How can we be mindful of how we mother?
posted by: Guest Blogger
Sometimes I call it Conscious Mothering. It may help to call it Mindful Mothering, especially if you have a mindfulness practice already.
What is it?
It’s mothering with awareness so that we don’t, to the best of our ability, react. We choose our actions and our words, rather than living only in reaction to our daughter.
For example: she comes home from school and tells us she bombed a test. There’s something to sign from the teacher to prove that she’s told us about it.
Our (understandable) reaction might go something like: ‘WTF?! You’re not taking life seriously enough!!! I can’t believe this!!! I’m taking your cell phone away until your grades are better.’
If however, we’re making mindful mothering a daily practice, a way of living, we might first take a deep breath… yup, inhale, and exhale… and notice the reaction that wants to come bubbling up. Wow, we feel really angry, perhaps betrayed, and totally scared for our kid and their future. Sometimes we’re able to contain our reaction right then and there, look at our kid, be the adult and empathize with what they’re feeling. Sometimes, we need to ask our kid if we can talk about it in 15 minutes — and go call a mom friend to vent.
Either way, the goal of mindful mothering is being able to show up present for our daughters, present and intentional. Instead we can go to her and say: ‘Oh honey, this must be feeling so hard for you. I love you. I’ve got your back, I know how smart you are, and let’s figure this one out together. How can we get you the support you need?’
Mindful Mothering is a detached love. And by that I don’t mean disconnected or cold — but a conscious mother knows she’s the adult, and that her kid is a kid (even if they’re 16 and seem more and more mature every day — the brain doesn’t fully develop until 25!).
It’s not about perfection here. We’re human. We’re perfectly imperfect mothers. (And our imperfection gives our daughters permission to also be imperfect).
Mindful or Conscious mothering heals the motherline (the relationship from grandmother to mother to daughter, and so on). It’s the evolution of evolutions for many of us — right? If our mothers raised us unconsciously, reacting to our childish emotions like a child themselves: as a girl raising a girl, rather than a woman raising a girl. It’s a quantum leap, and it’s happening now in this generation of mothers.
Mindful mothering is a spiritual practice. We don’t do it perfectly. It’s a way of living. Mothering is actually a path to awareness, to consciousness, to love and to self-love.
For Mother’s Day week, we’re sharing inspirational parenting advice. Go to facebook.com/motheringanddaughtering for more motivational ideas!