My first few years as a mother took such a toll on my mental health. The combination of hormonal changes, unrealistic expectations that I placed on myself, and the unconscious grieving of my old life- really left me in shambles. – Conscious Child, Mindful Parent
Did I love my child? ABSOLUTELY.
But it was difficult and at times, very lonely.
One of my gripes with parenting in our society is that we don’t talk enough about it. It’s as if we’re expected to simply know.
Know how to react to different situations.
Know how to adjust to your life as a parent.
Know how to keep your relationship with your partner solid.
Know what type of parent your child needs…
The list can go on and on.
I’ve learned that parenting requires intentionality. In order to raise children who know who they are and are truly comfortable with themselves- it requires a TON of effort. While many parts of parenting can be instinctual, some have required me to unlearn many of the falsehoods I had once accepted as my own.
I had to, and still am, working on decolonizing my parenthood.
Parenting in the United States (and elsewhere throughout the Diaspora), requires that we prepare our children for an often, very harsh reality. For that reason, many of us feel like we must mirror that in our homes. The quote often cited is ‘spare the rod, spoil the child’. While I was once a proponent of that mentality- I now w see things differently.
Yes, the world can be incredibly cruel- especially to Black folk. And I agree that we must do our parts to prepare them for that world but we shouldn’t mirror it.
My philosophy is that because the world can be so cruel- I work especially hard to make my home a piece of heaven here on Earth. Here, my children will also be seen, heard, and loved.
My goal is that, no matter what happens outside these four walls, my children will feel that home is where they belong, can rest, and breathe easy.
This is far from easy. Mindful parenting is HARD. It held a mirror to my face in many ways, and I haven’t always liked the reflection. Mindful parenting has forced me to reparent myself. Mindful parenting has made me reexamine my beliefs and why I believed the way I did. Mindful parenting is work; it requires conscious effort.
In so many ways, parenthood and the decision to be a conscious parent have contributed to my wellness journey. Understanding that to be the best, healthiest, and most present mother possible I had to be whole. A great deal of my wellness comes from uncovering unhealthy mindsets and addressing them. It also made me recommit to getting to know myself and doing all that I can to model healthy behaviors.
Please don’t get it twisted, I’m far from an expert and never aspire to be. My goal is to guide my children and foster an environment that allows them to be their highest selves.
Six years into this thing called motherhood and I realize that I’ll never know it all and that’s ok.
For the Season 3 debut, we discussed conscious parenting with a dear friend and mindful parenting advocate- Kristen.
Conscious Child, Mindful Parent
Kristen Hanna is a mother of two, mindfulness practitioner and guide who specifically works with pregnant women and other moms. Her intention is to teach tangible self-regulating practices and share in transparent experiences across the mothering community that will help to create more peaceful, loving environments for babies and children as they grow. She believes that a self-aware mother grows compassionate kids. Through her work, she is striving to close the gap by providing more information as she learns alongside.
The definition of mindful parenting
Different parenting styles
Additional Mindful parenting resources
How mindful parenting affects children
How mindful parenting affects parents
The importance of community in child-rearing
On My Radar:
Adjourn Tea House : Adjourn Tea House is an artisanal loose leaf tea company that offers beautifully unique, superior quality, hand-blended teas that are sustainably sourced from around the world.
Mothering Tea: Mothering Tea is a wellness-focused tea company based outside of Atlanta, Georgia, and aims to help moms reconnect with themselves by prioritizing self-love practices steeped in premium loose leaf teas.