Mindfulness and Motherhood

Most of us have heard of mindfulness, or at least meditation, but few of us actually practice it. I didn’t realize how important mindfulness was going to be for me until I became a mother. Motherhood is amazing and I wouldn’t trade it for the world, but what came along with it was crippling anxiety.

I’ve always been a very anxious person. I remember my first panic attack so well. I was in high school about to take a math test, when all of a sudden I started feeling really weird and asked to go to the bathroom. I remember getting super dizzy and it looked like the walls were closing in on me. I couldn’t hear right and it was as if everything was far away. I ended up sitting on the bathroom floor until someone found me and took me to the nurses office. I had no clue that what I had was a panic attack at first, and then I kept on getting them. I’ve had trouble going into stores by myself in fear of getting another panic attack while I’m there, and when I was in college I was basically a hermit half the time because I was too anxious to hang out with my friends. When I became a mother, I realized that I was having a different kind of anxiety.

I was constantly afraid of something happening to not only myself or Ellie, but to anybody in my life. I was afraid to talk about it in fear of “jinxing” it and even writing this post I’m cringing. It’s totally irrational and I know that, but for some reason it’s hard for me to get past. I have trouble facing the unknown and I think my problem is partially that I don’t know how to deal with my lack of control. It got to a point where I was freaking out most of the day going from one worry to the next. I’d be worrying about one family member, then onto the next, and down the list. It was seriously taking away from precious moments with my daughter and this first year is flying by. I noticed I wasn’t living in the moment and that revelation has actually made things so much easier on me.

Once I realized that I was constantly living either in the future or thinking about the past, it made it so much easier for me to find a solution to my problem. Worrying about things that may or may not happen in the future that I have no control over is useless, and the only moment that really matters is THIS MOMENT. This brings me to mindfulness. I’m a member of the new website subscription founded by blogger, Terra LaRock, called the Mindful Mamas Club. I feel like this subscription kind of fell into my lap. I have been following along with Terra’s blog and Instagram for a while now, before I even had Ellie. She’s someone I really look up to and admire on this platform. I pondered over joining the Mindful Mamas Club for a week or so, and decided that for $10 a month it was worth a shot. It has guided meditations, instructional breathing videos, and so much more amazingly useful content. They’re closing their doors to join on October 1st, but there will be a waitlist for anyone else wanting to join for when enrollment begins again. I haven’t gotten through much of the content on the website yet, but even just the first few videos I’ve watched have really brought light into my life. As Terra explains, mindfulness is bringing your mind back to the present moment, over and over again. I’ve been working on being better at acknowledging when I’m worrying, and then bringing myself back to reality and enjoying the here and now.

I think mindfulness is important for everyone and crucial for moms. Having a child is fun, rewarding and beautiful, but it can also cause anxiety, depression, or exhaustion and that’s okay. Mindfulness is a self care skill that has so many benefits and only takes a couple minutes a day to achieve. Of course, if you’re feeling very depressed or anxious after having a baby I would advise you to speak to your OBGYN to create a care plan, as meditation shouldn’t replace medicine or a professional care plan. Meditation can be an added skill to help you have a more fulfilling life. You can look up guided meditations on youtube or download a free app to get started.

“Wherever you are, be all there.”

-Jim Elliot

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