Process

The Joyful Anthology

The Evolving Mother; A tribute to Mother’s Day

For me, celebrating Mothers Day is about a lot of things. Mothers day is a day to reflect on the beauty in the relationship’s between my mom and I,and my mother in law and I and a day to remember my Grandma that recently passed and the legacy she left behind. It’s a day to reflect on the relationships with both my daughter’s and honor their growth with pride. It’s a time where I pay gratitude for them all. It’s also a time to look at the lessons I continuously learn daily throughout these most important relationships to me. As I am always in a process of inner work, it’s a time for me to notice how I can grow and learn from these relationships to be better and have better relationships.

 

That might mean practicing more forgiveness or letting go of expectations. It might mean shining a light on the strengths in our relationships, and letting go of the times I felt hurt in these relationships. It might mean practicing patience and building in more time to breath. It might mean reconstructing my schedule to make more time to bond with them. It might mean setting intentions to practice empathy and letting go of control of how I want things to go.

My daughter’s are 22 and 18 and I sometimes think it’s too late to parent them with the skills I now know but wasn’t aware of as I was raising them. For example,I wish I was meditating back then, and had more patience and was less reactive. With self acceptance, I practice forgiveness of myself and let go of judgement of the times I was impatient and reactive with parenting.
And what I realize today, is that it’s never too late to be a better mom. While my girl’s are growing into beautiful women, I am still always mothering, and am grateful to still have the opportunity to parent them with love. My daughter’s are my biggest teacher’s, always keeping me aware of how I can practice more of the composures I wish to practice with evolving and growing.

“I realized when you look at your mother, you are looking at the purest love you will ever know.” —Mitch Albom

Here are some tips on mothering skills, I found to be helpful along the way:

~Hug:
There is nothing better than hugging and snuggling our children – it is an easy way to show your love for them.

Hugging allows your body to produce ample amounts of oxytocin, which is released in response to physical touch. The neuropeptide oxytocin, released by your pituitary gland, is a naturally occurring hormone in your body with incredibly powerful, health-giving properties.

Hugging is understood by all languages and cultures. There is even  a National Hugging Day that has become international and also a global Hug Your Kids Day!  Sometimes we get into a routine and forget to hug our loved ones. Now we have an annual reminder to hug, hug our kids and then hug some more.

 

.~Find Common Interests:
Spending relaxed time together while discovering common hobbies and interests helps deepen the mother-child bond. For example, if you connect over yoga and try and squeeze in a class together. Or if you are apart, chat on the phone about books you are reading.

Don’t feel like you and you’re  interested in the same things? Then explore something that is new to both of you! Carve out time to try a new activity that can bring you closer and create fun memories along the way.

~Manage Your Moods: While many of us are strong and capable women, we most likely can remember a time when we have been irrational or temperamental, particularly with our mother or child. Unfortunately, we often save our worst moods and tempers for those we love.

~Give and Receive Thoughtful Advice: While we often value each other’s advice, it can be difficult for us to be impartial, and feelings can be hurt if advice is not followed. Also, for whoever is on the receiving end, advice can often feel like interference or criticism. Learn to welcome each other’s insights without being dismissive; at the same time, give each other the freedom and support to trust our instincts, even when it means taking a different path.

~Make Time to Connect:

Depending on how old your child is, set intentions to spend quality time with your child no matter how old they are. When my girl’s were younger in lower school, they each had a special day of the week to spend individually with me. On this day, they each chose how they wished to spend the day with me, whether it was going for ice cream and taking a walk in Central Park, or going to the Pet store it was always a time to bond with them making them feel special.

Now that my schedule is busier with work and obligations, I try to schedule time in advance with my daughters and keep their school schedule’s in mind to prioritize time to spend with one another.

As children move on, our lives can  become separate which would make it difficult to maintain our relationship. While phone calls, e-mails, and occasional texts are common ways to stay in touch, scheduling  weekly “Skype dates”  block out distractions and makes time for meaningful conversation and deeper connection.

~Earn your child’s trust
Cultivating a trust worthy relationship with your child will only bring you closer. Ensuring your relationship is a sacred safe and confidential relationship will only bring you closer.

~Learn to Forgive: When feelings are hurt and emotions run high, it’s often hard to forgive or ask for forgiveness. Rather than listening to the other person, validating their emotions and potentially apologizing, we tend to feel personally attacked and fight back with harsher words.

Taking responsibility and apologizing  after an argument opens the door to candid conversation that allows for better understanding how words and actions make each other feel.

~Love Unconditionally Unconditional love isn’t just what we feel. It’s what the object of our love feels: love without strings attached. That means our child doesn’t have to be, or do, anything in particular to earn our love. We love her exactly as she is.

~Practice Mindfulness with Parenting
Applying mindfulness to parenting can be quite an enriching, enlightening, and humbling experience. It doesn’t take much more time to be mindful, and it helps us embody what we seek to practice in our personal lives (both on and off the cushion). When we’re mind-less as parents, we can act in ways that are unhelpful or even harmful. Through awareness, empathy, acceptance, and compassion, we can pave the way to develop a more loving parent.

 

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