn’t mean watching your child’s every single move either.
And, it especially doesn’t mean that you have to put everything in your life on hold while you’re a mother.
In fact, the entire goal of The Abundant Mama Project is to help you find your happy place — while being an intentional, mindful mother.
For me and for many other moms, mindful motherhood is the simplest way to a happier life as a mother.
Mindful parenting simply means giving all of your attention to the moment you are in right now. It means to walk, talk and live with sincere, genuine intention.
Or, as I like to say: Mindful Motherhood means simply Wake the Hell Up.
Mindful, intentional parenting is our goal in this project because when we wake up and soak in the abundance that is all around us, we start to change, we start to heal from the hurts and we start to breathe a little deeper. We start to treat ourselves and those around us with more kindness.
Intentional parenting is about the journey. It is not an end place. You may never fully reach that enlightened state you dream of and you will probably never be able to check it off your list. (Sorry, list-makers.)
Being engaged and awake in your life is available to you in every single moment for the rest of your life.
But it is a practice. And not an easy one at that.
So, Why bother with Mindful Motherhood?
According to researchers, there are many scientific reasons to practice being a mindful parent.
- Studies show that being an intentional, mindful parent will actually improve your child’s behavior.
- This same kind of mindfulness can help you and your children reduce stress, anxiety and depression.
- Putting too much pressure and demands on children or yourself can create an atmosphere of chaos and disconnectedness in your family.
- Slowing down and experiencing life more fully actually increases your happiness and slows down time making your life appear less busy and frantic.
So, if being present should be the goal, why is being a mindful mother so hard?
If I know why it’s so wonderful, why can’t I be that intentional mother I set out to be each day?
Sure, we know how great it is supposed to be for our family life, but putting into practice is really, really hard.
You’re not alone. I work with hundreds of moms in my online program and on the first day of class they almost all give the very same reason for being in the program:
“I want to be more present.”
What stops us from being present and enjoying the moment more fully? Here are 4 Roadblocks to Mindful Motherhood:
- Hello, Busy Mind! — You are so busy doing it all for everyone else and caring for everyone else that you can’t physically or mentally or emotionally slow down your busy mind like you need to in order to be more intentional.
- Hey, Crazy Busy Schedule — You are an over-planner, over-scheduler and a borderline control freak who needs to make sure the ship runs on time every single day all day long. Let alone slow down and breathe.
- Whoa, Busy Ambitions — Your to-do lists far outweigh the amount of time you have to get things done and yet you keep adding to your plate, keep wishing and dreaming to be more productive and still feel inadequate and as if you are not doing enough. You’re so worried about what other people think of you that you forget what your child thinks of you.
- Roller Coaster Emotions — Raising children is an emotional ride. It’s hard. And it can really take a toll on your well-being. All of these emotions that need to be dealt with are often shoved to the back of the closet every day. This only increases your stress, anxieties and fears. When this happens, you may end up knee-deep in what I call The Land of Bitter and Sour mainly because of Nos 1, 2 and 3.
What does all of this mean?
It means that despite your best intentions, motherhood and life feels chaotic.
You lose connection and you stop feeling engaged in your life.
Your children act up and act out and you feel powerless or hopeless or both.
This leads to yelling and snapping and a general feeling of discontent and unhappiness.
And a vicious cycle ensues.
This isn’t to say you need to be mindful and intentional every single second of your day. That’s impossible.
But you can make being intentional your goal every single day.
Not only is it possible, but moms are doing it.
They are proving that you can be busy and intentional — and still take good care of yourself.
This isn’t about being powerless.
It’s about empowering yourself to be more engaged in your life as a mother.
And that’s why I love it when a mom emails me with joy about how this project changed whole family life because not only did it help her find happiness … but it helped her whole family thrive.