Mindfulness, Meditation & Parenting: 5 Mindful Mantras for Moms & Dads by Cheryl Brause
“I am doing the best that I can, and that is enough.”
The moment the doctor placed that tiny, wrinkly, beautiful life in my hands I was overwhelmed with unconditional love and, at the same time, pure terror. I made it through four years of college and three years of grad school, yet I had no clue how to raise a human. So, the first mantra for mindful mommas is to hold all that unconditional love that you have for your child in your heart and simply do the best you can, and that is enough. Remember that always.The most important ingredient in child rearing is love! And, you have an abundance of that. So, lead with your heart and be prepared for messes and tantrums and exhaustion but know that you can do this!
“This is how it is right now.”
Through the messes, embarrassing toddler tantrums and calls home from teachers because your child misbehaved, repeat to yourself, “This is how it is right now.” If you keep your mind focused on what is happening right now, in this moment, without getting caught up in the tall tales we too often tell ourselves of future failures, you can pay attention to what is needed right now. This simple mantra, repeated often, will also remind you that all things pass – the tantrum will end, you will eventually get a good night sleep, and before you know it that little child will be all grown up. So, stick with the present moment and be there fully. The tough phases will pass and so will the joyous little moments with your child. Remember to be present through it all.
Three slow, deep breaths in and out can do wonders! That’s all it takes to deactivate your stress response and trigger your relaxation response. So, remember to breathe deeply and frequently to stay grounded and calm. If you practice this often throughout your day, you can maintain a more relaxed state and be able to more easily roll with the ups and downs of your day. You will also begin to more easily access the calmer you when the “you know what” hits the fan (which it will). And when it does, your three mindful breaths will be your “go to” way to mindfully pause before you react so that you can respond in a calmer, wiser way.
“Why Am I Talking? (W.A.I.T.)”
This mantra is particularly helpful in those tween and teen years when your child is rapidly on his way to independence. Mothering during the often turbulent teenage years requires tremendous patience and restraint (in addition to LOTS of deep breathing), during a time when your child needs less advice and more room to make mistakes while feeing supported and loved along the way. Being a teenager was challenging enough when we went through it. Now we have to sit on the sidelines and watch our precious little ones suffer the bumps and bruises of adolescence. I often ask myself, as I feel the urge to bestow some motherly advice, “Why am I talking right now?” In moments of witnessing teenage angst and emotions, I pause and remind myself that what my child really wants right now is not to be lectured but to feel listened to, validated and loved. There will be time later to offer my advice when emotions are less volatile. But holding beautiful, heartfelt space for your child, where you are truly present (that means phones away) and listening is one of the greatest gifts we can give our children.
“I am Grateful For ___.”
One of the best ways to cultivate positivity is to think positively.You can do this by simply holding in your attention a few things you are grateful for each and every day.There are countless things you can be grateful for each day – a delicious cup of coffee in the morning, a walk with a friend or having a roof over your head. But you have to make it a point to take the time to stop during your day and appreciate the good stuff. Even tiptoeing into your children’s room at night (no matter what age they are) and watch them peacefully sleeping is a wonderful way to connect with and appreciate those beautiful children you helped bring into this world. Soak it in and notice how good that feels to be grateful!
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