Over the next few days, we will be sharing stories from the Brown Mamas’ community about how moms black moms are coping during COVID-19. Follow us with the #SheQuarantines or #BrownMamas.

by Shannon Musgrove

As a mama of a toddler, being grounded during the pandemic is oddly easier for me than when things were “normal.” Right now, I am reminded of the precious time I spent with my daughter during maternity leave. When I close my eyes I can still smell her newborn smell, recall the first time I heard her laugh, and vividly see her toothless gummy smile. Back then, my mind only had one job and that was to get to know and care for my new baby. 

It’s been two years since my maternity leave ended.  It’s been two years or worrying about missed deadlines, meetings, to-do lists, and other life stressors outside the home. When I returned to work, I entered a new role that required me to be emotionally available to college aged adults, and oftentimes I find myself drained from workplace microaggressions. Before quarantine, it wasn’t out of the ordinary for me to leave work  emotionally spent while trying to muster up leftover energy to pour into my partner and daughter. 

In fact, my favorite part of the day became bed time, because that was the only time during the day where I could peacefully be present with my daughter.

Shannon is the founder and director of SelfMaed that offers retreats and mindfulness coaching for women.

COVID-19 has changed all of that and has been a huge blessing to me. I have been taking full advantage of this beautiful moment of stillness. I can now return to a place of mindfulness that feels so natural and pure.

Mindfulness is a practice of being present in thought, feeling, and physical sensations – the experience of life as it is…in the present moment. The benefits of mindfulness as a grounding practice is that it allows us to not only experience life as it is happening, but it also allows us to become more aware of the thoughts that steal those precious moments. 

Since my quarantine, I have had beautiful moments of intentional mindful parenting. Rylee is in her curious two’s and is doing a whole lot of exploring…..her emotions, the world around her, and my boundaries (whew…deep breath). 

I am so extremely grateful to have mindful moments of teaching, observing, and guiding her growth. This stay-at-home experience was the reset I needed. I can see with clarity where to set healthy boundaries at work, the ever-changing needs of my daughter (moment to moment), and better self-care practices.

Mindful Meditation as a grounding activity can:

1. Reduce stress

2. Increase in positive emotions

3. Improve focus

4. Enhance self-awareness

5. Increase patience

Throughout my life I practice mindfulness, yoga, and meditation I even hold certifications in these areas; however, I didn’t make space for my own practice consistently. Grounding myself in my practice has been blissful and a blessing that cannot be measured. If you are interested in Mindfulness as a new skill set, I will be teaching a 4-week class starting May 8th. Details can be found on my website at www.selfmaed.com/resources

Resources during COVID-19.

Healthy Start Inc., of Allegheny County is offering free virtual doula support for Pittsburgh-area moms.

Brown Mamas’ Guide to DeSchooling

SelfMaed Retreats for women

Essential Worker? Exhausted? Read this

SheQuarantines

Muffy MendozaAuthor posts

Muffy Mendoza is an author, speaker and founder of Pittsburgh Brown Mamas, a support group for nearly 4,000 African-American moms in the Pittsburgh region. To further fill the void Muffy has created a line of educational products focused on helping Black moms be the best moms, too. Her first book, The Brown Mama Mindset: A Blueprint for Black Moms on Life, Love & Home, was featured at the 2018 Essence Festival and is currently sold in various cities across the U.S. Muffy champions the beauty of Black motherhood everywhere she goes, even on the TEDx stage. Find out more about Muffy on muffymendoza.com.

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