Mindfulness moments for tired and busy mums

Life with a baby can be overwhelming and all-consuming. A mother’s mind is buzzing with neverending to-do lists, worries, and often unrealistic expectations of herself and her little bundle.

Have you ever noticed that some days you feel like you’re chasing your tail, but have no sense of accomplishment at the end of it? Life is stuck on repeat. You’re exhausted, frantic, and feel like you’re just going through the motions.

Do you think to yourself, ‘once my baby is through this stage, life will get easier’, or ‘I will do more for myself once my baby [enter the milestone of your choosing]’? We all do it. We wait for some magical time in the future when we imagine that life will slow down and become less chaotic.

Mindfulness holds the simple solution

But, there is one little thing that you can do to start to feel some joy return. To discover that you’ve come up for air, and can breathe again. A mindfulness practice that puts you back in touch with yourself again.

And no, it doesn’t mean trying to squeeze yet something else into your hectic and tiring day. It doesn’t even mean being apart from your baby, and it certainly doesn’t have to have anything to do with meditation. If you’re good at meditating, that’s wonderful. However, for many parents, scheduling the time, headspace, and energy to focus on themselves can be too daunting a task.

The benefits of mindfulness

If you start to incorporate these mini mindfulness moments into your day, you will quickly begin to experience the benefits to both your mental and physical health. It will improve your capacity to cope, lead to greater wellbeing and mental clarity, and give you an increased ability to care for yourself and your family. Here are just some of the many benefits, according to Positive Psychology:

  • Increased happiness
  • Increased compassion
  • Increased life satisfaction
  • Decreased stress
  • Decreased depression
  • Decreased anxiety
  • Increased attention
  • Better sleep quality
  • Improved immune function

Mindfulness moments for tired and busy mums

Mindfulness can be practiced any time of day, with or without your baby, anywhere, and for as long as you like. The outcome isn’t necessarily relaxation, but rather it’s an opportunity to anchor yourself and feel the present moment, and experience all of your senses. Something that we rarely do as mums, when there’s just so much to do, and little people relying on us. The feelings that come up when we’re more present may be uncomfortable, and sometimes they’re healing.

Mindfulness can be practiced during any daily activity. Here are some simple examples:

Whenever you change your baby’s nappy 

Take the opportunity to really experience your baby with all of your senses. Feel their body warmth and soft skin, study their face, watch their little limbs move, and listen to the sounds they make as they breathe or chatter.

While you hold your baby

Reflect on who this little one is and may become. Reflect on yourself as a tiny vulnerable baby. If your baby is awake, make eye contact with them, and notice how it makes you feel to connect in that way. If they’re sleeping, observe their little chest moving up and down, and their facial expressions as they dream.

In the shower

Look around the bathroom, notice how the warm water makes you feel, pay attention to how your muscles relax, listen to the sound of the running water, engage in the soft scent and feel of the soap. Breathe in deeply. Notice any thoughts that come up, and instead of letting your mind wander, just bring it back to the present.

During household chores

Mundane household tasks, such as washing the dishes or folding clothes, are perfect opportunities to practice mindfulness. Our minds usually wander and we get lost in making plans, or playing back a memory. It’s a great time to bring our thoughts to the present, and to check in with ourselves in the midst of a busy day.

Making a cup of tea

Bringing mindfulness to simple activities like making and drinking a cup of tea is a good time to slow life down, even just for five minutes. Pay attention to all of your senses as the kettle is boiling, as the tea is brewing, as you hold the cup, and bring it to your mouth. The idea is to bring a deliberate awareness to something you usually do on autopilot.

While you eat something 

Even with something as small as a piece of chocolate, bringing our attention to the full eating experience helps us to savour the pleasure of eating instead of mindlessly chowing down on something. When we’re grounded more in the present, our minds are calmer, clearer, and more compassionate towards ourselves. It also helps us to tune into our bodies, and be more aware of our fullness cues.


For more in-depth methods and ideas to practice mindfulness, you might like to head to not-for-profit Smiling Mind to download their free app and guide for parents. 


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