Saturday, September 17, 2016

Mindful Motherhood

Last week, I attended the "Mindful Mom Retreat" organized by Mommy Mundo.  Perfect for 'soul-weary' mamas, the intimate affair was meant to 'refresh, re-energize, and re-center moms so that they may be more focused on their tasks and more conscious of their goals, and become more mindful individuals and more intentional parents.' I am very far from being soul-weary, but I attended the event because I wanted to experience it firsthand as I've been hearing positive reviews about it.



I noticed that most of the attendees are veterans when it comes to motherhood, unlike me who has just one child who's only a year old. Most of the moms there already have at least two gradeschoolers, some even have children who already go to high school.  No wonder they describe themselves as headless chickens most times, as they say the motherhood journey gets less and less simple as the children get older.  I concluded that this retreat was really for them.  And for me too, so I could prepare myself for tough but happy things to come as Lia gets bigger. :)

I was greeted by these inspiring reminders, part of the pretty table centerpiece. :)

The retreat was facilitated by Michele Alignay, MA, Registered Family Psychologist, author, and mom of two. She must be a known speaker among parents as some mom attendees said they came to the retreat because they knew she was going to facilitate. :) 



The whole session revolved around answering worksheets which would help us craft an action plan for a mindful life.  The first was about our daily schedule, the second was on our family history, and the third was about our strengths and weaknesses.  Activity #4 revolved around the question "Who Really Am I?"  Before each of us became a wife and a mother, who were we? It was said that it's very common for women to forget who they truly are once they have a family of their own.  When asked to tell another about herself, her being a mom and wife comes first, and naturally so.  But beyond that, who is she as a person? Who am I, really?  This struck me.  I've only been a wife for nearly 4 years, and a mom for over a year, but answering the question was not easy for me anymore.  I love my life now more than ever, and I can't think of anything else beyond my wifey- and mommy-hood. According to the facilitator, this is something that moms, no matter how busy we get, have to guard --- our very self, the person that we are.  Because when we get old and our children already have their own lives, though we will never cease being a mother, the dynamics will be different. Who will I be when my kids are not with me anymore?  What will I become when they no longer seem to need their mom?  This was an eye opener.  Though I love my mom and wifey hats more than any other hat I have ever worn, the person wearing them should always be there, mindful and aware of her being. The sense of self always has to be intact.

Michele and I :)

These are my other key takeaways from the session on how to do practical mindful self-care:

  1. Be present in the moment, always. When you're spending time with your kids, really be there not just physically but with your mind and heart included.  Stop texting or doing social media. On the other hand, when you're having your much needed me-time, enjoy it.  Period. Stop feeling guilty that you left your kids at home so you could get a one-hour pedicure.  You deserve it.  You need it.
  2. Cease to overthink.  Very simple. Overthinking tends to complicate things.
  3. Offline connections are more important.
  4. Do not compare, i.e. your ways vs. other moms' ways; your kids and other moms' kids.
  5. Choose your influences.  Don't like what you see on your Facebook newsfeed?  You can always unfollow.
  6. Declutter your thoughts and emotions.  
  7. Set boundaries.  Say no if needed.
  8. Pace each task, one day at a time.  You are a mother, not a robot.
  9. Identify matters you can let go of.  Choose your battles wisely.
  10. Honor who you are.
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I'm happy I attended this retreat.  When I get to the point that I see myself running around like a headless chicken, I have these notes to go back to to remind myself how to breathe like a professional mindful mama. :) Plus, I got to take home a huge (and really heavy) bag of goodies from Mommy Mundo, yahooo! :)



Cheers,


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