Photography by Eva Maria Smith Photography.
One thing I wanted to write about a little bit before I had our third baby how I was able to live a more mindful life for myself and my family. One may think that it comes with your first baby and you got it down, but with this being my 4th pregnancy (2nd resulted in miscarriage – which in itself teaches you so much about yourself) I can see that it is a journey that definitely evolves.
This pregnancy, as described in a blog post a few weeks ago about making time for self-care as a mama, showed me how important it became to be more mindful. Mindful about how I spend my time, with whom I spend my time, what makes my body feel good – and then allowing mostly these things to take place so that when the negatives (that inevitably will occur) are easier for me to handle. Furthermore, I attempted to draw away from mainstream media to educate myself about pregnancy and childbirth but more towards a supportive community, midwifes, an ob-gyn supportive of my choices, and alternative ways to spend the time pre and postpartum.
Here are a few aspects of how I make an effort to make mindful life choices during pregnancy:
- Meditation: I am very mindful about a slow yoga and meditation practice – because I realize how good it makes me feel. I am a very creative and high spirited person and need to know what helps me to slow down. I must say that along with taking the time to prepare meals (I love spending time in the kitchen cooking) it is slow yin yoga and meditation that has helped me tremendously these past months. I am now able to meditate not only during a class but when I have just 5-10 min during my day. I am able to refocus on slow and steady breathing.
- Positive People / Positive Energy: One of the things that helped me the most this time around is to only surround myself with people who make me feel good. You still meet the ones that aren’t doing this so it helps to see positive people more often. When I decide who I spend my time with I am being very mindful about the effects it may have on my mental state. Pregnancy, for many women, is a very intense time highlighted by sensitivity, increased awareness, and new interests and explorations which some people cannot relate to. If I feel like the vibe between me and another person is not right, I am now better able to distance myself, speak with, spend time with, or learn from people that I get a “feel good sense” from.
- Rest: I rest a lot these days. While I focused more on rest I have realized that I get even more done. Seems contrary but it is true. I know that life once we have our third will be very different and I want to learn to listen to my body when it needs to rest – which right now, is a lot. In our home even when we don’t nap, after lunch, we take a rest time. For my 8 year old it is a time that is very productive creatively in his own room – this is rest for him. For me right now it is either taking a 1h nap with my daughter, sitting and reading a book, or knitting. I try not to work on the computer during rest time and do things that make me a positive role model for my children.
What being mindful meant to me. Mindful about the food I eat and prepare, sewing simple and organic clothing for baby, creating garments with my children, preparing herbal teas and salves, making simple toys, and knitting things for baby.
- Good Food: Our family spends a lot of time preparing meals from scratch. We have always done so, but with our frequent moves and getting used to new stores and a new country it sometimes takes a while to get back into this rhythm. Preparing and taking the time to cook has helped me a lot. I am mindful what goes into my body to nourish my baby and my body to prepare it for the birth of our third child. Adjusting my diet with as few carbohydrates as possible no sugars other than fruit has helped me tremendously to feel fit mentally and physically without a vigorous exercise routine.
- Rhythm: As described in the post about my self-care practices as a mama, establishing a rhythm of time for myself (spa, nature walks, yoga) has helped me to get more done. As a wife and mother along with working woman creating Kinderbonnets, hosting Aloha Workshop Gatherings, and writing this blog – being mindful about our families rhythm has helped me to achieve more. Keeping things simple and simplistic helps in decluttering your and your children’s schedule. Furthermore, my husband and I have paid more attention to conversations about making time for himself and the dates for the coming week thus allowing for quality time together and alone for each one of us.
- Simplicity: Another important, certainly not last point is to distance myself from the media and news cycle to be able to listen to who you really are and what you can be for your baby. Keep it SIMPLE. Pregnancy brings out many beautiful new interests and for me this time it was diving into herbalism, organizing gatherings in my local community, and figuring out what we truly need for the new baby while keeping it as simple, low cost, and handmade as possible.
I researched about what baby and I need mostly leading up to and after birth and for me it is a supportive birth environment. This includes a supportive care team of midwife, ob-gyn, and a supportive community of friends and family who help in any way. Being mindful about what baby needs isn’t necessarily all about new gadgets and clothes but quality hand me downs, a small and simple wardrobe, and education about breastfeeding – the most natural way to feed your baby, cloth diapering – low environmental impact, the importance of gathering in support for the new mama, post part preparations, and a few pieces of organic / warm fiber (wool, silk) clothing to dress baby and mama after birth. I noticed that focusing on the points above allowed me to find ways to make things myself or that most of what I need is right here in my local community.
I will share a few of these choices in blog posts throughout the next months. Its been nice to take advantage of locally made wool/silk and organic cotton clothing, toys, a woven basket crib, yarn (for knitting), and local food for new mama and baby.
Here are a few of the topics: Postpartum Care for Mama, Knitting for your new Baby (with Pixie Bonnet instructions), Handmade toys for Baby, Making a changing pad for Baby, Creating a Simple Wardrobe for Baby.
Thank you for reading
About the Author: Sabine Bryant is the designer and creator of Kinderbonnets. She currently resides in Germany with her family of soon to be 5. Aloha Werkstatt Blog shares her inspiration for Kinderbonnets, environmentally friendly life choices, and creative craft projects inspired by the simplicity of nature, and love for gathering amongst women and families of young children – to inspire a sense of self-sufficiency, creativity, and less materialism.