Mindful Mothering

I found a great article by Mimi Doe. She is the author of a great book I’m reading, 10 Principles for Spiritual Parenting. You can find more info on the book on my resources page.

Along with taking prenatal vitamins, preparing the nursery, and reading up on child development, try some of the following to prepare for the arrival of your baby:

*Cultivate time alone to dream, plan, and tune into the rhythm of a new life within you.
The meditative practices included in this book’s CD, and the journaling exercises I’ve included can help.  Allow your spiritual path to deepen.  Your body’s changes urge you to take a break from your normal routine and offer a powerful opportunity to come into alignment with spirit.

*As you prepare to mother, open your heart to receive more love from your world–your partner, parents, friends, pets, and coworkers.  Think of absorbing all this nourishing energy and wrapping it around you and your baby as a cocoon of warm, gentle light.
One of the joys of pregnancy is all the positive remarks friends and strangers alike feel inclined to share with you.  It’s as if the world is conspiring to bolster you with love – open your heart and take it in – let it strengthen and inspire you.

*Perfection is impossible for anyone but particularly for a parent.  Letting go takes on a whole new meaning from here on out.  Begin to practice releasing unrealistic expectations of yourself.  You are growing a new life — a monumental job– so go easy on yourself.  There will be no grade at the end of these nine months, no promotion, no gold star.  Instead there will be a new life that you’ve co-created, a miracle that you’ve been privileged to harbor.

*Become aware of your vast inner treasures and how you might express them through family life, moment by moment. Practice bringing yourself fully to ordinary activities; lathering your growing tummy with lotion, setting the table for a healthy dinner, or selecting nourishing music for the drive to work.  The creative spiritual call of mothering is “Be here… be here now…” and eventually, “Be here, see me, honor me, join me in this moment, Mom!”

*Mothering is a rich and creative activity.  Fostering and nourishing your child’s spirit is as creative an endeavor as writing a novel or painting a masterpiece.  Motherhood as a creative expression lies before you.  Opportunities to explore this creativity will present themselves each day. You can put the toddler in front of a television–or an easel.  You can give the baby a bath with your hands while your mind sorts through the data needed for an upcoming talk– or you can bring yourself fully to the smell of lavender- scented suds, the sound of gleeful squeals, the vision of sunlight shooting in to illuminate sweet baby skin.  Tap into your creative well and free your spirit as practice for the creative mothering possibilities ahead.

*Committing to parenting decisions and choices can be difficult.  Often, we search for an expert to tell us how to complete this “project” perfectly when the answers lie within.  Practice following your intuition during pregnancy: what would taste good, should I rest now, how does my body want to stretch? If you hone your inner cues now, this intuitive parenting will feel more natural after your baby is born.

*Begin to create a life rich with personal spiritual meaning.  Don’t wait to find just the right church or temple that moves you.  Many parents ask me, “Should we baptize, should we circumcise, should we go to services each week, how can we choose between our two religions?”  I can’t answer these questions for you but I can tell you that courageously taking action to articulate and claim your family’s unique set of spiritual beliefs paves the way to the progressive unfolding of a shared sacred identity.  Every family needs a spiritual grounding—every day of the week.  Rituals, traditions, imagination, wonder, and authentic listening, helps your child feel a sense of belonging to something grand and good and always available.

*Release the notion that your child will fulfill your every expectation and instead think of how you might fill your own expectations as a mother.

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