On August 17th, 2014, I became a mom to a beautiful baby boy. Before his birth our director, Jiovann Carrasco, advised me to, “Hold your plans gently.”
It is a message that I carry with me now always.
So many plans went out the window for me on the day my son was born and I remembered that statement, “hold your plans gently.”
I understood the magnitude of hold your plans gently as I was wheeled into the OR for an emergency c-section.
I remembered the statement again as we struggled with breastfeeding. Hold your plans gently.
Holding your plans gently allows one to be mindful. It means meeting the present moment with non judgment. It means not hanging onto, “the way things should be”, or being angry with yourself for feeling a certain way. Holding your plans gently is a way for us to be mindful mothers.
So on this Mother's Day here are a few ways to focus on mindfulness in motherhood.
1. Observe your thoughts just as they are: When you have the seemingly irrational yet anxiety provoking thought that your baby could be hit by the knife in your hand from halfway across the room or the thought that something horrible could happen to him at any moment, just notice that you are having the thought. No need to judge it in any way. In fact, maybe take a moment to accept the thought and the feelings around it.
2. Accept your feelings: Motherhood can bring on so much fear and anxiety along with love and joy. Take a moment to offer yourself some kindness in any moments of suffering you might be experiencing. And don't forget to take a moment to enjoy your feelings of love and joy. Your feelings will come and go like waves. Just allow them to be and accept them as they are.
3. Offer yourself compassion: One important component of self-compassion is common humanity; that you are not alone in your suffering. You might be scared, sad, anxious, but you are not alone in this. Take moment to feel that and offer yourself compassion.
Self-compassion includes not comparing yourself to others. It is easy to get lost in the “mommy wars.” We all know that there are people out there who are doing more than we are, but there are many that are doing less. What we can focus on most of all is that we are doing our best. Take a moment and try to see yourself through your children's eyes and see the love they feel for you. Take a moment to honor yourself and your experience and just be kind and gentle to you. After all, it isn't easy being a mom.
4. Live your values: Maybe it is time to take a closer look at who you want to be and how you want to be as a mom. Allow your values to guide your daily behaviors. Maybe one of those values is self-care (to look after your own health and well-being). By taking care of yourself first, you can more skillfully take care of your children.
Finally on this Mother's Day take a quiet moment to acknowledge and honor the beauty that is you by offering yourself some gentle kindness and maybe even a glass of wine or a piece of chocolate. You’ve earned it mama!
Written by Monti Pal, LPC
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Here you will find articles contributed by members of our team. We hope to provide helpful information here to inspire mindful living and general wellness. The information provided here is not a substitue for professional mental health advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you need to speak to a professional regarding your mental health, please make an appointment.