Mindful: bearing in mind; attentive to
Mindfulness: the trait of staying aware of (paying close attention to) your responsibilities
If ever two words were meant to go together Mothering and Mindfulness are it. For me mothering has brought about many personal challenges, changes and growth. It has offered me more than I ever could have imagined, and one of those is a more mindful approach to life, and in turn mothering.
Mindfulness brings us into each and every moment, ready to experience life in the here and now. Since becoming a mother I have found simple joy in many of life’s daily tasks by simply being present and giving my full attention to what I am doing. It could be cooking dinner, doing the dishes, folding laundry or sitting here writing a blog post. I am present to the task at hand.
This mindfulness has brought about changes in our home. First of all, I have changed my work schedule to accommodate the fact that when Reece is up and about I cannot be mindful about my work. It is just too hard. He wants me, as he should and my mind is not focused on anything except frustration. It has mostly been this way since I became a mom, but every once in a while I would try to sneak in some work, you know when he was playing quietly, I would sneak over and try to answer a few emails, write a quick post or work on a protocol. But every time, he would come over shortly after and jump up on my lap. Giving my full attention to Reece was just not possible when I was trying to give attention to work. So, work now gets done in the morning before he wakes up, and then later in the evening after he goes to bed. There are some afternoons when Reece and Justin get up to some fun outside and I head over to my little space to do some work, but that doesn’t happen often. The result, during the day I am in the moment with Reece, following him on his journey, learning alongside him about the world. By night, I write, answer emails, blog, read other blogs, work on client protocols, study, knit, read, and sew and so on.
Mindfulness has deepened my connection with nature, as many of you are aware. I have always craved time in nature and enjoyed how being in nature makes me feel, but I never truly appreciated it until I become mindful. When Reece and I head into the forest, when we go for a hike, when we walk up the road or when we play in the yard I notice things I didn’t notice before. Animal prints, plants that have been trampled, fungus growing in odd places, the sound of the birds, the scamper of tiny animal feet, the way the wood peckers have created holes in the trees, the wood chips left from the porcupine who has been up in the tree and so on. I am more aware and present and I can’t tell you how much that changes a walk in the woods for both Reece and I.
Mindfulness has created in me knowledge that this present moment is only temporary. The next moment is coming and it can and will be completely different. We all know mothering is not all happy moments and cuddles, there are moments that challenge us to our core, moments which force us to look deep to find the calm, but by being mindful, by being here in the present, even when it is tough, I have come to realize I can get through it, I can allow these moments to happen and then fade away, ready for the next moment to occur.
Mindfulness has changed my life, both as mother and as an individual. It has brought me here, to this space...to share, to learn, to grow. This space is my mindful journey with Reece. Each time I come here to share, I am reminded how both mothering and mindfulness have changed my life.
And for that, I am grateful.