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Buddhism For Mothers: Buddhism and Motherhood

April 16, 2012

Hello and welcome to the first Oh Baby O read-along!  I’ve been giving a lot of thought as to how to host this read-along.  Rather than reiterate what we’ve read, I think it’s best for us to simply discuss the points that resonate most with us.

Something I’ve been thinking about during my postpartum time is the concept of “ideal motherhood”.  What does a state of “ideal motherhood” look like?

When I think of “ideal motherhood”, I think of a state of calm and presence, a mother who is both mentally as well as physically present.  Keeping this in mind, I find myself particularly drawn to the idea of Buddhist practices offering mothers a way to achieve a sense of calm that will permit them to actually experience their own lives, to be present for them.

Although I strive everyday to live mindfully, I must admit to being distracted by my own thoughts.  Like so many other mothers I know, I’m often worrying about things that have not happened and probably never will.  While this is certainly part of being a mother, it’s also distracting and quite useless.  With practice, I’m discovering that if I’m able to merely acknowledge my thoughts and concerns (without judgement) rather than try to push them away, it is easier to let them go and allow myself to be in the now.  It’s liberating, really.  (I touched on this recently here.)

Which parts of this chapter did you reflect on most?  What does “ideal motherhood” look like to you?

P.S.  How is this pace?  Does one chapter each week work for everyone?  Is it too slow?
Also, for anyone that might be interested, it’s not too late to join in!

8 Comments leave one →
  1. nancy permalink
    April 16, 2012 10:09 pm

    One part of the chapter that stuck out to me was how we become more sensitive to our surrounding world once we have children! How we see a criminal or complete stranger that has been hurt, and we see them as some mothers child and it just sticks us right in the heart! The ideal motherhood to me looks like a mother who is giving their children much needed attention, and very focused on what the task is at hand, and not distracted by the chaos that life can be. A mother who listens before reacting to soon, and of course full of love and tenderness! A mother who is not prefect but is confident, and a person who can be completely trusted!
    Since I began reading this book, I have been trying to be mindful, and to be present, and I have really noticed one thing about myself which is I tend to hang out more in the clouds than anywhere else. I take way too many mental vacations and am missing out on way to much. I also took a walk alone for the first time in a very long time and took advantage of practicing being in the moment and it was awsome! I cant wait to retake that walk to feel it all over again and compare it to the first time I went! At every chance I remember I try to be here in the present, especially with my children!
    I really enjoy this book, and I think so far this is a great speed. It gives me time to digest everything that I have read and to think about how it makes me feel, and also time to look back if need be.
    Thanks for such an awsome idea and I am very excited about this!

    • April 18, 2012 8:51 am

      Hi Nancy!
      Thank you for you’re thoughtful response. I’m thrilled that you’re enjoying this book so much!
      I totally agree with your observations. I was shocked at how much becoming a mother opens you up to “mothering” in a very broad sense as well! To be honest, I’ve had to learn to not be tempted by overly negative or sensationalized media. It does nothing but upset me and make me fearful, which is *not* something I want to invite into my home. I pretty much only get my news from listening to NPR these days. Something about listening to it as opposed to watching it (we don’t have cable anyway), makes it easier to digest what is being said and makes facts more accessible as opposed to nonsense and drama for the sake of ratings and promoting a fear-based society. I also feel as though NPR has a better reputation for reporting without so much sensationalism, but that may be my own bias speaking. ;)
      Thanks again and I can’t wait to hear your thoughts next week!
      PS Enjoy those walks! Sounds lovely♥

  2. April 19, 2012 10:58 pm

    I really enjoyed how the author admits to be a mother just like us, not a buddist expert. It instantly made me feel more comfortable and open to her suggestions. In the first chapter I was most drawn to her focus on self-reliance. I identified with the loneliness she describes and appreciated that the solution can be found within ourselves. I also picked up on her description of the ideal mother and I like the idea of imagining what my own ideal would be. Really taking the time to paint that picture makes it more real and worth striving for. I wish to be more present and more patient. I also want to be the kind of mom who is quick to smile and laugh and goof off. I really need to be less anxious in order to become this kind of mom. I look forward to reading more!

    • April 23, 2012 8:09 pm

      Hi Carla!
      I also appreciate that the author admits to being “ordinary” (I think that was the word she used). This approach and writing style definitely makes the material in the book more accessible!
      I think a lot of mothers can relate to the feeling of isolation that sometimes accompanies motherhood (maybe especially for moms that stay-at-home?)… This is one reason I know many of us are grateful for community found online.

  3. May 3, 2012 9:03 am

    I’d love to join in! I recently picked up the book and have read just into the second chapter. What chapter are you on now?

    • May 6, 2012 8:26 pm

      Hi Tiffany!
      We’d love to have you join! I’m going to put the post up for Ch.3 tomorrow and Ch. later in the week, maybe Wednesday. We’re going at a rate of a chapter each week but we’re doubling up this week since my family participated in Screen Free Week.
      Can’t wait to hear what you have to say!


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