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Mindfully Mommying

Before I had a child I always had these dreams popping in and out of my mind about what I want to do with my child, what books I want to read to her, how many mommy and me dates we will go on and all kinds of fun games we will be playing…I had thought about what I will want to do with my baby from my own perspective and I put very little time in dreaming from her little perspective, I had monopolized the conversation or in my case the dream, yes my baby has a perspective LOL.
Fast forward now that I am onto this parenting journey for about 9 months and am realizing how busy one’s life gets once you get upgraded to the title of a parent. Between parenting duties, household duties, work, family obligations … I find myself exhausted at the end of the day and I haven’t even started on my list of things I dreams of doing with my baby, imagine how exhausted she might be doing “my things”.

As I navigate through this journey of mommyhood and try to learn from the “experts” who have done it longer than I have, I stumbled upon a concept that I did not know about before becoming a parent and that is mindful parenting or as I understand it in a case empathetic mommying. It’s a concept that can be easily applied for grown kids but hard to remember when it comes to mommying little babies.
This concept became interesting to me when I was having a conversation with my new mommy group and someone asked a question about how to play with a 6 months old baby all day long. We all had babies in the same age range so of course we came up with a lot of suggestions such as reading books, singing songs, playing with blocks… Until someone in the conversation mentioned that they do all that and more and in about five minutes they run out of what to do to entertain their baby, and of course for that they feel the little mommy guilt sneaking in, well I looked away and sipped my tea, I have been there a couple times LOL. And “light bulb” moment happened, what if I just use a portion of the time I dedicate to entertaining my baby to actually just do what the baby wants to do at that moment? I am not suggesting doing this all day long babies do need interaction and to be entertained, and am not talking about watching her play while you plan your day in your mind which also is great by the way, I am talking about mindfully and purposefully turning off our grown up minds and viewing the world through their eyes. How about once in a while I let them take the lead, step down and be the guest in my child’s little world?

   So the next day when I was finished with the books and the blocks, when I  was done singing all the songs I can remember and made up words for some new ones too LOL. I just did what my baby was content doing which was just lying there on the floor of her bedroom next to her and just observing the little toy that she was trying to switch around in her little hands, she would observe and touch every nook and cranny of that little toy with awe, she would stare at each color with amazement and I found myself doing just the same. We spent about 20 minutes just doing what she wanted to do right there on the floor and I realized I LOVED every second of that moment we spent together. I actually had a BLAST at times doing nothing and just staring at the ceiling, ceiling fans are very interesting things! So from then on I have been trying to purposely find a few minutes in my busy day to just pay a visit to  my baby’s little mind. I try, emphasize try, to do nothing of my mommy stuff during those few minutes and I just BE with her. She is growing now, so sometimes we just sit there and pick up all the books and put them on the floor, other times we just try to play crawl and catch and I find myself enjoying these few minutes more and more every day.

 

The other day I took her for a walk and I realized after we had been walking for about a half a mile that every time we would pass by a tree or a bush she would reach with her little hands,  I hadn’t paid much  attention to that gesture before that moment  so I stopped next to a bush and just observed her; all my baby wanted to do was to reach up and touch the leaves of the bush and roll them through her little fingers …Oh how many days I have passed that bush with her in the stroller without actually thinking about it twice. Our minds are already used to these little things that surround us and we get caught up in dreaming about what we will do with our babies, planning our days and their activities  and often times we forget that the leaves on a tree are a new discovery for them, a few minutes of them splashing  water during their bath time is an exciting new music to their ears, their feet in the grass for the first time is a whole new world to enjoy. The way my daughter is discovering the world around her and how I am trying and learning to actually pause and enjoy with her as her little mind discovers a new side of the world every day, is becoming the highlight of my days. But also, forgetting about the chores and all the responsibilities that will be waiting for me at the end anyways, and taking the time to pay a visit to my daughter’s ever expanding little mind has been such a great stress reliever and energy booster for me, so the way I see it this little practice is a WIN WIN in my book.

47 thoughts on “Mindfully Mommying

  1. What a beautiful post. ‘I have been trying to purposely find a few minutes in my busy day to just pay a visit to my baby’s little mind’. I love this. I think we should all do this, slow down and just enjoy the moment with our kids.

  2. What a great article! It is so hard to slow down sometimes but it’s so worth it! I try to make a consious effort to spend a little bit of time each day letting my son take the lead – this is usually when I discover his latest interests 🙂 thank you for sharing your journey!

  3. I love this idea. As a mom of a 6 month old I find that I am ‘running out of things to do with her’. I love the idea of just slowing down completely and following her lead! Thank you for sharing!

  4. I love this so much! We exhaust ourselves trying to entertain these little ones! I love the idea of just slowing down and letting them take it all in. Thanks for the reminder!

  5. I can’t tell you how many times I have skipped doing the dishes to play with her or read to her. It makes all the memories now! Dishes are still
    Going to be there as my daughter gets older

  6. I love that you got down on the floor and just laid there with her. I think sometimes, parents feel like their kids need to be entertained all the time, but that’s not true. Kids find contentment in just laying there and playing with a toy sometimes, and it’s okay to just let them, and enjoy it with them. Good for you.

  7. Babies and children open up a whole new world us adults have forgotten about. Sights, smells, to touch different things. Stop see the world through your childs eyes.

  8. I am done with diapers and sleepless nights. They’re both grown up now. Thank God.
    However, I wouldn’t mind having to change diapers again and taking care of my own grandchildren from my 2 kids.
    Children are like angels that make your home feels like heaven? Thank you for sharing your journey as a new mommy!

  9. Woow, This is soo nice and helpful actually… I will def try this with the little time I have with them girls.
    Thanks Denyse for sharing.

  10. Slowing down to put ourselves in our kids’ shoes is good for them and for us. (I get a lot of practice with this when my three-year-old is taking FOREVER to pick out clothes in the morning.) Babies are fascinating, learning so much about the world every day, using all 5 senses to explore. Enjoy motherhood! It’s a crazy ride.

  11. My youngest is 3, and having to touch everything is still very much a part of our walks. 2 of my kids had to be entertained full time, it seemed, they were quick to tire of each new activity (even ones we let them lead), it really made me feel a little guilty with the 2 kids that were very “content” babies, and did not need a lot of parent directed activities. Of course we still interacted with them, but they were just as happy laying on the floor playing with their toys by themselves.

  12. Love reading this Denise… you are inspiring me to take few min. and allow the kiddos to take lead.. makes so much since after reading this.

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