Second in my series of ‘Mom to Mom’ articles in Between the Bridges.
By Libby Blumberg
Have you ever noticed, when something is weighing heavily on your mind and you repeatedly dismiss it, that the universe finds a way to make you listen? This happened to me recently. And it happened in threes. Yet another nudge from the universe.
Confidence in my parenting skills has taken a beating lately. I feel frustrated, overwhelmed, annoyed, and want solace from the constancy of motherhood. It has been increasingly difficult to handle toddler behaviors with love, calm, reasoning, and patience. Instead, I use anger, sarcasm, a raised voice, and way too much emotion. Both my extensive teaching experience and parenting knowledge thus far teach me the error of my ways. But I know that my daughter is a tiny version of me. Yes, payback is…well…you know. So, we have an emotional and passionate mommy trying to deal with the behaviors of her toddler ‘twin’, and we get a small explosion.
Luckily, the universe did its job and politely provided three interventions. They came in such perfect succession.
- An article in Kiwi Magazine entitled The Power of Mindful Parenting became important reading. The author of the article, Julie Halpert, cites the advice of psychologists and professors in “taking a slower, more empathetic approach to raising (your) kids.” This can be accomplished with a few simple practices like, breathing, slowing down, taking a break, and forgiving yourself. Sounds easy enough, right? Not easy, but when practiced, is possible. I hug and kiss my daughter now when she is having a tantrum because she can’t have a lollipop, instead of walking away, thinking how ridiculous she’s being. A little empathy goes a long way. And she still doesn’t get the lollipop!
- Better Homes and Gardens finished their March issue with a little blurb called What’s the deal with…? by Alyssa Shaffer. The first culprit…mindfulness, and its positive effects: improved memory, reduced heart disease risk, and eased anxiety. Every mom out there is probably rooting for improved memory. I know I am!
- Finally, and most significantly, I received a CD in exchange for a blog review. The title for the press release is Music, Yoga and Mindfulness: Learn ‘How to be a Cloud’ with Kira Willey. Yes, please. Both my daughter and I would love to learn how to be a cloud. Clouds are fluffy and soft. Clouds float and melt. Clouds are, often times, quiet and peaceful. We would like to be all of those things. It turns out, after a few dance parties in our living room, we’re pretty good at it.
It always helps me, after receiving any kind of information, to put it into my own words so I will understand and remember it. So here is my advice on being a mindful mother.
Breathe. Breathe again. And again.
Empathize with your child and act on it.
Take the time to be right here in this moment.
Then remember how it felt and do it again.
Learn how to be a cloud.