Last Updated on April 7, 2021 by Creative Parenting
We read a quote the other day that got us thinking about mindful parenting…
And it really struck home, because we’d just had some visitors.
The grandparents! And it seems like they have a magical touch with the kids.
Plus – having a helping hand around the house (when you have little kids under 4) is AMAZING.
Reminded us of this Helen Keller quote:
“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched- they must be felt with the heart.”
Here’s why it resonated:
Since the grandparents just left, we miss them dearly. And frankly, without them around, mindful parenting becomes harder. When we’re scrambling to watch the kids, it’s tough to stay present.
Do you ever feel this way?
And so the joy we felt with their presence, and the sadness of their departure, got our mental wheels turning.
You see, we go through life dreaming about the next big thing.
This didn’t stop once the baby arrived.
If anything, it accelerated.
Because there was a new, never-ending cycle of milestones to think about, and this made mindful parenting harder than ever before.
For example, our son grew fast. Days turned to weeks, months, and years. So we were always shopping for new clothes.
And he had acid reflux. So we had to get a new chair for him to nap in. And so on it went…
With each new phase, there were new things to worry about. And with each set of worries, mindful parenting got harder and harder.
And you know what?
It’s continuing still today!
But this cycle, if you’re not careful, can be a mental rabbit hole.
We’re finding – especially with a toddler- the mind is constantly wandering from the next item on the to-do list.
But we’ve started to realize something (after 15 months of this cycle);
When caught up in my everyday to-do list, item after item, we forget to be mindful, stay in the present, and practice gratitude.
And we don’t think we’re alone in this.
When were you last able to do one of these:
- Took a bath, without a toddler knocking on the door
- Went to the gym without worrying about the baby
- Had more than 10 minutes out of your crazy day of errands to sip some coffee
- Had a family evening with MORE than 45 minutes WITHOUT devices
…We all want the best for our children. And our families.
But it can be so easy to just let the days run together and forget to live in the present moment and practice mindful parenting.
There are so many opportunities every day for worry!
But have you ever taken time to ask grandparents what they wished they’d focused on?
It will vary. But we can guarantee this:
They’re going to tell you some variation of this:
Enjoy every moment. Live for today.
Because it goes FAST.
In other words? Practice more mindful parenting.
Something akin to the wisdom Helen Keller shared above.
If you can learn to take a few minutes out of each day, re-focus on being in the present moment, your future you (the grandparent version) will be grateful.
Because you’ll have a lifetime of wonderful moments, of not being distracted. Of being available. And making memories.
Instead of hurrying from one parenting routine to the next, take some time out today.
You’ve only got one life to live (as far as we know) as a parent.
So here are 5 ways to stay present, engage in mindful parenting, and go through your day with zen focused gratitude:
This comes up in similar articles to this one, so I get it if you’re thinking “no kidding!” But it’s worth thinking about, especially if you’ve never tried it before and want to engage in mindful parenting.
Developing a regular meditation practice is an excellent way to start practicing mindfulness.
It doesn’t take a lot of time to form a regular habit. And there are many free apps out there that will lead you through a guided meditation in just a few minutes a day.
If you’re not a fan of meditation apps, you can always find a podcast on iTunes or even just a guided meditation on YouTube.
Regular meditation practice will help you practice mindful parenting.
Become A Novice Minimalist
Do you consider yourself a minimalist?
If the answer is no, then this section is especially for you!
Now, you might be wondering: what’s the point of minimalism?
Perhaps you think minimalists are boring? And there might be something to that – at least for the lame ones out there. We’ve all met a few…
But I’m not talking about them! I’m talking about just developing a minimalist mindset generally? Why? Well, I don’t know about you, but after our baby was born the amount of clutter multiplied by what felt like a factor of:
That’s why I’ve been thinking more about minimalism lately. As a method to remove clutter. And get a little more peace of mind.
Because if you can do that?
You’ll be more present for your kids.
But here’s the thing. Learning how to be present means more than just getting rid of clutter!
Another key way to be present?
Reduce your stress (and cortisol levels) through regular exercise.
Move Every Day (Even Just 20 Minutes)
Has this happened to you?
The baby is born. Life gets CRAZY. Then suddenly one day the baby becomes a toddler…
And you know what?
Life gets even crazier!
It can be hard to stay active. Suddenly you don’t have time to make it to the gym.
And so it’s easy to slack off and fall out of your old workout routines.
So try to move at least a little bit each day.
Here are a few ideas of things you can do to move regularly. Maybe it will help you?
- Track movement with your smartwatch or Fitbit
- Go for family runs on the weekends
- Get your spouse to take your kiddo for a drive so you can workout
- Do Yoga after the baby’s bedtime
- Go for neighborhood walks when the weather is nice!
If you have more ideas, drop us a comment below.
End Your Day With Gratitude Reflection
It can be so easy to just always be focused on what we need to do NEXT.
The to-do lists are endless.
THAT’s why I like to take five minutes each day, at the end of the day, to just write down 5-10 things that I’m grateful for.
Don’t Quit Implementing YOUR Dreams
And last but not least…
Don’t give up on your dreams.
Even if they’re not the same ones you had 10 years ago…
They’re the ones you have TODAY.
And the ones you need to work on, to make tomorrow amazing.
Dream big. Stay present. And savor the precious moments with your kiddos.
And drop us a comment below to let us know your mindful parenting ideas!