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Motherhood & Mindfulness

Years ago, at a charity book sale I purchased this book. It seemed interesting & I liked the orange cover. I never read it. Halfway through last year when I was several months pregnant, I decided to give it a go.

As someone with high-functioning (& at times debilitating) anxiety, I found so much of this book helpful. The book emphasises the importance of mindfulness, the act of staying present & living life with non-judgmental intent.

Research shows that mindfulness is basically a super-power when it comes to motherhood. One study found that mindfulness has a significant positive effect on the mother-child relationship in terms of attachment, involvement & parental confidence. Another found parental mindfulness leads to significant reductions in children’s emotional, behavioural & social problems. This is because mindful parents tend to be more involved in their children’s lives & more aware of their needs.

Mum guilt is real! It’s so easy to second-guess ourselves & feel like we don’t know what we’re doing (Hint: we don’t! and that’s ok). Mindful awareness helps us be less reactive by stepping out of ourselves & recognising that our experiences are temporary. It helps us to ride the waves of everyday life, letting each event rise, peak and fade away, as all experiences do.

It’s also about staying present & being curious about our own behaviour & others. E.g. if my husband snaps at me in response to a simple question, instead of going straight to “What is wrong with him!” it encourages me to think “Interesting, he doesn’t usually snap like that. I wonder what he’s been dealing with today?”

Many mothers are choosing to slow down, reject the cultural values of multi-tasking, maximum efficiency & living a Pinterest-worthy life and instead placing value on connecting with their children, their partner and themselves.

One reason I find this approach so empowering is that it views both motherhood and mindfulness as a journey, never a destination. So, 🍷 here’s to mothers & motherhood and our journeys.

References: Siu, Ma & Chui 2016; Singh et al 2010

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