My husband and I are both fairly heavy technology users (something I am actively struggling with, as you all know). We have smartphones, tablets, and computers, and we love thinking about and discussing the ways in which technology can make our lives better, and worse. Josh is aware of my interest in mindfulness, and he has asked me on more than one occasion what I would put into a mindful parenting app.
The truth is, I have no idea. Ok, actually, I have a lot of ideas, but I don’t think the technology is there yet. I would like an app that will cook dinner each night, potty train my toddler, remind my preschooler to turn on the water before she covers her hands with soap, and sense when I am about to lose it and remind me in a reasonably non-annoying voice to stop and take a deep breath (or twelve).
The reality is that there is no shortage of apps related to meditation, mindfulness, and happiness. Seeing as how I have been feeling stuck lately, my gut reaction is to download every single one in hopes of finding one that will help me navigate the tricky world of parenting in a mindful way. I love the idea that I could tap on a tiny square and all of a sudden the answers I need to all of my parenting questions will suddenly appear on my tiny screen. Should I put my insolent toddler in time out? Tap here! Should I buy my 4 year old the new Fancy Nancy book she has been obsessing over? Tap here!
Sigh. If only.
You may have noticed that the blog has been silent for awhile, and that my last post was about how I had let my mindfulness practice slip. The truth is that I’ve been really struggling with precisely what mindful parenting means to me and how I want to implement it in my life and with my family.
I am still a newbie to mindfulness, and this blog is about finding my way into all of it. I found mindfulness practice because I was struggling to be the kind of parent I knew I could be, and wanted to be. I was getting frustrated with my daughters, I was snapping at them, and I knew that our interactions were not reflective of how much I not only love them, but also truly like them and enjoy spending time with them. I had read so many blogs and parenting books about what I should be doing (craft projects, new recipes every night, sticker charts, gratitude journals, special time alone with each child, positive discipline—the list goes on and on). All of these “suggestions” didn’t motivate me; they left me feeling overwhelmed, inadequate, and to be honest, resentful. It all felt like too much, and I knew I couldn’t do it all. Furthermore, I didn’t actually believe that I had to do all of that to be a good mother. But I knew I needed to do something.