Mindful Mothering – I was enjoying some mommy reading this weekend and stumbled upon this article from one of my favourite South African magazines, YOUR FAMILY.

With just over 2 weeks to go until our little man arrives, I must admit my patience has been incredibly short, my mood dark and dreary, and my poor kids (and husband) have been the unfortunate recipients of a super grumpy mommy.

And there it is, sneaking quietly in through the back door… #momguilt (I’m sure we’ve all felt it before).

YOUR FAMILY has set up a Mom Challenge for this coming month. One challenge per day. I have already put reminders on my phone (because that’s how much of a ditz I am right now; I need reminders to do everything from brushing my teeth to cooking dinner) … why don’t you join me?

“We’ve set a tiny challenge for each day, a single thought or prompt that’ll have a big impact over the next 31 days. You’ll learn a lot about them, and talk more about the important things in their world and yours. Join us on our journey to more mindful mothering…

  1. Ask: what have you been thinking about lately?
  2. Tell your child: I’m glad you are my son/daughter.
  3. Go 24 hours without raising your voice.
  4. Limit your screen time and use these minutes/hours to read to your child, talk to them.
  5. Have a staring contest with your child.
  6. Ask: what is your favourite joke?
  7. Ask: what makes you afraid?
  8. Remember yourself at their age. Think about what you enjoyed and valued about your own mom.
  9. Teach your child a new skill.
  10. Practice listening to your child without interrupting.
  11. Ask your child’s opinion on something that’s important to the family.
  12. Make or buy them their favourite snack.
  13. Ask: what’s your lucky number, and why?
  14. Watch them while they are asleep.
  15. Ask: when last did you cry, and why?
  16. Ask: where would you visit if you could go anywhere?
  17. Rub their shoulders or give them a hug/cuddle. Say: I remember when you used to fit in my arms.
  18. Ask: what is your earliest memory?
  19. Think of the best mother you know. Model her most admirable quality today.
  20. Picture how you’d like your children to remember you. Is your behaviour moving you towards or away from that image?
  21. Swap their evening story for a joke book. Laughing together is a great way to bond.
  22. Watch their favourite program with them. Give it your undivided attention.
  23. Say: I’ve learnt the most amazing things from you.
  24. Ask: what’s been the best day of your life so far?
  25. Ask: what’s the best thing that’s happened to you this week?
  26. Bake something with your child. Use the time for casual chatter.
  27. Play your child a song that reminds you of him/her.
  28. Start a family scrapbook, or spend time looking at their baby albums together.
  29. Tell them something you are grateful for today, and ask them to share something of their own.
  30. Ask: which 5 words would your friends use to describe you?
  31. Avoid the N word: explore different ways to say no.

It’s always good to be reminded of ways to bring us back into focusing on what really matters. We get so busy with life that we forget the simple things. So, even if – like me – you need to set a new reminder on your smartphone calendar, do it! I’m looking forward to “rezoning” my attention this coming month! I hope you do too…