Mindful Families

Supporting families through growth-based therapy and skill building

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Managing the Unexpected

Posted on February 6, 2019 at 1:15 PM
I started this blog before the Polar Vortex hit us. I was thinking "It's that time of year again; when school gets unexpectedly canceled or your child is sick." I had no idea that we were in for 4 days of this torture.

When these unexpected days hit, my mind races "What now" The painful conversation, who is staying home? I have a day full of clients, my husband only has so much PTO. We stare at each other waiting for the other to offer. And ultimately someone has to bite the bullet.

When these unexpected days happen my mom guilt tells me I should be the one to stay home. And if I am the one to stay home, the dreaded what are we going to do all day? Mom guilt tells me I have to make a magical day of fun or day of structured homeschool-like learning. But clearly that is an impossible expectation for one day, let alone 4 in a row.

These are the moments I need mindfulness the most. In the everyday. This is why I practice mindfulness so that in these moments I can rely on the principles to guide me through the unexpected challenges of parenting.

Principle #1: Mindfulness is acceptance. Accepting the situation for what it is-not wishing it to be different than the reality of what it actually is. Before mindfulness my mind would race looking to solve the unsolvable. I can't control the weather or my child's health. Managing the unexpected starts with accepting "It is what it is." This enables me to reduce my anxiety about those things I can't control.

Principle #2: Managing the expectations. Asking myself how realistic my expectations are. Avoiding the "should's" and the Pinterest version of parenting. I don't have to be or do anything just because I think I should or social media tells me its what good parents do. Expectations are just a set up for resentments.

Principle #3: Be in the moment. I could spend the day off manically running about trying to do housework, paperwork or managing their play OR I could be in the moment with them. Snuggling on the couch and watching the same movie for the 10th time. I can feel their little hands holding mine, I can hear their incessant giggles, I can see the joy in their eyes. In the moment I get to enjoy my kids.

Mindful parenting isn't about being perfect. It's about being intentional. How do I want to show up with my kids today? I can I be compassionate and gentle with myself as I travel the road of my parenting journey. I hope you can utilize these mindfulness principles on your journey.

Allison

Categories: Mindfulness, Parenting, Winter Blues

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