I had the privilege of attending the first ever run of Mommy Mundo‘s Mindful Mom Re-Treat back in January 30, 2016. For those of you who don’t know, The Mindful Mom Re-Treat gives moms time to quiet their minds, freeing it from everyday struggles and concerns. A community event focused on refreshing, re-energizing, and re-centering modern mamas, the Mindful Mom Re-Treat take moms to a sanctuary of peace in order to think about something they oftentimes forget: her self.
I, for one, have done therapy before for some psychological disorders I was diagnosed with during my time in college. But nothing has ever prepared me for what being a mom would be. Sure, moms have their usual lists, reminders, and even notes on what to do to survive this world… but at the same time, there are questions running through her head. In my case, I always ask myself the following:
- Will I ever be a good enough mother for my son?
- Will working and providing for my family take a toll on how my relationship with my son and hubby be?
- Will I ever get myself out of this weird thing I’m feeling? (And by “weird”, I mean that feeling when you love being a mom, yet something in you feels like you’re missing something)
- When will I be able to reach my own dreams? Will I also be handcuffed to the demands of motherhood? What if I run out of time?
A day in my life is like this in a nutshell:
When I’m going to the office…
Wake up – change Ynigo’s diapers – check emails /work while in the bathroom – leave for work – work – eat – work – eat – drive back home – hug my boys – eat dinner together – prepare Ynigo for bedtime – watch Patrick N Friends / Baby Einstein / Magic School Bus until 11pm – put Ynigo to sleep – check on my personal things – cuddle time with le hubby – sleep.
Or when I’m working at home…
Wake up – change Ynigo’s diapers – work while in bathroom – feed Ynigo – work – give Ynigo a bath – work – eat – work while playing with Ynigo in the room – bring Ynigo outside the house while working – merienda – eat dinner together – go outside to exercise – prepare Ynigo for bedtime – watch Patrick N Friends / Baby Einstein / Magic School Bus until 11pm – put Ynigo to sleep – check on my personal things – exercise (cause I’m trying to get thin again) – cuddle time with le hubby – sleep.
My world revolves around caring for my son, and Bobby. When you’re yaya-less, the eldest in the family, and a working mom, grabe the responsibilities. Minsan nakakaloka talaga kasi feeling mo wala ka nang oras para sa sarili mo. Kahit weekends, kain na kain parin dahil sa at para sa ibang tao. My routine can be exhausting. But that’s why I joined the Mindful Mom Re-Treat: so I can recalibrate myself in another way of thinking…. in a more optimistic and practical way of handling my issues, my feelings, my stresses in life.
Mommy Mundo’s Mindful Mom Re-Treat
Through a series of activities to be facilitated by Michele S. Alignay, MA, Registered Family Psychologist and mom of two, moms who join will gain a more insightful knowledge of herself, allowing her to identify the things most important to her as well as the factors hindering her from achieving her life goals. In fact, I discovered so many things myself when I joined.
The first ever Mindful Mom Re-Treat had mommy participants embracing it wholeheartedly, saying that it is exactly what they need to give their lives more balance and direction. It is a takeoff from the Mommy Mundo Mom Manifesto Campaign in 2015, which was created and conceptualized by Mommy Mundo Founder Janice Villanueva together with Alignay, in collaboration with Mommy Mundo Web Content Head, Jing Lejano. To be quite frank, there aren’t any “mom retreats” made — unless you’re doing life coaching or doing focus group discussions with people who are in need of help (and/or a psychologist). Yes, there may be workshops that allow moms to relax, pursue their hobbies, or just to distract them from the stress their kids (or husbands) are giving. But the Mindful Mom Re-Treat was designed to discover a mom’s different layers…. reaching the very core of what that particular individual is made out of, and seeing how it can help that person take motherhood in a more intentional and mindful manner.
During the session, we were asked to go through a series of modules that tackle different aspects of our lives as moms. From charting my daily realities, to asking myself “Who really am I” then ending with how I could be a more mindful mom, I realized that I am not doomed when I became a mom. Yes, life became a bit more complicated, and it put me through so much challenges – physically, emotionally and mentally. But I don’t stop here.
I learned that:
- Self-acceptance may be hard to do, but it’s a big step in being more mindful about yourself and the people you love. I always had a hard time loving myself, and I usually pull myself down. I’m insecure and I always feel like there’s always going to be a better mom, a better person than me. But you have to realize that bringing yourself down won’t bring you anywhere else but down. Sometimes a little “thank you” to yourself goes a long way. Love yourself – your assets, your values, your imperfections.
- Being busy shouldn’t stop you from striving for what you want. You may think as a mom, kulang pa ang 24-oras sa isang araw. However, if you plot your day differently, and be more intentional with the things you do, being busy shouldn’t be an excuse to stop you from your dreams. If your dream is to be a stay-at-home mom (like myself), sure you may have to work for a few years, but in that time, start saving, spend your money wisely so you can do something from home without having to compromise anything. If you want to be a full time mama explorer, same thing: Save money – use your time wisely (don’t do unnecessary things, or spend on tasks for too long) – then when you’ve made enough, go travel!
- Your kids will love you no matter what. I know in my heart that despite Ynigo not seeing me everyday (especially last year when I was in telco), his love for me won’t change. I just have to really allot time in making him feel like my attention’s all on him. This means unplugging from technology, and just playing and cuddling with him. Basta, mahal na mahal ka ng anak mo kahit nakakaguilty na wala ka palagi sa paligid nya. Nandun ka naman sa puso nya eh.
The Mindful Mom Retreat changed my life, tbh. I even talked about my experience during Expo Mom Manila last year! I guess I’m just grateful to have seen other moms, and know that I’m not going through these things alone. I love how the program was able to strip me down to my core and helped me reflect on how I can grow into a much better and whole person.
To those who haven’t been to one, Mommy Mundo is having on January 28, 2017 at Earth Kitchen, Bonifacio Global City. You may join the AM (9-12nn) or PM (130-430pm) session. You may check out http://mommymundo.com/mindfulmomretreats/ for more information on how to register! The reg fee of P 800 comes with light snacks and workshop materials already!!
Hope to see you there!!!