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“Mindful Motherhood”: of mindfulness and trust

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As a new mom, I don't hear a sentence from other parents that often like "enjoy every moment, they grow up so quickly". I can understand that, because after childbirth we are quickly sucked into the whirlpool of everyday life, moments blur and then life rushes past us pretty quickly. But what can we do to avoid burning out and getting lost in the hustle and bustle of parenthood? In feeding, diaper changing, playing, organizing the job or visiting the doctor? We have to integrate many new topics at the same time: find our own approach to the role of mother or father, come to terms with the fact that personal time and space are limited, lack of sleep, compatibility of gainful employment and care work, adding one person to the family, dealing with (in-law) parents, doubts and comparisons with other - apparently perfect - families. I first heard the term Mindful Motherhood at a prenatal yoga class.

"Mindful Motherhood" stands for the conscious examination and handling of becoming and being a mother. That sounds like a helpful approach and is of course also accessible to fathers. If I google the term Mindful Motherhood, books with tools like meditation, breathing exercises, journaling, yoga, or walking come up. Of course, these techniques are helpful to get into "mindfulness" - i.e. "mindfulness" and are incredibly good for many of us. But do they help us on our own to remain in our strength in the long term and sustainably? And what happens if we just don't manage to integrate these techniques into our everyday lives on a regular basis? It's often exactly the vicious circle: a strenuous phase, stress, we leave our self-care routines, can't get any rest, are even more stressed, angry at ourselves because we can't "offer" self-care,... I think , we all know this situation.

So what's the point? What is mindfulness for us? Being “mindful” means, first and foremost, paying attention. To take care of yourself - or someone. Look and listen. to perceive A lot of social pressure is exerted on us mothers and fathers, especially when it comes to “taking care”: Am I taking good care of my child? Is it really safe? Is it right"? Am I doing everything “well”? What we are seldom aware of: Constantly questioning ourselves, comparing ourselves and wanting to do everything perfectly takes a lot of energy and strength. If we don't trust ourselves as parents, these processes are always running in the background, like open tabs in a browser, sucking memory and making the computer run slow and hot. Techniques such as meditation or yoga alone do not help to change this.

Mindfulness is all about one thing: to BE. In the status quo. Not in action. Not in yesterday, or in tomorrow. At the moment. Not with our children or our partner, but with us. Becoming aware of how we feel about a situation sometimes only takes a breath. Checking in with ourselves allows us to sense how we are doing, what we are comfortable with and where discomfort arises.

But there is another important aspect to this: we can trust our perception. We can trust ourselves. Our feelings are our reality and want to be heard and respected. Far too often we brush them aside with sentences like "It's not that bad", "You're just imagining it" or "But I read that...". We betray ourselves every time.

Mindfulness gets us out of this merry-go-round of thoughts and enables us to reflect on situations and perceive our own emotions. Confidence then helps us embrace those feelings and perhaps take action, such as taking breaks, accepting help, deciding against well-intentioned advice, taking a deep breath, and still appreciating ourselves even when things aren't going "perfectly". . Both support us in treating ourselves lovingly, in harmony with our inner voice and thereby gaining strength. This is how resources open up again that give us presence and calm.

Maybe Mindful Motherhood means just that: living with the assumption that we are enough just the way we are and that with the two superpowers of mindfulness and trust we will master all the challenges of parenting.

Trust yourself - you are doing great!

Autorin Annika Brix

Written by

Annika Brix

I'm Annika, 34, and I live in Berlin. I am the mother of a young son and co-founder of a communications agency with a focus on female empowerment, diversity and sustainability. At the moment I am also completing a postpartum doula training.

I have been writing and reflecting on motherhood and parenthood since 2021, including on my Instagram account @REFLECTINGMOTHERHOOD. In addition to this digital exchange, I bring mothers together in supper clubs and mother circles. My intention is to encourage parents - and especially mothers - in their self-image and their role within society.