ONE SMALL PRACTICE TO BE MORE PRESENT WITH YOUR CHILD
Being present with your child can be challenging, especially when you’re exhausted or you have one of those days when nothing seems to flow quite right. Yet, finding the things you adore about your child right now can be a beautiful practice. It can help you feel connected, and it reminds them just how loved they are today, at this very moment, and forevermore (okay, that last part was corny, but it’s true!)
I’ve heard countless times, from veteran moms, grandmas, pas, and grandpas, “soak it in because it goes by fast.” This is sort of the go-to-phrase before parting ways with an experienced parent. When I hear this, I want to respond, “Wait, but how?” Teach me how to soak it in more, please.
There’s Purpose In The Madness
I believe they are saying to be more present with your child. Don’t take a single day for granted because one day, you will want to relive these precious moments again, even the wild, chaotic, and tired ones. I think they are saying it’s within the madness, the messiness, and the imperfectness of it all that the outpouring of love fills your heart and gives you so much purpose in life. So, try to soak it in to the best of your ability.
A Mommy Mantra To Be More Present with your Child
Whenever I catch myself telling my daughter, oh sweetie, soon you will be able to roll over, sit up, crawl, walk, etc. I stop myself and tell her instead, “I love the phase you are in, & I love the phase we are in.” I’ve been using this little mommy mantra to remind myself to be present in the moment because the future and the past are intangible. However, this moment right here, I can touch, feel, and fully take in.
I read a lovely mommy mantra recently from Chrystal Paine, which was “lean in and love.” Well, this is my version of lean in and love. Whether I am feeling ten beats behind the day or 100% on my ish, this phrase, “I love the phase you are in, & I love the phase we are in,” reminds me how good we have it this very moment. It stops me in my tracks when I start comparing our life today to our life in the future. All I need to do is open my eyes and look deep into my daughter’s big brown eyes with intention and absolute love and name everything I adore about her right now.
“I love these itty bitty feet. I love giving you a million kisses. I love holding you on my chest. I love listening to your little snore. I love how smiley you are after naps. I love feeding you. I love making you laugh. I even love that adorable face you make right before you want to cry.”
THERE’S BEAUTY IN EVERY PHASE OF LIFE
The gratitude list goes on and on. I do this regularly, sometimes multiple times a day, especially when I’m dead tired and she’s wide awake, fussy, or just peed on the clean clothes I just put her in. This small practice puts my world, wishes, and worries into perspective. Better yet, it puts a smile on my girl’s face every time we have this playful interaction.
Appreciating the phase we are in will never exhaust itself. We will forever be moving through new stages of life. There’s true beauty in the growing and aging process. Each phase of mothering, grandmothering and great-grandmothering holds the outpouring of love and purpose in it. I’m excited to move in and through these phases. But first and foremost, I need to soak in this moment I am in today, as all the veteran parents advise newbies like me to do.