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Support for Mindful Mamas!

post #1 of 98
Thread Starter 
Hi, Mindful Mamas!! This thread was started so the awesome, mindful mamas from the "Mindful Parenting Book Club" would have a place to ponder things together that weren't necessarily about our book discussion and to vent our issues in a respectful, caring, 'mindful' manner without making others feel ashamed or guilty of their choices. The book we are discussing in our book club is "Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting" by Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn. Maybe you have read the book or have heard of it. We welcome any mindful mamas that would like to join us on this support thread. Here's the thread to the 'Mindful Parenting Book Club Part IV' thread, if you're interested in viewing or joing our current book discussion:
Please introduce yourself, if you'd like and state if you've read "Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting."

I'm a (mostly) mindful mom to my bundle of joy, 12 month old son in central Iowa. I've read the book "Everyday Blessings." My dh is starting to read the book and is a computer programmer for about 5 years now, but is pursuing his dream of a career in law enforcement. I originally went to school to be a psychologist, then I switched my major to become a social worker. Well I dropped out to decide what I really wanted and dh finished his schooling while I worked ft in all sorts of jobs. My dream job right now is staying at home (yes, really). Here are my interests: cooking, playing peek-a-boo, going on walks with ds and dh in the woods and neighborhood, reading to ds, visiting friends, going to LLL and AP meetings, reading, doing yoga, talking to my family in Texas on the phone, traveling to Texas to see family, talking to animals, taking ds's picture and whatever else I can do to make life livable and exciting!

DH and I have been married for 7 years and had a five year courtship. We were waiting for the perfect situation, careers, house, income, etc. before starting a family! We moved to Austin, Texas, where dh took a promising job, before I got pg and had house built after being there for six months. Twenty days after the house was built, and I was six months pregnant, dh was laid off due to the ecomony. Eleven days later was Sept. 11 and dh had already gone back to Iowa to get his old job back which took several months to happen. So I got our house sold and drove back to Iowa from Texas while 8 months pregnant! What an ideal situation, huh?

Our life has been a roller coaster ride of good times and bad. Our troublesome childhoods and marriage make the inner work of learning to be mindful a challenge but ds has inspired us immensely!

That's enough about me! Thanks for joining us here, mindful mamas! We can't wait to debate, discuss, and post like mad!!
post #2 of 98
Wow. You're one tough cookie, Heather!

More from me tomorrow!
post #3 of 98
Thread Starter 
Hello, Breathe! Yeah, I'm tough but I can crumble too. Being pg actually gave me a reason not to fall apart during such an overwhelming time. I think the people that bought our house felt sorry for me b/c I was alone, pregnant , dh layed off, and trying to sell a house after right after 9/11 (ick)...so we got very lucky!! Ds and I bonded during such a frightening time in everyone's life. He was a major source of strength and it caused dh and I open our eyes to how fortunate we really were. Being layed off was easy compared to being dead [like many in WTC].

Don't you think hard times can make appreciating our 'everyday blessings' a little easier. It's only been a little over a year since dh and I were reunited after being apart for several months, and I'm back to taking too much for granted. However, trying to be aware and more in the moment does help to see the little miracles of each moment.

Thanks for checking out our thread, Breathe! Are you done with school this semester? Good luck on all that! I hope the other mamas from the book club will join us.
post #4 of 98
Hi guys,

Well, I was a few weeks PP on september 11th and trying to convince DH that we should buy a house. When we finally did, we were in bidding wars, but that was in May. Anyway, september 11th hardly registered with me except fort the fact that my MIl had the TV on really loud for endless stretches of time, and I was afraid she would never leave. I really feel like a whole part of my life was gone because I was in a crazy hormone fog.

Anyway, about pregnancy, I had sucha hard time emotionally because I was afraid of losing myself. I was in denial the whole time till one day I was really fed up with being pregnant. It was a week after my due date and I was about to be induced (with my enormous baby of 9 1/2 lbs). Then I had the weird aftermath, and I never prepared myself or anything. The opposite of mindful, but I think I would be a very different (and not neccesarily better) mother if I had been as organised aobut it as I usually am. Now I realize that, though I really grieved missing my pregnancy for a while.
post #5 of 98
Thread Starter 
Hi, Jacqueline~ DS is very NEEDY right this moment so I can't be on long but I wanted to note that I did not prepare much for motherhood...other than reading "What to Expect When You're Expecting," taking my vitamins, Eating well, exercising, doctor exams, and the birthing class. It's so easy to focus on being pregnant but forget that it is so temporary. I fantasized about the baby nursery, but couldn't afford any of the stuff I wanted to buy. We went to Babies R Us religiously to research what products we wanted to buy: carseats, strollers, clothing, etc.

Funny how unprepared we can be and feel when the baby arrives, but yet our bodies and instincts know what just to do. That is, if we can break through all our cultural messages and negative advice. You are not alone, Jacqueline, in feeling unmindful about your pregnancy and being unprepared. Everything is easier hindsight (hindsight is 20/20)!
post #6 of 98
Hm, glad I stopped in. I'll have to check into that book, haven't read it, but I did read the review at Powells (if they have one in stock on Hawthorne, I might go pick it up - so nice to be close to Powells )

I wasn't sure about what "mindful parenting" is, but I'm very into practicing being zen with my parenting.

I don't have any huge stories to tell - well, I could, but not right now, we sold our house and moved to Portland - it's a long story and I think I talked about it a while ago on another thread. And I'm just sort of gestating now and blissed out about that, so perhaps later

I haven't check out the Books and Movies forum yet, I spend so much time talking on other forums, I was afriad I'd never leave my computer

Cheers and thanks for the book reference.

post #7 of 98
Thread Starter 
Glad you found us, Mystic, and you're welcome for the book reference. We hope you find time to come back here. You would fit right in with our mindful mamas! BTW, if you don't mind me asking, do you already have children?

Ds has a terrible cold...gotta go suck his nose again and cuddle the sweet little boy!

P.S. I'm holed up in this house (27 degrees and chilly this week) and thankful I have MDC. Otherwise I'd feel so isolated!
post #8 of 98
Originally posted by Heather in Iowa
Glad you found us, Mystic, and you're welcome for the book reference. We hope you find time to come back here. You would fit right in with our mindful mamas! BTW, if you don't mind me asking, do you already have children?
Well, I suppose not is the best answer - not trying to be sad just that we had an m/c in the past and I felt like such a mom, esp afterwards, just didn't have the little guy in my arms. And since then I've sort of had this "momma glow" going on. And having the bundle growing inside right now really makes me feel matronly and nurturing. I've spent a lot of time thinking about the mama-ness of myself. So, I AM one, I just don't have the little shoes right now.

Glad to clarify, sorry it was a bit long and perhaps a downer.

post #9 of 98
Thread Starter 
There I go putting my foot in my mouth! After I asked if you already had children, I had a not so funny feeling about your mama-ness. Thanks for sharing your excitement with us about your baby-to-be! I've never had a m/c, but my mother had one when I was eleven. She was six months pg when she m/c. So my heart goes out to you. I sort of understand the deep disapointment and sadness that goes along w/ an m/c from witnessing what my mom went through.
post #10 of 98
Aw, heck, it's ok, Heather

How could we know anything if we don't ask And I don't mind talking about it, much. I think it's better than pretending it didn't happen. It isn't comfortable, because it's sad, but I don't want to make anyone sad about it... Still awkward

ANYWAY, you didn't put your foot in your mouth. You're a sweet person. Sorry to cause you some distress

post #11 of 98
Thread Starter 
Thanks for allowing me to be so curious! I won't feel like a nosey neighbor now.
post #12 of 98
hi heather,
i was delighted to see this thread and read about the book group. i love the kabat-zinns' book! it's been a couple of years since i read it and i lent my copy out to a woman in my meditation group who's had it for over a year now. i'd like to join in your book discussion, if i can reclaim my copy and catch up to you all!
i'd also love to participate in this group. i'm a mom of 2 -- dd madeline born 1/99 and ds harrison 12/01. sahm. former journalist. very ocassional freelance writer. i've had a vipassana meditation practice for 5 or 6 years now and have really begun noticing major benefits, both general state of mind and spiritual, in the last year or two. i don't sit nearly as much right now, but i have gotten to the point where i can touch base with a sense of presence on and off during the day. doesn't sound like much but i was so unconscious before i started my practice. i like yoga, when i have time for it, and hiking. oh, and i have a great husband who doesn't sit but will read a bit of my meditation/dharma books and is always willing and interested in discussing it with me.
you might be interested to visit the real life with a toddler board, where we are discussion what is essentially mindful parenting, though i didn't really label it as such, because i wasn't sure other folks would recognize the term. silly me.:
well, don't have time to talk much but i'm very happy to find your thread!
post #13 of 98
Thread Starter 
Yeah! A former writer in our group, that's read the book, and likes spiritual books. What an honor! Welcome to our group! Please join the book discussion, if you have time and get the book. We always welcome different viewpoints.
post #14 of 98
jumping in from the book club to lend my support to the new "shoot" that grew from the original post. you remember that post? breathe? something like "can i get deep for a moment?".

gotta love how it has all progressed.

briefly to the newcomers:

i am wahm mom and 4 hours work out of home mom. ds stays w/dh while i am away, so ds is f/t home either way. i benefit from daily conscious practice by reading this book and meditating.

i am good at reminding myself daily of what is important, but still working on balancing all of those important things- kwim? i love parenting, and my career, and my dh, and my sanity. to have them all is a juggling act, but well worth the effort.

post #15 of 98
Thread Starter 
Hi, Mamakarata! Thanks for your support over here. You are one busy mama! But it sounds like you are a very 'mindful' one. At least from what you posted, anyway, but I'm sure you're awesome!
post #16 of 98
A quick hello to those of you I haven't "met" through the book club -

I'm a working mom who got to stay at home f/t with ds from his birth (11/4/01) to the end of August. It was a blast, but it's good to be working, too. As a musician, I am what I do and vice-versa. More on that another time.

Love the book, although I haven't finished it. Wishing for more mindfulness all the time with dh as well as with ds, and always working through the baggage of family and childhood.

Looking forward to your posts!
post #17 of 98
I don't think that I am a mindful parent, but I want to be. I typically don't enjoy being pg, so maybe this will help! I will look for the book, and be back to learn!
post #18 of 98
Thread Starter 
Hi, Momcat! O.k., what does momcat mean? I know Mamakarata is into karate, but I haven't been able to figure out momcat. My name is easy and plain! MCD is the only board/chat I've ever been on and I just signed up with "Heather in Iowa" before thinking into a name. I knew I was a "mothering" kind of mom and I would fit in here. I would have thought you'd be "musicmom" more than a "momcat." Can't wait to hear more mindful stuff from you.

Ds is getting over his cold, dh and I are not going to get sick (we hope), and it is darned cold here this week!! I hope you are all having a great week and not knee deep in snow (unless you are having fun in it).

P.S. We are on Part II and Part III in the book club. There are ten parts to the book and almost 400 pages. So if you want to join the discussion that's where we are at and we welcome new comers. The link to the book club thread is on the 1st post to this thread.
post #19 of 98
Thread Starter 
Hi, G-Dawg! I was typing my post and when I finally submitted it, there you were! Welcome and don't worry...we all have to start somewhere...why not here! We're glad you want to join us!
post #20 of 98

can i join anyways?

Oh, dang, I keep forgetting to get this book! I live overseas and save up all of my books for one seldom shipping from the states. I keep forgetting to put this book on my shopping list, which is ironic because it's the one I've been wanting to read the most.

In any case, I really would love the support of others on a similar path. Dh and I have been practicing zen for a few years, a lovely practice, truly changing us in subtle and wondrously ordinary ways. I am so wanting to read this book and chat with all of you because it makes much sense to me to incorporate zen practice into parenting. I just want some details on this process and some friends along the way.

Love and Blessings.
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