I sat there on the toilet with a towel draped over my legs, gazing down at my Facebook. I was absorbed in the thoughtless motion of scrolling down and scanning through posts that I would have no recollection of tomorrow. A splash landed on my screen causing me to lose focus of my mindless reverie. There below me sat a little creature thoughtfully pouring water into a tube and quickly blowing it out in all directions. The creature giggled at his invention. He, though he was absorbed as well, was thoughtful and intentional with his every move as he concentrated on making as big a mess as possible.
I set my phone down, and sat there realizing that I could not exactly remember what the curve of his cheek or dimple of his elbow looked like just 3 years prior. I set out to memorize his every color--hair, skin, bump, bruise--his every curve--no longer chunky in his boyhood. There I sat, focusing on his mouth, eyes, and every expression they conveyed. Soon, he sensed my gaze (it never takes him long). He looked up and asked, "Come play with me." How? How does he already speak in sentences, and how did I not realize until now that so often he asks me this question, and my answer is "no". I knelt beside the tub and played. I thoughtfully played.
Mindfulness is something that truthfully, I snubbed in my busy mommyhood. Sure, I try to be present with my husband, my son, my clients, etc., but let's be honest. Mindfulness? Meditation? Within motherhood? Ha! That's hilarious! Let me just sit down with my legs crossed and find my center while little humans crawl over me, say they are hungry for the billionth time, or climb on the counter to retrieve the knife I accidentally left out because I was too busy focusing on my breathing.
Mindfulness in motherhood can seem out of reach simply because how can you be mindful when your mind feels like it needs to be thinking a million things at once. It seems impossible.
I have recently started thinking and believing the opposite is true. Who else could benefit from thoughtfulness and intention than a mother?
Mindfulness in motherhood isn't impossible, it is just different. Removing the noise of circumstances that can be changed and intentionally noticing the pieces of motherhood that actually matter and that give you joy, these are the acts of pursuing mindfulness in motherhood. It doesn't have to look like sitting in a quiet place focusing on your breathing. It doesn't have to be an escape into the wilderness for a thought clearing exercise. It just has to be you, noticing the colors, the smells, the emotions of the person who calls you "mommy".
There will always be noise. Noise from things we can change and noise from things we can't. If they can't be changed, it doesn't deserve our attention. Motherhood is signing up for a lifetime supply of noise. This can no longer be an excuse for living without noticing. There will be days when you need to dissociate, care for your little creature, but remain surrounded by the noise of adulthood. Allow yourselves those days, but allow yourself the gift of thoughtfully being a mother. Delight in the being who knows no other way than to be completely absorbed in the present, for there are no better teachers than children in the art of being mindful.