It’s no doubt we are living a full life. Just this week alone, my husband and I have collectively worked too many hours to count, traveled across state lines three times, crisscrossed across counties over and over again, swimming lessons, committee meetings, doctor appointments, errands, evening presentations and a play date. Most days, I was leaving the house while watching the sunrise and walking to my car along with the sunset, only to arrive back home in the darkness.
When I have made it home before dinner this week, I scrambled to put together a meal of some sort and sit with my family. It always seems to take longer to make the food than the actual duration of sitting and eating it and I never assume I can actually enjoy the results of my efforts because I have two kids aged two and under who often have other ideas. We try to minimally clean up whenever dinner time is deemed done and have play time together before bath, books, and bed. I squeeze in as many kisses and snuggles and quality time as I can before those little ones are tucked in and the house is quiet. I proceed to clean up the remainder of the kitchen mess, unpack from the day and pack for the next, pick up any miscellaneous toys left over from the day, get a few things done on my to-do list only to finally have the space to spend time with my husband, provided he isn’t already asleep. I often find myself wondering when it will be my time to rest.
Full. Life is very, very full.
The thing is, full can easily become overwhelming at times. And an overwhelmed momma can lead to a detachment from quality time, a lack of energy for her family, a short temper, total dependence on caffeine and generally just an operation of survival mode. I want to live a full but joyful life though so navigating through the hustle and bustle must be gently guided in some way. If not, I fear that the joy and happiness of motherhood could be robbed from me due to daily demands and life’s happenings.
Setting The Motherhood Mantra
As someone who likes to try to use yoga to try to combat this frenetic pace, I have decided to apply one of its key principles to my everyday life – the mantra. A mantra in yoga practice can be defined as setting an intention. This mantra is then used in silent repetition throughout the body’s movement to keep the mind focused. I’ve had yoga instructors assist in setting the intention of our practice before, suggesting mantras such as “I am strong” or “I let go and surrender.” The repetition of these meaningful phrases connects your mind to your body and brings presence and focus and insight. It allows a person to remain centered, in a sense, through challenging poses or flows.
I believe this principle can be translated to motherhood. Motherhood is the constant movement, juggle, balance and ever-changing way of life that leaves us in a tailspin. What can you set as an intention for yourself to keep connected to your intended, particular state of mind? How do you want to mother your children?
Are you focused on staying positive or being as patient as possible? Maybe you want to focus on choosing happiness in all you do. Or, maybe you want to just not sweat the small stuff and will tell yourself “this won’t matter tomorrow.” Whatever it is, find what means most to you and tell yourself that repeatedly. Write yourself notes and put them in high traffic areas of your house. Post it on your fridge. Change your passwords so every time you log on to an account you’re typing your mantra – a reminder. The repetition will be a welcomed prompt in all that you do, a way to settle your mind in the heat of the moment and a means to remain focused on what you’ve determined is important in your motherhood journey.
My mantra is love and light. If I’m living in love and shining my inner light, I can feel confident I am being the mother I intend to be. What will yours be?
Choose your mantra, repeat it and live it.