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What Does a Mindful Parent Look Like?

As a clinical social worker, I’ve known about mindfulness and meditation for quite awhile now, but I was hesitant to get involved. There were a million reasons—I was busy, I had other coping skills, I didn’t really need it. But mostly, I thought it just wasn’t my style.

In my mind, someone who meditates or practices mindfulness probably wears organic cotton clothing, enjoys lingering over a warm cup of tea, and would rather spend the night cuddled up a book of Mary Oliver’s poems than watch the latest episode of NCIS. She speaks slowly and thoughtfully, never yells, and stays calm through even the most torrential tantrum. She’s definitely vegetarian, if not vegan, and can whip up healthy, gourmet meals while educating her children about the importance of sustainable agriculture.

Let me very clear: I am seriously not that person.

I talk faster than I can think, I’m sarcastic and mouthy, and I think I’m far funnier than I actually am. I finish most meals long before my body can possibly digest them. I don’t cook, and I can’t stand tea. (Every year or so, I get determined to like it again. It just seems so zen, the beverage of the person I want to be. I linger over the samples at my local tea shop, and inevitably walk away overwhelmed by smells and tastes that I find totally unappealing.) I’m addicted to coffee, and I enjoy nothing more than wandering the aisles of my local office supply store when I’m stressed. (I’m convinced that if a new notebook or pen can’t solve all of life’s problems, I don’t know what can.)

2 Comments to
What Does a Mindful Parent Look Like?

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  1. Love the clarification. I fall somewhere between the mindful-mama-misconception and you! Most of my closest friends are not hippy like at all and parent very differently than I would ever imagine, but mindful mamas all the same. No matter how much green tea I drink, I tell ya, it doesn’t make me a better mom. (though I choose my healthy tea over foo-fee coffee on my good days 🙂


  2. This post echoed my own feelings entirely and I found it really amusing! There’s so much stigma attached to words like ‘meditation’ ‘zen’ and ‘present moment awareness’ that whenever I hear people talking about this stuff it really makes me cringe!

    It was so refreshing to finally read a down to earth, ‘normal’ person talking about a topic that I actually believe has a heck of a lot to offer.

    Great writing… I hope to read more like it.

    I’m off now to make myself a cup of tea!!


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