Many mothers today work, whether outside or inside the home. Whether a single parent, married, or living with a tribe of helping hands, moms have a lot to juggle. In today’s fast-paced, internet-and-technology-run day and age, how do they find time to slow down and focus on parenting?
Step one: Stay true to you
While in the thick of motherhood, entrepreneur Stephanie Mathews realized that she had to maintain a sense of self, allowing space to continue to grow and develop, while still being the best mother she could be.
Stephanie believes that parenting doesn’t have to be “hard” or “lonely.” As the founder and owner of Magical Mothering, she empowers her tribe to be authentic to their vision-of-self, and teaches others how to step out of the overwhelm and exhaustion through her coaching and workshops. Her vision for her own parenting is to spend as much time being a mother as possible. She takes her children into the forest to play. This allows her to use nature as a guide for growing, flowing and simply being together.
“I go out into the wild, so that I can be,” Stephanie said. “Sometimes we just have to walk out of the crazy to see that it isn’t everywhere, and that we are creating it!”
Parenting tools for the authentic caregiver
Gemstone jewelry designer, business owner, and now-graduated from homeschooling mom, Amy Cousin, believes in being authentic as a parent throughout all stages of life. She’s used gemstone energy to focus and support her creativity and entrepreneurship while raising her children.
“Motherhood is a constantly evolving state for me. My initial vision of manifesting in motherhood was to raise healthy, happy (not spoiled), intelligent people who found ways to make a living doing what they love and positively contributing to humanity,” Amy said.
Although that vision hasn’t changed much over the years, her vision—and her thoughts and expectations on mothering has.
“That’s because children are people, not objects to satisfy my manifestation,” she said. “So I had to go back and look at what I really wanted to manifest: being the best mother I can be. And really be the best person I can be.”
At this stage of her life, Amy realizes that the best person and parent she can be is someone who also, “lives a life doing what she loves.”
Time is a fickle beast
New Jersey psychic, Patti Lehman, did what she could to make time with her boys. Whether that was movie night loaded with healthy snacks. Or whether it was carpet picnics in the rain and snow, growing or collecting vegetables, or being involved with their school, she always set time aside for them. Patti is a single mom. However, when her children were young she only worked part-time running her business. She wanted to make sure she had as much time available to spend with them as possible.
Time, however, seems to move faster as we grow older. New Jersey mom and writer, Claudia Caramiello, felt like it was much easier to slow down and be in the moment when her sons were small. “I remember sitting on the floor next to my son’s toddler bed, long after he fell asleep and just watching him. I also remember really enjoying reading a good magazine in my downtime.”
Parenting Tools: Creating space for the parent
Today, we all feel so connected to our phones all the time, and Claudia found this to be one of the reasons that time slips away so easily. “I feel like the phone sometimes controls me. I write a lot on my phone, and it’s so easy to just grab it and be like oh I’ll just edit one sentence.”
She recommends using a notebook instead of working from your phone, as a way to separate parenting time from work.
Mother, organizational guru and Mind Key co-creator, Charla Dury, agrees that children instantly know the second you’re distracted. As a result, she’s learned to put her phone down more frequently to give her children her full attention. This has taught her to be in the moment.
As a way to bring more time and space into her parenting routine, New Jersey mother, Danielle B. said that until her son was around twelve-years-old, she would make sure that they read together for at least 30 to 45 minutes every night. She did this regardless of how tired she was from working and parenting.
“Our best conversions were over books and stories. As he’s gotten older and doesn’t want to be read to, we pick a TV show to watch… It gives us something to look forward to,” Danielle said.
Staying passionately focused in your parenting
Mother and biology professor at the University of Georgia, Kristen Navara agrees that work—especially work you’re passionate about—tends to consume all of your life. She spends all of her spare moments (nights, weekends, shower, sleep) dreaming up experiments. After becoming a parent, however, she made a rule that nights and weekends belonged to her children—and them alone. This vow has helped her grow not just as a parent, but as a person, too.
“It has actually added more balance to my life all around in addition to making sure that I am focused on my girls during the times that I get to be with them,” she said.
Mother and New Jersey local, Felice Sedore offers this sound and sage advice as a reminder to all parents. “Take one day a time… stay in the moment and don’t forget to breathe!”
Focus on healthy parenting tools
Too often, our parenting tools tend to revolve around unhealthy indulgences like sweets, wine and commiseration. These are easy tools, but they only help us cope in the moment. What if there were other, more powerful tools, that could help us become the parents and the people we’d always hoped we could be.
Training ourselves to shift our focus takes time. It needs to become a routine. However, when overwhelmed, creating a routine can be difficult. Having a few physical tools with which to focus our intent can help make that process happen.
I’ve recently had the pleasure of being able to use Stephanie’s Mundane to Magical Mothering Deck, and was surprised how guiding it can be. Pulling a card each day gives me a place to focus my parenting energy. I usually read in the morning after the kids have left for school. The reason being that this is when my energy is at its highest and most unencumbered. Although my children aren’t home when I pull a card, and although I’m about to launch into non-mommy tasks for the next six hour or so, the message usually stays with me. And that message allows me to form my own vision of what that day will bring for me and my family.
Want to get a sense of what the cards look like and one way to use them? Check out my live Facebook reading from April 4, 2018 where I used Stephanie’s deck for a universal reading that went beyond parenting tools, and offered great advice for all stages of life.
Planning and time well-spent
Stephanie also has a Magical Mothering planner, which I’m just beginning to delve into now. It, in and of itself, is one of many parenting tools good for focusing. It also provides a number of different tools for creating a rhythm to your family life. This creates time and space to be who you are, and to be in the moment with your children.
What tools do you use to create a peaceful rhythm in your own home and family?
As a photographer, Instagram sensation, and homeschooling mom, Shelby Sheene says,
“’Momming’ is so much more than you see. It’s teaching your child about life as you’re learning yourself. It’s being a referee amongst the endless squabbles, kissing every bruise down their shins from playing with reckless abandon…teaching them that scars are simply time markers for lessons learned and adventures had.”
And finally, being a mom is “knowing they’ll watch you take care of yourself, too. It’s more than just being with your children. It’s being present.”