By Anasua Chakrabarti Roy Psychologist, Psychotherapist & Founder at Mum Ok Baby Ok. April 7 , 2015
It is a known fact that attachment between mum and baby encompasses a very deep emotional bond. Over many years, research has shown how consistent Caregiving and emotional availability of parents are vital towards helping babies become emotionally secure. More recently in my psychology practice and in my own journey as a mum, I have found incredible benefits in knowing and sharing the concept of mindfulness based Parenting and how that relates to achieving loving attachment a mum desires with her precious baby. I wanted to elaborate Mindfulness using the concept of conscious parenting by Eckhardt Tolle; well known Counselor and spiritual teacher and author of the book “The new Earth”(2005) .
In chapter on role playing in the New Earth, Tolle writes that “ A Child has a deep longing for the parent to be there as a human being, not as a role, no matter how conscientiously the role is being played.” As mums, we tend to get caught up with routines, tidiness and discipline and then often miss out on the experience of BEING with baby. For instance, massaging your baby is not just an action good for your baby’s physical development, but it’s also an EXPERIENCE OF CONNECTING with your baby, engaging your senses of looking, smiling at your baby while showing care through gentle touch. All this add to you being more mindfully aware of the loving bond that you are in together.
According to Tolle “Doing is never enough if you neglect BEING. One will only lose oneself in doing.” Since doing seems never enough, it will only re-affirm our worries about whether we are good enough as a parent. As a result, we develop more anxiety about losing control and get more into doing in order to keep the control which becomes a vicious unhelpful cycle. I am sure this is a familiar feeling you have experienced at least once being a mum if not several times.
How is it then possible to bring in this Being when you are pressed with time and 24 hrs in still inadequate?? Tolle talks about giving your child formless attention. He further writes “As you look at, listen to, touch, or help your child with or that, you are alert, still completely present, to wanting anything other than that moment as it is. In this way, you make room for Being”.
He further writes “In that moment, if you are present, you are not a mother. You are alertness, the stillness, the presence that is listening, looking, touching, even speaking.” In other words, engaging our senses in the here and now, focusing our thoughts and experience fully in the moment rather than the past or the future. “You are the Being behind the doing”.
How do you then make the doing activities which are also essential for running your family more mindfully based? Being aware of this choice of being conscious is in itself LIBERATING. Choosing certain tasks in experiencing mindfully during the day which are your regular routine tasks will increase your presence in parenting.
For me choosing organic for my little one and making changing in my life into creating an organic sustainable lifestyle has served an significant role of making mindful parenting choices. Its been my “Being behind the doing”. For instance, I am now more mindfully aware of BEING PRESENT in two key experiences of meal times and night time routines with my son. Engaging more fully while he is eating my freshly cooked organic food or playfully engaging with him at bath time in his organic bath, soothing him slowly in calm organic wrap and skincare,
My Being with him is in the nourishment and comforting process that settles him. In engaging with his in these activities, I am Being fully aware of the experience and the organic products I am using in caring for him. Another example is when we read a bed time story together. It’s not just about words, but his expression, his glance, his excitement of knowing a new word, touch and feel of his hands and his soft kisses savours the presence for me in that moment!!!
While we lead busy households, have busy work roles and high routine demands to keep us going, we may not always be aware to be mindfully BE. However, as long as we consciously make this choice for many of the experiences through the day, our parenting relationship will experience more connection, compassion and love.
Starting today, Just BE and BRAID YOUR SELF SPIRITUALLY WITH YOUR LITTLE ONE!!!
Anasua Chakrabarti Roy, Psychologist, Psychotherapist & Founder at Mum Ok Baby Ok