Simple Tips to Help You Discover What Really Matters
an exclusive feature from Bonnie Compton*
Recently I overheard a conversation between a young mother and her mom. “You used to make mothering look so easy…it’s anything but easy! What am I doing wrong?”
Her mother replied, “You’re not doing anything wrong. Being a mom was never easy, but your world is so much more complicated than mine ever was. You have lots of choices, and many more items on your to-do list. You also have much more parenting advice available to you than I ever did. Between Dr. Spock, and myself, I guess I just figured it out as I went. And believe me, there were times I was flying by the seat of my pants!”
Moms, that’s pretty much it. You figure it out as you go. Day by day, moment by moment. Of course it’s wise to have an overall plan. It helps to have a vision for your family, a vision that includes values and structure for your children. But it’s actually through your daily experience with your kids that you’ll discover what’s really important…what really matters. And remember, you don’t have to have all the answers. But by being mindful, and with your children’s help (yes, they are here to teach you!), you’ll find your own answers.
To help get you started, here are a few Mindful Mothering Tips from my book, Mothering with Courage, to help you discover what really matters:
- Feeling overscheduled and overwhelmed? Drop one item off your “to do list” and don’t replace it with another! You might begin to enjoy a little less busy schedule and a bit more time to slow down. Let go of what’s not working or no longer serving you or your family.
- Your kids want your attention. And they’ll fight mightily to get it. They want to be seen, heard and acknowledged. One of the best ways to acknowledge your child is to first acknowledge their feelings. Remember, your children have a voice. It’s important to allow them to use it. When you’re able to honor who they are (not who you want them to be), you allow them to grow into who they were meant to be.
- Family meetings provide a great way to keep your family running smoothly. Successful businesses schedule weekly meetings. They don’t wait to put out the fires on a daily basis. Make the meetings part of a fun family night! Kids love to be a part of decision making and they often have great suggestions.
- Positive messages empower your children and boost their self-worth. Like wildflower seeds planted in a meadow, they blossom and spread over time. Sometime, it’s the smallest of seeds or messages that garner the most vibrant flower. Your messages have the power to nurture your children’s hearts and cultivate their growth!
- Children who do not feel connected to their parents become more resistant to parental guidance and rules. The key ingredient for imparting your parental wisdom and improving your child’s behavior is having a healthy connection with them. When your child feels connected with you, they are more open to learn from you. And guess what? When your relationship with your child improves, so does their behavior!
Moms, you’ve got this! You’re doing an amazing job (and most likely when you’re kids are grown and gone, they’ll tell you).
If you’d like to learn more about yourself and your kids and learn how to navigate this messy journey of motherhood, please pick up a copy of my book Mothering with Courage…The Mindful Approach to Becoming a Mom Who Listens More, Worries Less, and Loves Deeply.
*BONNIE COMPTON, APRN, BC, CPNP, has worked with families for more than thirty years as a child and adolescent therapist, parent coach, and pediatric nurse practitioner. She is passionate about making a difference in the lives of children and families. By giving parents the tools to parent mindfully, Bonnie inspires them to wake up to what to really matters. Whether it is through individual therapy, coaching, or parenting classes she offers, Bonnie believes that it is possible to make positive changes in any family situation—and it’s never too late! She is a writer, speaker, workshop, and retreat facilitator and hosts her own podcast radio program, Wholehearted Parenting Radio, which is available on iTunes, Web Talk Radio, Radioactive Broadcasting Network, and Stitcher Radio. Bonnie has appeared as a parenting expert on numerous television and radio shows, and has written parenting articles in magazines and newspapers. She is also a certified ScreamFree Parent Leader. Bonnie lives in Charleston, SC, with her husband. She is a mom of four adult children and believes that being a mother has been her most important job. She also loves being Gramma to her three beautiful granddaughters.