Parenting In The Present
As I was putting socks on my still asleep little boy this morning, something occurred to me that seemed very profound in the moment.
Whenever I am distracted by anything in my head, my ability to parent well meter quickly falls to the bottom with a resounding *thud*; echo included.
It was brought to my attention when my daughter informed me that Daddy had sent her brother to time out last night for coming into our room yet again. I recalled my husbands lack of patience last evening, as I sat hunched over my laptop in my closet ‘office’. I am so NOT pointing fingers here, what I realized as I pulled my little guys socks up over his toes, was that I had been a perfectly impatient parent all of last week.
What WAS it that makes that difference?
My patience and mindfulness go out the window together holding hands, probably singing a little jig and laughing all the way too, as soon as my mind is focused on anything that needs to get done. Sometimes, most of the time, it isn’t even something that can be taken care of in that moment.
Pie, for example. Play dates and fresh bread, patent leather shoes, Christmas presents, writing, the laundry. Any number of those things can sweep my mind away from the moment, and cause me to unleash a totally undeserved outburst onto my children for a totally age appropriate slight. And for them to feel as if they are furniture in the background of my life instead of the most valuable things they truly are to me.
Because they are. The most important beings in my life. How is it so easy for me to put them on the back burner while some other thing takes my attention and leads me into the realm of frustration, anger, anxiety, impatience, and offense.
How dare they fight while I am trying to do dishes?! Offense! Ugh, do thay have to yell, “Mom!” one more time while I am tyring to get a blog post done? As if a blog post matters? And their behavior as Mommy slowly begins to check out and forgets to check back in? It totally goes down the tube and I can watch it, fully aware of why it is headed south.
I am not beating myself up here, it was just a true moment of understanding this morning, about how I can miss so many beautiful moments with my children by my complete lack of mindfulness. So today, let us just practice being mindful as we talk with our kids. Practice really being in the moment as we play a game with them. Let’s actually take time to play the game with them without thinking about email or read a whole pile of books, not just one before bed. Let’s practice looking them in the eye when they are talking to us and not mumbling, “Oh yeah?” as we barely hear them and are focused on the dishes.
If not you, then me. I obviously need all the practice I can get!
Spill it: Do you find yourself often present with your kids or often distracted? Does it take real work for you to REALLY be with them, or does it come more naturally for you? Do you think your patience wains when you have lots on your mind?Tweet