Being a mindful parent – the art of making the most of your time. An encouragement for mothers
The baby is here – joy and change!
Finally the longed for day has come. You gave birth to your baby in a heroic act and now you are together in your personal, individual family constellation. Everything changes. If there are already siblings, they experience an intensive realignment and changed distribution of roles among themselves and in relationships with their parents. The parents themselves, whether alone or with a partner, feel a jerking and twitching in their relationship with each other and the little newcomer slips into his intended place.
The changes in everyday life require your full attention: On the one hand, your body is in a strong, wonderful, often grueling process of regression and rediscovery in new and familiar tasks. You need a lot of rest and as little stress as possible to give your body and soul the space to become familiar with everything that is happening inside you: breastfeeding, possible healing processes, a new body feeling, physical contact with your child .
The nights are tiring and you lack sleep. Maybe you find it difficult to accept the situation and let yourself fall into it as it was given to you... and yet there is also so much joy and happiness about the little new citizen. All in all, you are now slowly realizing that you will never be the same as before, something new has been born within you too.
Your external world may be moving, fast, loud, strenuous. So much is in motion and the waves seem to be hitting high, but if you feel deeper into yourself and leave the superficial layers, you can notice something else: stop now and then for a moment and take a deep breath. Become aware of the moment you are in right now. Arrive exactly where you are. Notice what is happening within you and around you.
Going deeper – the art of mindfulness
How does your body feel? Where is it pressing? Do you have back pain from sitting uncomfortable while breastfeeding? Are you tired and exhausted? Do you feel the energy of the hormones and feel like you could tear up trees?
How are your thoughts? Do they circle around the same thing over and over again? Where do you keep coming back to? Are you worried or is something bothering you?
Also consider your surroundings: How are the other members of your family? How do your children seem to feel? What charisma does your partner have? What movement do you notice in him/her, what could be bothering him/her? Do you feel a change in the presence of your loved ones?
Please note, this is not about you as a mother/partner having to take responsibility for what is happening around you. Rather, you can feel the now, your current moment of experience with all its facets and constantly changing moods.
With the birth of a new person, everything is constantly in motion. As quickly as the baby gains weight, wakes up and falls asleep, is content or cries, our emotions and feelings move just as quickly as adults.
In everyday life we are often not aware of how much is actually going on at deeper levels. Everything that is done to somehow keep everyday life going is usually not “real life”, what is going on behind the scenes and what it is actually about. Our real, deep feelings are obscured by our busy actions and we are often unaware of them. How many habits and approaches have we developed to hide what moves us deeply?
Expressing real life directly, closely and presently is difficult for us in today's fast-moving and unconscious times. We are obsessed with keeping things running.
When a baby is born, she stands still for a moment. Anyone who pays attention in this moment and begins to understand can sense the deeper layer of perception that says: Yes, the world wants to stand still right now. Something special has happened: a new living being has come into this world that was never there before. It changes what is happening around it emphatically, irrevocably and wants to remind us that a new beginning is possible every day.
A new life needs that moment when everything stands still so that the world can turn from there in a new direction; your world as a family, your world.
How is it possible to catch that moment in which you can take a deep breath and arrive? What's the point of that anyway? Maybe you have plans and ambitions, you're doing well and you know all sorts of things to do with your time. Even the baby seems to change every minute and thrive quickly - why stand still?
This is the miracle of life: everything is constantly in flux, but underneath is the great ocean of stillness. This place is the place of encounter, the place of authenticity, of pause, the source of strength for every creative act and every feeling of being alive.
With the birth of your child you are confronted with life in the most intense way possible. You became a mother, for the first time or once more, you yourself brought life into existence. Now the wonderful interaction of the relationship that we humans have with one another becomes apparent: We show each other who we are.
You will show your child this world. And your child will show you the place of silence.
What the baby teaches us
If you can, take a few hours. Make sure that you and your child are undisturbed and turn off all devices and minimize the noise around you as much as possible.
Get in touch with your child physically and emotionally. His body speaks and it communicates with you non-stop. Can you see how alive his eyes look at the world? How knowing? Like a deep ocean, they seem to shine through you and ask if you can remember. Your child is connected to everything within and around him, everything is a mutually influencing process:
Your reactions to his presence, his surroundings, the stimuli and sounds, his digestion, food intake, the phases of sleep and wakefulness. There is no separation between your baby and his environment.
Contact with your baby can remind you that you feel the same way. You are connected to everything within you and around you. Your encounter is a place of silence and pure liveliness, of mutual recognition.
Time with your baby can teach you more than the last ten years of personal development. If you fully immerse yourself in your moment together and take on your child's perspective, you can notice how incredibly much is going on in the room: the rustling of the refrigerator, the baby's flowing movements, both of your breathing, the gurgling of your stomachs, yours Looks and touches, the heartbeat. Everything is full of life, everything is full of charm. You become alive to the smallest events between you and you realize how incredibly rich each moment is.
You are your child's teacher and if you allow it, he will be your master. Gift both of you with this wonderful perspective and experience how deeply this can enrich you as a person and in your relationship.
If you would like to find out more about the topics of family, pregnancy, mindfulness, nutrition or sustainability, take a look here .
AUTHOR: SARAH ACKER