As mothers, we are constantly juggling multiple roles. Wife, mother, friend, daughter, work roles, social roles. As mothers, we put pressure on ourselves to be everything to everyone. Because it looks so easy on Instagram right? Let's be real- many days a shower doesn't make the cut because everything else is a priority. So yeah, that perfect Saturday park stroll dressed to perfection with a stroller and partner in tow, great for dream (and maybe a really good day thrown in here and there), but in reality my hair is frizzy, I've got my yoga pants on and I likely forgot my husband and the baby. Ok joke, but you get my point.
So how do we juggle all these roles and tasks and do so with grace? The answer lies in mindful presence. To give you an idea of what mindful presence is I want to share an excerpt from one of my favorite children's books, The Three Questions by Jon Muth. "Remember then that there is only one important time, and that time is now. The most important one is the one you are with. And the most important thing is to do good for the one who is standing at your side."
After first having my son, August I started to realize how much I relied on my phone as an addictive crutch. Grabbing it to check my email, scroll Facebook or Instagram. Purely mindless entertainment. But being in my new role as mother allowed me to stop and look at this habit from a new place. I started to ask myself what was I getting out of this except for a moment in time where I really don't have to think about a thing?! And then the mom guilt started to sink in, I am wasting precious moments scrolling facebook. What is wrong with me? #realtalk. Ok nothing is wrong, but it's definitely an addictive habit.
At this point in my coaching program we were diving into looking at attention and mindfulness. So I started to be aware of just how distracted I was in everyday life. When spending one on one time with my child, family time, time with my hubby, friends. How often was my background mental noise taking over, and how often would I reach for my phone to just shut it off? I was incredibility inattentive. With my new awareness around my phone habit and mind chatter I decided to start practicing Mindful Presence. In essence, whatever I was doing I would focus on giving that my fullest attention. Except for using the bathroom- that is my devoted scrolling time ;) I started to set my phone aside where it wasn't right next to me and only answer texts or phone calls, and when I noticed my mind was wondering I would bring myself back into the present moment. This is an ongoing work in progress in my world. But one thing I know to be true is that I feel so much more connected in all my relationships and to the world surrounding me when I regularly practice mindful presence.
So next time you find yourself lost in the sea of chaotic thought, or scrolling on your phone, stop and practice bringing yourself into a state of mindful presence. Close your eyes, take a deep grounding breath, and then with each inhale repeat to yourself "I am here" and with each exhale repeat "I have arrived". Repeat this mantra 3-5 times, or as many as you need to find yourself settling back into the present moment.