Welcome to the March Mindful Mama Carnival: Mindful Mama Challenge
This post was written for inclusion in the Mindful Mama Carnival hosted by Becoming Crunchy and TouchstoneZ. This month our participants have challenges they’ve set for themselves toward becoming more mindful. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
I am challenging myself this month to become more mindful of my environment and the way I live day to day. I know my kids and I have made a big adjustment moving to the other side of the country recently and I want to be sure there is a feeling of comfort and that we are living efficiently enough to achieve our goals. Mainly things are out of place in our lives right now. There is no continuity in anything. I’m probably exaggerating there, but I really want there to be more of a routine, more for my kids(and myself) to depend on.
Right now, we don’t really know any other kids. There are some kids in the neighborhood, but when we go outside they’re going inside or they’re just too old for my kids to play with. It would be nice to have playdates or attend some kind of play-oriented class or program at the library.
We’re also struggling with space in my mom’s house. Our closet is filled up with my mom’s things. I tried to store our thing in containers, but there’s nowhere to put them that the kids can’t reach, and when they reach them they make a mess of everything. I’m constantly changing where our things go and it is because I haven’t come up with a sustainable system.
On that same topic, we don’t really have any clothes for warm weather. My mom has a ton of clothes she is holding onto that she can’t wear and I think it would be great to try to recycle her clothing rather than buy new clothes for myself and my daughters. I have a great little sewing machine that I left here years ago, and maybe it would do me some good to express to my mom my ideas about minimalism and non-consumerist values, which are coming into play between her and my oldest daughter.
Which brings me to my next goal; entertainment for my kids really needs to change. My mom and aunt recently bought my 4 year old Barbie dolls. They come with these little sheets of paper that have pictures of several other dolls in that series and my daughter whines non-stop about the other dolls she wants.
I know that despite my goals of showing her what is really important in life and that she doesn’t need these things, her environment will have a big effect on how she really feels about it. I need to engage her in new, creative and adventurous things. I don’t want her to fasten onto the idea of buying stuff, I want her to learn to create and appreciate what she has.
I think that keeping a schedule of activities to do regularly, field trips and surprise activities, and free play will help a lot. I also think I need to organize their toys better and put them into sections. I need to limit her to playing with a few things at a time, and take toys away when they become a problem, bringing them out later after the novelty has died down.
Lastly I really want to make the most of my time. This is a temporary situation, living with my mom again. I want to get memorable and transformational moments out of this. I don’t want to be passive aggressive and upset that things aren’t going my way and my parenting philosophies aren’t being accepted. I need to set an example.
Instead of being upset that the TV is on all the time, I need to set up a fun activity, engage my mom with the things we have in common, like scrapbooking, and get us all in a space to create, support and get to know each other better. I need to allow my kids to feel comfort in their surroundings and I need to feel like this is my home too, however temporary it may be, I need to allow myself to enjoy it, I need to grow while I am here and not feel stunted due to the change in household.
I have already started on this challenge by talking to my mom and my daughter about having a more active, creative lifestyle and I’m currently setting several alarms a day to make sure we stay on track, meet our goals and have planned activities. I think I’m on a path to really transforming as a parent, not just in this situation, but for the long-term. The perceived limitations I face here are making me stronger, more appreciative and more organized.
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Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
- The Importance of a Moment Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama reflects on the need to slow down and breathe in life instead of rushing from one moment to the next.
- Mindful Playing With My Daughters Rani at Om She Said looked at her girls and realized that more than anything they wanted her right there next to them, playing, laughing, creating, and having fun; that’s exactly what she did!
- Watch Your Words Patti at Canadian Unschooler challenges herself to make her words a reflection of her intentions.
- The Mindful Benefits of Knitting Dionna at Code Name: Mama shares how knitting has helped lift her out of depression and has given her a new form of meditation.
- Self Compassion: How Thinking About Bad Experiences Can Make You Happier and More Compassionate CJ at Imperfect Happiness challenges herself to be more compassionate…with herself.
- Calming the Home Environment by Selecting Traditional Toys Sam at Love Parenting discusses the benefits of natural toys.
- Quieting my Infernal Inner Ramblings Tree at Mom Grooves writes about her commitment to get out of her head and into the moment with her daughter and husband.
- Changing Our Everyday The Aniweda Dream is sizing up the changes they’ve made by moving across the country and looking at how to make their lives more mindful as a family.
- A Mindful Cup of Tea Amy at The Daily Muttering tells how she’s trying to regain control of her life with the chaos of 3 kids thanks to the introduction of a simple daily ritual.
- Mindful Mama Moontime Lucy at Dreaming Aloud shares how becoming conscious of her moon time has helped her find balance in herself as a woman, and a mama.
- Speaking to the Need Shana at Tales of Minor Interest shares how she tries to stay mindful of her preschooler’s needs.
- Going Within Amy at Anktangle describes a centering practice she’s been being more intentional about lately, and which she has come to realize is a precious gift in her life.
- Waking Up With Meditation Amy at PresenceParents shares how awakening with presence carries her through the day.
- Mindful Meditations Zoie at TouchstoneZ explores six weeks of seated meditation and discovers some things she doesn’t expect.
- Mindfulness in the Kitchen – an Everyday Challenge Kelly at Becoming Crunchy shares how she’s been challenging herself to involve more mindfulness in everyday tasks – especially in the area of cooking for her family.