As a mom I'm finding the need for simple short practices that produce immediate tangible results. One of my big current goals is to learn how to be loving and kind to myself and my family -- especially when it's hard. Ah, especially when I'm angry. (Shouting is the New Spanking, if you know what I mean.)
These words by Doreen Fisher in a post titled Parenting in Awareness offer a daily practice that I find particularly do-able for a parent's schedule.
Every day I wake up and tell myself that I’m going to parent with love and patience and listen with an open heart. Every night I go to bed and forgive myself for anything that slipped through. And every day, I take responsibility for my actions, make amends for any actions or words that fall outside the scope of what I consider loving and gentle (holding myself to a high standard on that definition) and acknowledge to my children when it was me, not them, who brought out any transgression.
The beauty of intention-setting is that you don't have to figure anything out. You don't have to spend your days "trying harder". The energy of the intention you've set will literally guide you throughout the day, open opportunities to act with greater awareness which you might otherwise have missed. It's said that it takes 3 weeks to change a habit. If you decide to work with setting an intention for yourself, may I suggest that you work with it for at least 3 weeks. And if you miss practice a couple of days because you forgot -- or life just had other plans for you -- consider that part of practice as well. (Do continue to commit yourself to practice, however.)