Motherhood is a beautiful experience! Along with all the feelings of maternal love, you are balancing a million new things. It takes a village to raise a child, but being a parent doesn’t have to be exhausting. Today many parents are opting to practice spiritual parenting; A method which allows you to feel calm and a stress-free mommy. You don’t need to change your lifestyle to do this, but learning a few tricks can be super helpful!
Here are some tips on how to be the most mindful parent you can be:
Live in the Moment
An important teaching from Zen practitioners is that our entire life is happening right now. The past is over and we can’t predict the future. Keeping a long to do list tricks you into thinking that you can do everything at once. This is a recipe for disaster! Nothing ends up being done correctly! Focus on what you are doing in the present, and put all of your energy into that moment. Take tomorrow as it comes. Freaking out over something that isn’t even here makes parenting much more difficult. So, instead of focusing on all the yet’s, handle each task on step at a time. For example, feed your child when he or she is hungry. Do the dishes when they are dirty. When you go to work, concentrate on that. More importantly don’t fret over things in the future that you have no control over!
Create family traditions and rituals. Set a time every day when you turn off your phone and just spend some old fashion quality time with your child. Just spending time with your child every day will tighten your bond. If nothing else, give them a great big hug whenever you have the chance. Opt for quality over quantity.
You are a human being and often times you can’t help getting frustrated and angry.
Life will always have its annoyances, but try a new way of approaching them. When your child says something rude or refuses to pick up his or her toys or complete their homework, instead of yelling take a deep breath and ask them to please “try again”. Children respond much better to patience than to anger. Think about it this way, if you yell at your child, he or she is likely to start crying or throw a tantrum. If you calmly explain what they did wrong and ask them to try again, the situation will have much more positive outcome.
If you make a reasonable promise to yourself, you will keep it. Make it a habit to set a goal for your day every morning. Say out loud “I will not raise my voice today”, or “I will spend more time with my children today”, or even “I will do something for myself today”. Setting these tiny goals will add some pleasantness to your day, and once you carry out a vow you make to yourself, it becomes a habit.
Create a Calm Environment
This is another teaching that applies very well to parenting. In order to be a Zen Parent, you must be in a peaceful environment. This doesn’t mean you need to spend every minute cleaning so your house is spotless. Take responsibility for your messes and clean them when they occur- don’t put it off. Teach your family members to do the same thing. Pick up stray hairs or toys as you see them. Do a little dusting. Living in a tidy atmosphere gives you one less thing to stress out about and creates a harmonious Feng Shui home. .
Filter Your Space
People tend to have way too much “stuff”. By stuff, I mean things that you do not use and do not serve a purpose. Trying to find a particular toy or item of clothing in a sea of clutter causes so much unnecessary chaos. Calm the storm by getting rid of absolutely everything that you don’t need. This may take a day, but you will be amazed at how much quicker it will be to dress your child and find his or her favorite toys. This applies to grownups too- trash the junk drawer in the kitchen, reorganize your closet. Ask yourself if you really need all of the things you buy. The less you have in your house, the faster and more efficient your life becomes.
Count Your blessings
It’s so easy to focus on the entire negative in your life and ignore the positive. When things become overwhelming, just remind yourself how fortunate you truly are. Take a moment to think about all that you have that some other people are not lucky enough to have- a great partner, children who you adore, a roof over your head, a good job- whatever you can think of to put things in perspective. Take some time to simply be still and feel your body and be grateful to be alive. At the end of the day, Love is what will get you through the most hectic days.
Liza Elliott-Ramirez President/Founder of Expecting Models and The Stork Magazine, and a PAM Advisory Team Member
DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed by the Liza Elliott-Ramirez and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of Pregnancy Awareness Month (PAM) or any employee thereof. PAM is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by Liza Elliott-Ramirez.
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