Saturday, January 12, 2013

Mindful Mothering

Motherhood is the most important work I have encountered. The moment Jack was born and I saw the doctor holding his little blue body my heart stopped. It was only an instant before he screamed and turned a sweet shade of pink. Right then I knew my life had changed forever. 

Jack and Grace are now at ages where motherhood responsibilities have shifted. I do not have to spoon feed them and change diapers around the clock. Instead I have to watch my every step because they are watching me (and repeating every word that comes out of my mouth). 

This year I will be more mindful of my mothering. Here are a few areas I need to focus on.

Notice the good - As a mom I see all the imperfections. The dirty fingernails, the refusal to wear a coat when it is 27 degrees outside, the lack of vegetables eaten. However, I do not point out the good often enough. I have really well behaved children in public. They make me look good. They save all their naughty for home. Which is how I like it. But even then they really aren’t hard to manage. This year I will focus on verbalizing the good I see from them.  

Consistent Discipline - This is a hard one. Somedays I am just tired and would rather give in than stand firm and deal with the fit. This is lazy parenting at its finest. Even well behaved children are naughty sometimes. It is my job to provide consistent boundaries and consequences. This year I will be more mindful while managing my children’s behavior.

Set a positive example - Kids see and hear everything (unless you ask them to go potty or pick up their toys). I have a few bad habits. I sometimes say naughty words which my children repeat and then I blame on Christian. Also, I sometimes gossip. The point is, what I do my kids will do. This year I plan to behave better so that I set better examples for their little eyes and ears. 

Be grateful and generous - Raising grateful upper middle class white children is a challenge. The world is built for their success. Especially our sons. They are born with enormous privilege. But I believe those of us with the most have a responsibility to demonstrate our gratitude through generosity. Jack and Grace will learn this only if they see me practice it. I will be mindful of how I use our privilege to help those with less. 

Have fun - I only have 14 years with Jack and 16 years with Grace until they leave for college. That is so short! I don’t want to miss out on the fun. I can be a little uptight (I know you are all shocked). Often I choose to stay home in my comfort zone instead of going on adventures. My goal this year is to have a blast with my family. I want to let go of the control and just have fun. 

Being a mom is the best experience of my life. I love it! The work is hard and exhausting but it is so very sweet and rewarding. I hope to be a mindful mother not just this year but every day with Jack and Grace. They deserve it. 

1 comment:

  1. Well said April! Consistent Discipline is a focus area for me as well!