Meet Jennie! She is an Arizona native and yoga instructor with two adorable little boys. We hope you have fun reading her posts!
Have you ever woken up in the morning and cheerfully thought, “This is going to be a great day!”? Then your kids wake up and they have all their demands. Or your kids won’t wake up, and now you’re behind schedule. Either way your great day seems to be starting off on the wrong foot, and your cheerful attitude might be turning a little sour. Making it a practice to start off the day by setting an intention might not stop the kids from having one hundred and one demands or refusing to wake up on time, but it will help set the tone to your day. Setting a daily intention helps us navigate through the wilderness of raising children. Or maybe it’s our own visions and goals we are putting into fruition when an intention is set. Think of it as laying out a road map for where you want your day to go.
What I’m talking about here is not a to-do list of things that we intend to get done.
For example, I intended to run the vacuum today, but that just didn’t happen. Setting an intention is not a list of chores. Nor is it making general statements like, “I intend to have a great day.” There’s not enough accountability there. To set an intention, it takes a moment to get quiet with yourself. Try to shut off the noise and the distractions, as best as possible and listen to that inner calling. Ask yourself, “What do I need in this day to be the best mom/person I can be?” As a yoga teacher, I often invite students in my class to set an intention for their yoga practice. I ask them to consider what quality or virtue they would like to invite in to their life. Or perhaps it’s a feeling or emotion they would like to release. Maybe what’s needed today is what lacked yesterday.
I recently had a moment where I got frustrated with my older son for simply being an energetic preschooler. My baby was crying from being tired and overstimulated by all of his brother’s “hey-mommy-watch-this” stunts that he wouldn’t nurse to go to sleep. I was preoccupied with reading about the Olympics and ended up snapping at Big Brother, telling him to go to another room. I knew that it was my lack of presence that made the bomb go off. Which of course, made me (and Big Brother) feel awful. That next morning, after sitting quietly (actually, standing and brushing my teeth), I asked myself what I needed to make our day great. The answer was undoubtedly that I needed to focus mindfully on being present and engaging for my family and less time scrolling.
Truth be told, it’s hard work to be 100% successful at carrying out an intention for the day.
Let me tell you, I personally rarely nail it. But at the end of the day there’s an opportunity once again to get quiet with yourself and ask the question, without imposing judgment, “How did I do?” Maybe the intention remains the same for the next day. And the next. Maybe the intention remains the same for as many days are needed until it feels right. Setting an intention for the day is a practice. While there’s that old saying, “practice makes perfect,” in cases like this, cases of human nature, it rarely does. And that’s OK, mommas. It’s the mindfulness behind the intention that matters most. Along with allowing for a huge margin of grace.