Here's a question for you Moms: how often do you feel really present in the moment?
We live in a culture that often glorifies being busy, and this is a challenge for mothers especially. Whether we spend all day with our kids or a few hours in the evening, actually being there-- mentally-- can be a struggle. It often feels like there is no end to the demands that tug on us.
Yet it’s our presence that our children really want. It’s presence that makes us feel satisfied with the moments we do have to spend with our families. So how do we begin to create intentional presence, so we can soak up the beautiful moments and make the most of the time we have with our kids?
When you’re out doing an activity, you focus on your kids much more. At home, it’s easy to be distracted by laundry and other chores. Sometimes you need to physically leave it all behind.
It’s easier to be relaxed and present when you have just one child to focus on. Find ways to fit in one-on-one time with each child, and let yourself really pay attention to what’s going on with them.
We’ve found that when we lay with our kids in bed for a few extra minutes, they relax and tell us things we never would have heard if we hadn’t both slowed down. It is such a great reminder of how good it feels to slow down and unwind together!
Strap your kids in the stroller or the carrier, or grab their hands and talk a walk. There’s so much to notice in nature that it seems to gently force presence.
Babies love this-- it seems like such a fun and silly treat to them. There’s nothing to distract you in the bathtub, so it’s guaranteed presence. Make it even sweeter for baby by incorporating a little relaxing baby massage first, and our Lullaby Balm Cleanser is perfect as a pre-bath massage balm!
Kids love being helpful, and getting them involved in cooking is a little trick that helps them also be more interested in eating it! Start with a simple recipe that is doable for your kids, depending on their age and experience, so you don’t get in over your heads!
Put on some music, grab some craft supplies and create together. It’s relaxing and fun, and allows you to get lost in the moment. Get yourself an adult coloring book and color right alongside your kids. Put on some of your favorite music and enjoy.
Between email, social media, phone calls and text messages, our phones are a huge distraction. If you want to guarantee you are mentally present with your kids, leave your phone in another room and devote the time to truly being with your kids.
It sounds crazy to schedule in time to play with your kids, doesn’t it? But if you struggle with presence, it can be a great reminder that the time was intentionally dedicated to being together. Once presence becomes a practice, you won’t need to put it in your schedule anymore, but it can help get you started.
Sometimes, our lack of presence happens because we’re simply bored with doing the same old things with our kids each day. And that’s okay! Get a new game, head to the library to pick up new books, plan a scavenger hunt-- there are plenty of creative ideas that you’ll both be interested in.
Take time to think about why the need to be present is really important to you. It’s about more than just not being distracted-- it’s about developing and maintaining a beautiful relationship with your kids. That’s motivation for creating purposeful presence in your life. Then, brainstorm activities that you and your children actually enjoy. Do you like spending time outdoors or do you prefer an indoor activity?
Your happiness matters too Momma, and finding something that you all enjoy is important! Sometimes you’ll need to do things you don’t love, because your kids love them, but that doesn’t have to happen all of the time. Don’t feel obligated to do what other parents do, or what you think you “should” do-- just do what works for your family!