Episode 181

As I’m recording this episode of the Art of Homeschooling podcast, Mother’s Day is on the horizon here in the U.S. So in celebration, we’re exploring the idea of mindful mothering. Listen in for three tips and insights applicable to all caregivers.

According to the psychologist Carl Jung, mother is an archetype ~ a universal pattern or image that’s present in the collective unconscious of all human beings.

This archetype represents the concept of the nurturing and caring mother with maternal and protective instincts.

A mother is at their most basic a giver of life

Many of us have mixed emotions when we think of mothers along with challenging feelings around motherhood. Good new ~ there’s so much healing potential in embracing this universal archetype of nurturing.

Tune in to the episode by pressing play above because I have three tips for mindful mothering, derived from my own personal struggles of growing up in a family where there was more anger than nurturing and of parenting when I felt totally ill-equipped.

You can also follow along with the show notes below for a few great quotes, a little gift, and links to other resources if you want to explore mindful mothering further.

Acknowledge the Imperfections

Acknowledging imperfections in both our mothers and ourselves opens the door to wholehearted love, as Brene Brown’s writes about in The Gifts of Imperfection.

Owning our own story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do.

~ BRENé brown

And while acknowledging our own mother’s imperfections, we can also reflect on the people who have played a maternal role in our lives, from biological mothers to mentors and friends, and get in touch with our gratitude for the lasting gifts they’ve given us.

We can think about how our moms aren’t perfect, and that’s okay. Also, we can remember all the people who’ve been like moms to us, like our real moms, teachers, or friends. We can feel thankful for all the good things they’ve done for us.

By embracing the complexity of these relationships and honoring the love alongside the imperfections, we pay homage to those who’ve shaped us.

And at the same time, we can deepen our own self-love and appreciation.

Ask for What You Want

My next tip is simple and straightforward: ask for what you want.

The expectations placed on mothers, at times self-imposed, can lead to feelings of unappreciation and exhaustion.

As mothers, we frequently hold emotional space for our entire family, an invisible yet draining task.

Waiting for acknowledgment or assuming others can read our minds only leads to disappointment.

And so I encourage you to share your needs and desires, even if it feels unfamiliar. Starting with simple requests like wanting help with chores or needing rest can prevent burnout and foster healthier relationships.

  • I want to plant some flowers together. OR…
  • I’d like help with the laundry on Sundays. OR…
  • I’m tired so I’m going to lie down and read my book.

Please ask for what you want!

I promise, it’s so much easier than waiting for and wishing someone could read your mind! So give it a try!

Love Yourself

My third tip is to love yourself, and mother yourself. 

We can be gentle with ourselves. And tell ourselves we did our best even if things didn’t work out the way we’d hoped. We can look in the mirror and say “I love you.” 

Here are my instructions for mindful mothering~

  • Speak kindly to yourself, as if you’re talking to a dear friend.
  • Do things that make you happy. Fill up your own cup.
  • Take breaks when you’re tired when you need to.
  • Practice gratitude.
  • Eat good food, get good sleep, move your body.
  • Read or listen to inspiring poetry and stories.
  • Stop comparing yourself to others.
  • Accept that you will make mistakes.

I know deep in my heart that the work we are doing in the world is important and appreciated regardless of how many gifts or flowers we get on Mother’s Day. Let’s all remember that!

And it starts with loving ourselves.

Here’s a great quote that helps me when I’m being especially hard on myself:

Successful mothers are not the ones who have never struggled. They are the ones that never give up despite the struggles.”

~Sharon Jaynes

No matter where you are on your journey of self-love and mindful mothering, and whatever you’re feeling today, I want you to know that you are not alone. I’m thinking of you and honoring all you do.

We can find the mother archetype in so many places. We can experience the nurturing of others and from ourselves. And that mother love can be healing. 

A Gift for You

I have a special gift for you today as we approach Mother’s Day here in the United States! If you need help getting in touch with feelings of worthiness, check out the Mother’s Day Manifesto.

This Manifesto includes 10 affirmations I wrote to help you honor all you do for your family. Print it out, hang it on the wall, or put it in your planner. As a reminder that you matter and that you are loved.

In summary, my three tips for mindful mothering are~

  1. Acknowledge the imperfections (of your mother and yourself)
  2. Ask for what you want
  3. Love yourself, mother yourself

Sending you big hugs from one mama to another. 💜

More About Mindful Mothering from the Art of Homeschooling

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