I have a mommy mantra.

You know, that little pep talk you give yourself to stay centered and, well, sane.

What’s the mantra I hear in my head throughout the day?

Pay attention.

Pay attention. Pay attention, Christa! This short phrase snaps me out of my day dreaming and dilly-dallying. It keeps me in the moment and focused on the task at hand.

A natural planner, I’m often distracted and not very present, even when I’m spending time with my daughter. With my wandering mind always trying to be two steps ahead, I’m my worst enemy when trying to keep the joy in my days and the time I have with Nora. By reminding myself to pay attention, I’m brought back to the moment and away from drafting the grocery list in my head or worrying about squeezing a load of laundry in between bath time and getting a bit of work done in the evening.

My mommy mantra also helps me when I’m at work, reminding me of the job I’m doing – pay attention! – and freeing me from worrying about whether I packed a pair of pajamas for my in-laws to use or if I reminded my husband to make sure she got her yogurt at dinner time. Because I can’t be a good mother or a good worker if neither has my complete attention when appropriate.

This hasn’t always been my mantra. In those early days before we got the hang of breast-feeding, and I wasn’t sure if I could continue, my mantra was, Just once more. What got me through all those sleepless nights? It’s okay to survive another day on coffee.

I’m certain my mommy mantra will change again and again as Nora grows and parenting presents new challenges.

What’s your mommy mantra?

 

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