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Why Feeling Grounded is So Important as a Mom

Feeling grounded may well be the antithesis of being a mom, but it doesn’t have to stay that way…

I feel like motherhood is a little bit like planning a holiday, visualizing how perfect it’s going to be, all of the activities you’re going to do, the wonderful people you’re going to meet.

Then you get on the plane…

And the pilot announces that, in fact, you’re the only person on this flight and you’ll be heading to an undiscovered planet.

Because that’s what our experience of motherhood is. We each live on different planets with different challenges to face, and we just have to figure it out. Or die. Okay, we’re not gonna die, but it might sometimes feel like a small part of us has.

Where’s she gone? I’m talking about Keira… You know, that 23-year-old girl who used to drink her bodyweight in beer every night and then teach people how to scuba dive in the morning?

Thankfully, very far away. In fact, I’m glad she’s gone. But you know what I mean.

Motherhood has the ability to sweep us up in a tornado of cleaning, nappies, feeding, cooking – and then feeding and cleaning some more – and it’s a long time before we even realize that our feet have left the earth.

So how can we start feeling grounded?

The unpredictability of parenting

Having a child makes life unpredictable. You are solely responsible for a tiny person yet totally unable to predict what they’re going to do next.

One morning they’ll be full of beans and ready to leave the house before 10 am, and the next, we’re lucky if we can get them off of our laps and into some clothes before 3 pm.

One minute they don’t need a wee, and the next they’re squatting in the aisle of a shop – thankfully, this has only happened to us once. And granted, it was hilarious.

What we have to remember is that our children have their own characters and personalities. And just like we have sleepy/energetic/Netflix/playful days, they do too. I used to plan things and just expect that my daughter would be okay with it, and then she wasn’t – I would get frustrated, feel like I’d been let down in some way, and then become encompassed with guilt for blaming my 2-year-old daughter for the fact that we didn’t get to leave the house.

Then I learned to accept it

And that made things a little better, but I still felt like I had zero control over my day.

Then I read a book called ‘The Miracle Morning’ and it changed everything. I started waking up earlier than Thalia and I finally found the time to do exactly what I wanted to for at least an hour.

I use my time in the mornings for activities that make me feel grounded and/or productive. That way, if nothing goes to plan for the rest of the day, I still feel like I’ve achieved something.

Feeling grounded is a crucial contrast to feeling uprooted and facing the unexpected – aka, being a mum – that we very much need in our lives. It’s like needing to get your feet on solid ground after an 8-hour flight.

So, tomorrow morning, try squeezing in a grounding practice or two to start the day off on your terms. And if you don’t get the chance (because, you know, the unpredictability of motherhood) see if you can squeeze 10 minutes in during nap time or when your little one is stuck into something else. Peppa Pig, this is the one time that you’re welcome.

Here are my all-time favorite practices for feeling grounded. Ahhhh, even saying the word ‘grounded’ makes me feel wonderful.

Yoga

You don’t have to participate in a full 60-minute yoga class to connect to your body. Work out the sleep-induced niggles with a few simple stretches working all the way from your head to your toes.

When I feel like I need to connect with or give a little love to my body during the day, I pick a couple of deep stretches to sink into for a few minutes each. Seated Forward Fold and Dragonfly Pose are two of my faves when I’ve been sitting on the sofa for a bit too long…like right now.

Meditation

Sit comfortably, close your eyes, and start to focus on your breath. Feel your breath travel down to your navel as you inhale and back up through your chest and out your nose as you exhale.

If you find yourself chasing thoughts and feel somewhat less grounded after silent meditation, try following a short, guided meditation on YouTube or Insight Timer. I personally love to follow a guided meditation first thing in the morning when I’m a little sleepy ❤

Breathing

Taking a few deep, mindful breaths is something that I practice multiple times a day when I’m starting to feel frustrated, lost, or completely disconnected from my body (and living completely in my head).

Simply close your eyes (optional), smile, breathe in, breathe out.

You could also try a little alternate nostril breathing first thing in the morning. This particular practice of pranayama (controlled breathing) can help you to align your energies and feel centered.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Sit comfortably, close your eyes, and bring your right forefinger and middle finger to touch gently between your eyebrows.
  • Take a big breath in through your nose, then close your right nostril with your thumb and exhale through your left nostril.
  • Inhale through your left nostril.
  • Close your left nostril with your ring finger and exhale through the right.
  • Inhale through your right nostril.
  • Continue for a few minutes.

Journaling

Taking the time to sit down and write is a great way to get your concerns, thoughts, and feelings out of your head and onto some paper. It’s a wonderful way to feel grounded and more connected to yourself.

Here are some journaling prompts:

  • Write 3 pages of freehand – anything and everything that pops into your head without stopping.
  • A gratitude list.
  • Write down what’s making you feel stressed – no judgement or trying to solve it.
  • Write three goals for the next year and three steps for how you’re going to get to each of them!
  • Describe all of the things that you can feel, hear, and see right now.

4 simple ways to move towards feeling grounded amidst the chaos of motherhood…

What’s your favorite way to feel grounded and what would you like to start learning more about?

 

By Keira Leane Shepherd
Reproduced with kind permission
www.mindfullymaman.com

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