My best parenting has nothing to do with following rules. It comes from my heart, and I mean heart in the sense of both love and courage (couer/heart).
Whether I'm saying yes to something even though it makes me nervous or no so something that my kids will freak out about, parenting from the heart can be scary. That's one way that mindfulness helps me. It doesn't give me any simple answers, but it does help me to sort out the attachments, desires, fears, and worries that can be so confusing. With mindful awareness, I drop through layers of that stuff to get to a calmer, clearer, and wiser Self.
This doesn't guarantee a great (or even good) decision. Sometimes I sit and breathe and still don't know what's the best thing to do. Sometimes I still react impulsively even though I think I'm being mindful. But my practice and an engaged heart help me to do my best. And that is enough.
I offer this short practice, Mindfulness for Hard Times, as something that may help you settle if and when you're in a challenging moment.
I'm a mom, wife, daughter, friend, and teacher who has long struggled with the desire to be the perfect person I imagine that I should be. Practicing mindfulness helps me find peace with my imperfect journey--being with myself as I truly am, loving my family as they are, and showing up for a messy world with openness and compassion.