Learning How To Be A Mindful Mom

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I have been wanting to sign up for Mommy Mundo’s Mindful Mom Re-treat ever since it started. However, I always had conflict of schedules with the previous sessions. So when I saw the schedule of the last run for this year, I grabbed the opportunity and signed up for the afternoon session.

I was so happy that I was able to attend because this is what I needed at this point in time as I am feeling burnt out already. I’ve been doing so much in so little time that I was no longer getting anything done at all. I’m already exhausted but I still keep pushing because at the back of my mind, I needed to do this. I think I programmed myself this way. LOL! But really, this was the breather that I needed.

Back when I was not yet a mom, I would say that I was the epitome of work-hard-play-harder person. I work for more than the required hours a day and enjoy it, too. But come the weekend, I splurge on myself by having massage and spa sessions, drinking fancy coffee, meeting up with friends and all that. Those activities seem so normal that I’ve never really given it much thought.

When I became a mom, I no longer find time to do these really simple things. My days are now divided between my job, my son, my household and all other myriads of things that I need to take care of. The load is way too much that I have been feeling the stress getting to me and could no longer be ignored.

Let’s admit it, being a mom, we always want to give our everything to our family. We worry about our kids too much, we always make sure that our family is properly fed and dressed, we always give them the things that they deserve. We always make sure our houses are clean and tidy and organized and worthy of an Instagram post. We manage the family’s finances, we train the house helps to do certain things that way we wanted things to be done. And if it is not to our satisfaction, we re-do all the things they did while muttering under our breath that we are wasting our time. LOL!

This may or may not be an exaggeration but really, once we become a mom, we tend to be perfectionists. Right? And not only that, we have mastered being a multitasking perfectionist. And in doing so, we forget to leave a little something for ourselves.

mindful mom_juggle

But there lies the first issue. In the midst of juggling all the million little things that we’ve set to accomplish, where do we leave ourselves? Do we have time to dedicate just for us, moms? Do we give ourselves a few minutes to just breathe and smell the roses, so to speak? To listen to our own thoughts and not thinking about the list of to-do things that we have yet to tick off the list?

Why are we in a hurry? 

mindful mom_dress slowly

This is a powerful quote that made an impact to me personally. For the past several years, I have forgotten to slow down. I always have this invisible timeline that I needed to follow. A timeline that was actually impossible to stick to since I never gave myself room for delays. The more that I try to do all the things in my list, the more that nothing gets accomplished.

In short, I was always in a hurry, I was always cramming. I had plan A but always wanted to have plans B to Z as back ups, just in case plan A messes up (which really doesn’t, 98% of the time). I have been creating unnecessary stress for myself and it doesn’t help the people around me. Why was I hurrying? It was a question asked during the workshop. Why, indeed? Damn if I knew.

Of image and perfection

I mentioned perfection. As moms, we always want to have that picture-perfect-all-clean-and-sparkly house, perfectly dressed kids, perfectly prepared meals. We always aim for perfection for everything that we do for our family.

Then we see someone else being better at it and then we ask, “how to be you?”. We envy people that do better housekeeping that we do, dresses their kids to the nines for just a walk in the park and all that. Yes, an exaggeration, but you get the picture. And then we try to emulate those people and when we fail, we penalize ourselves for failing.

But one thing we forget is that every person has something they are good at and there are things that they need help on. This applies to moms, too. Instead of asking how to be someone else, why can’t we ask ourselves how to be us instead? Why don’t we try to give ourselves a pat on the back for being good at something?

As individuals, we have to accept that we are not perfect. And if we learn to accept our own imperfections, it will be easier to be mindful and tolerant about the imperfections of our family and other people or circumstances.

Why are we setting very high standards for ourselves anyway that, at the back of our minds, we know that we will fail?

Going back to square one

Back in high school, we had to write an essay entitled, “Who am I?”. Back then, I thought it was just an activity. This should be a question that we ask ourselves every so often to gauge where we are in life. When I was not yet a Mom, I didn’t really think of asking myself  this question. There were a few times that I did but pushed it back to the darkest corners of my brain. And I think by doing so, I started to lose a little bit of myself in the process. There was a time when all I knew was work and trying to build a career. Even my Mom was worrying about me. She kept on scolding me and reminding me that I am not a machine.

We need to spend some time to get to know ourselves. To reconnect, to touch base, to ask ourselves if we are still okay. Being a Mom is already tough so let’s not make it a lot tougher by trying to be someone else. We really won’t be happy in the end.

I once come across a quote that says, “Learn to love yourself for you to be able to love others.” Or something to that effect. If we don’t know how to love ourselves, how can we say that we love others? How can we say that we love our kids, our husbands, our family, our friends, when we don’t even know how to love ourselves?

What now?

We need to stop, take in a deep breath, sit back, relax and smell the roses. Even if that would only be for 5 minutes. Leave the pile of laundry, leave the dishes in the sink and go for a walk or get a manicure and/or pedicure. Go get that well-deserved massage. Get your hair done. If you have the budget, go buy something for yourself and not feel guilty about it.

We need to learn how to not feel guilty for giving ourselves a well-deserved treat once in a while. We need to learn how not to lose ourselves in all the checklists that we have. Once in a while, we need to take off the Mommy hat and wear the Me hat so we can reconnect with who we really are.

We need to learn to appreciate our strengths and not dwell on what we are not good at. We need to give ourselves a pat on the back for achieving even the smallest of accomplishment because after all, it is still an accomplishment. Let’s learn to be easy on ourselves. We make mistakes, yes, but we need not crucify ourselves for not being able to cook a perfect omelet in the morning. Besides, we know how to perfectly iron that white uniform that our kids wear to school. As Scarlet O’Hara said in Gone With The Wind, “After all… tomorrow is another day”. We have tomorrow to practice and hone the skills that we want to learn and be good at. But we also need to remember to stop comparing ourselves to others. Because nothing good will ever come out of it anyway.


At the end of the workshop, we were given a homework. Three vision boards that will help determine who we are for us to appreciate what we have and what we are capable of, what we want to achieve, and what are plans will be. Apart from that, I have been reviewing the activity sheets that we have done during the workshop and trying to list down more and making a clearer picture of what my roadblocks are, what I envision for my family, who am I at this point in time and I am including the changes from who I thought I was before.

The workshop has actually given me a starting point and I am now trying to find me again in all the chaos of my everyday life. It’s not going to be an easy process. It will be a long, painful and tedious process but I know and I truly believe that if I am able to finish this, I will be able to handle everything else in a better way.

Right now, I am trying to answer the question, “how to be me?” instead of “how to be you?”. I am listing down the things that I am good at because it seems that I am good at something. My planner is now being filled with realistic goals for each week. And I am now trying to find time to spend with just myself – not thinking about work, not thinking about finances, not thinking about housework, but just thinking about me.


The Mindful Mom Re-treat has given more than what I expected. So many learning, so many realizations, so many opportunities that I was able to take away from the 3-hour session. And I would definitely recommend this to every Moms out there. Because, seriously, we all need this! 🙂

mindful mom_speaker
With Ms. Ichel Santos Aglinay – Registered Guidance Counselor and Parenting, Relationship, and Family Life Specialist and one of Mommy Mundo’s resident experts who facilitated the workshop

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  1. What I like most about Mommy Mundo’s Mindful Mom Retreat is that this time, it focuses on us, moms. Diba? Kasi usually tayo ang care giver, this time its us that are taken care off, and for that, I really thank Mommy Janice for putting up a venue to help mom retreat; and I have to agree, it’s like helping us create an outline to balance everything out and in the end, keeping us away from stress if not insanity, while being contented and satisfied.

  2. Thanks for sharing this, Liz. I would love to attend but I saw the invite late na. Sana sa next run nandon ako. Tama, we shouldn’t feel guilty if we want to give ourselves a little reward after working hard. It’s important that we take a step back and breathe, evaluate and just enjoy the moment.

  3. I would love to attend something like this. Need to find the time to get away from things and set my priorities and goals. Lately, I’ve been distracted by so many things that I find it hard to truly enjoy moments. =(

  4. I love retreats. It helps us recharge. We are not machines. We need rest even for a day or just hours for our “me” time. =) It was a great retreat!! =)

  5. I was able to attend the 2nd batch! I looooove this re-treat session. Parang after I attended the event, I am a renewed person. Hahaha! But to be a mindful mom will take a lot of time and effort talaga. I would love to attend another re-treat when time permits. Kahit pa same session with what I had before. I might bring my BFF with me as I know she’ll greatly benefit from this. 🙂

  6. Great key points, made me assess myself now lol! Hopefully I would be able to join din, here’s a virtual hug to you mommy for doing a great job. 😊

  7. The retreat seems like a great idea! Being a mom can be exhausting and I agree that we need to remove the Mommy hat sometimes and give time to ourselves 🙂 nice post!

  8. Amen! When I was a new mum, I was a poster girl for Sanctimummies. I forced myself to do what mums are expected to do – breastfeeding, cloth diapering, going all natural – and while they were all good, sometimes I just did them out of pressure. Now I’m learning to choose my battles. We’re all doing a good job!

  9. Im reading your post while sipping a cup of coffee here in the nearest coffee shop in our area. I guess, I learned to slow down a little bit. We moms need to take care of ourselves so that we can give more to others. Kaya minsan dont feel guilty to have a me time once in a while. Nice post!

    1. Thanks! 🙂 And I agree, we as moms should stop feeling guilty and start feeling good about ourselves. 🙂 With that said, I’m getting that long overdue massage this weekend! 😀

  10. You know what, we are all so consumed with work and responsibilities, that we really do forget to stop and smell the roses! Good for you to be able to squeeze in this retreat in your schedule. We all need refreshing and recharging from time to time. See you soon!

  11. Thanks for sharing about your experience during the Mindful mum retreat sis! I saw this invite but sadly I’m not available. We mums, we always take a good look in ourselves, we must have time for ourselves and be real in what we are.

  12. This is one of the few talks I would want to attend. Unfortunately, my schedule wouldnt permit me to do so. Anyway, thank you for sharing some of your thoughts. Somehow, not attending it wasnt that saddening anymore.as there are moms like you who are willing to share their experiences and thoughts.

  13. I have also been wanting to attend this workshop since I read about it in another blog. I find their topics very timely and interesting. Giving time for activities such as this will not only benefit ourselves but also our families in the long run, that we ought to allot time for it, too. I sure hope I can join one of their workshops next year.

  14. Super inspiring re-treat ha? It’s what I also learned from previous events na we also need to take care of ourselves. Problema ko din yan na sa sobrang dame kong gustong gawin, super fast pace na lahat. So once in a while hindi naman siguro masama na paminsan minsan eh ipamper natin ang mga sarili natin. Because we definitely deserve it. And makakatulong din to pra lalo nating maalagaan ang family natin. Way to go mommy!

  15. Moms in this day and age are so lucky to be having tons of support and encouragement like this. I also attended one of their batches for Mindful Mom Retreat and everything made sense. I’m working on the homework given to us, and I hope I get to reflect on a regular basis.

  16. I’m one guilty momma of putting myself at the bottom of my priority lists. Your post sounds so refreshing how much more if we moms, will attend the workshop ourselves. I will put attending mindful retreat on my personal goals for next year. Thank you for sharing sis.

  17. I think all moms can relate to this! I feel so hurried also and I feel that I’m being pulled in so many places that I cannot give my best. I hope to be able to attend such a retreat in the future. 🙂

  18. We need these constant reminders. Life especially a mommy life gets so hectic and though it’s everything I want and nothing I would change there are still many things to aspire to. I’d love to join this retreat sometime.

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