Have you ever had a moment of complete overwhelm? A split second of shockingly strong sensation, where all you could do was scream?
And because it happened more than once after I gave birth to my second child, I’ve named that awesomely terrible feeling a “mama-meltdown.”
I knew the birth of my second child would change things. More voices (cries) in the house, more clothes to wash, more plates and cups to clean, less sleep, less time for baths, naps, manicures, phone calls, work and working out.
I expected all that. What I didn’t expect was the all-too-regular 2:30 AM breakdown. The intense feelings of sacrifice and loss of identity. The nagging feeling of wanting to run away – no matter how much I loved my family.
I was a tornado of emotions. Highs and lows, gratitude and resentment, love and fear. I couldn’t find balance; something had to give.
Well, not really something. Someone. And that someone was ME.
I had to get honest with myself. I had to step outside of my own stresses and struggles and take a look at what was really going on. When I finally did that, I saw a woman who was pitying herself HARD. A woman complaining about the dishes and diapers and holding grudges against the rest of the world for not acknowledging all the sacrifices she made for her family.
Believe me, it wasn’t a pretty picture. The woman I saw was NOT the woman, wife, and mother I wanted to be. Luckily, my self-assessment clearly showed that the solution was within me this whole time.
This was my turning point. I decided to adopt two practices that completely transformed how I showed up as a Mother, Wife, and Woman.
Before I had my children, I spent time at an Ashram in deep meditation. I felt such a sense of peace at that point in my life; a connectedness between myself, the universe and all beings. I decided to change my day just enough to incorporate a consistent practice of meditation. I didn’t set an unrealistic goal; just 5 minutes of silence. I promised myself I wouldn’t go more than 2 days at a time without it.
I started immediately and I did not waiver in my commitment. After a few weeks of nightly meditation, what started as a “job” became a gift. My body and mind craved the meditation. This was my scheduled “me time”, centered on reflection and appreciation for this beautiful, blessed, present moment.
I added a daily affirmation practice after weaving the meditation firmly into the fabric of my life. Sure, meditation had “taken the edge off” but there was still work to do. I needed to go beyond getting quiet; it was time to get grateful for EVERYTHING, even the weekly tub scrubbing.
My go-to affirmation these days is simply
I wake up with a grateful heart.
I use it throughout my day, but find it most effective when I’m extra exhausted because I’ve been woken up 4 times throughout the night by crying kids 🙂
I started my mama meltdown-to-mindfulness transformation 1 ½ years ago. Since then, my 5 minute daily meditative moment has transformed into a 20-minute practice. I wake up with perspective, peace, and power – three gifts given by my daily affirmations, grounded in gratitude. I’ve reconnected to myself as an individual, with control over my reactions and the ability to make time and space for self-care.
For that, I am forever grateful.
Dena Farash is the founder and creator of the Mindful Mom Revolution, the creator of a growing community using tools of mindfulness and meditation to raise the next generation from a place of peace and love. On October 28, 2017, the Mindful Mom revolution is holding a “Mindfulness for Moms” event at the Woman’s Club of Red Bank.
Women in all stages of Motherhood are invited to come learn tools of mindfulness and meditation to bring peace and calm into their Motherhood and their homes. This speaker event hosts Mindfulness Experts (all Moms) such as Hay House author Rebekah Borucki (bexlife.com), Huffington Post contributor and Mindful Parenting expert, Hunter Clarke-Fields (hunteryoga.com), lead editor at Expectful.com, Anna Gannon and local New Jersey Mindfulness and Stress-reduction specialists, Angie Harris and Judy Banks.
Topics to be discussed at the event include; finding your calm in the chaos that can be motherhood, forgiveness when you don’t parent the way you’d like to, teaching mindfulness to kids, and creating a mindfulness and meditation practice for yourself.
As a part of recognizing and honoring Moms in all stages of life, a portion of proceeds will be donated to 180 Turning Lives Around, a New Jersey shelter and help center for women and children.
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