Mothering in the Moment
The bedtime routine had become just that, incredibly routine. I often find myself wanting to get through it so I can make dinner, wash the dishes and veg on the couch. But last night, for some reason, (as cheesy as it sounds) I laid my head on the edge of the tub and and just watched her. And thank goodness I did because I caught a much needed glimpse of the wonder that is being a mother. I watched as she intently tried to pick up a rubber turtle (aptly named Shelly by daddy). She wouldn’t take her eyes off it. She grabbed and grabbed with one hand but Shelly kept slipping from her grasp. Then, like magic, she realized she had another hand. With two hands she swiftly scooped up Shelly and squealed with delight, looking right at me as if to say “I did it, mama!”
Yet again, she revealed herself as a driven, happy, never give up kind of girl. What a moment. I never thought I’d feel so proud of her for something so seemingly mundane. Though, with a baby, is anything really mundane? Everything is exciting and new. I thought, I don’t want to miss any of this. Not a single moment.
So it got me thinking about how often I check out from the present moment. It’s so easy to get caught up in all the to do’s, the moving along to get to the next thing, the mindless iPhone scrolling. But in all that mindlessness, are we missing out on the moments with our children? Are we choosing to miss out on life?
I’m gonna call myself out here. I grab my phone, mindlessly scroll and swipe without even thinking more than I’d care to admit. I do it to distract myself, to pass the time, to avoid whatever is causing me anxiety in that moment. I wonder how many moments I’ve missed already by choosing to avoid the present moment?
So what can be done? How can we become more present, conscious mothers? I have acknowledged there is a problem, so now what do I do? Seeing as my phone is practically attached to my hand, I think I will start there. I waste so much time on my phone. In fact, in the past 7 days, 35% of the battery on my phone was used on Instagram alone. That’s a little disturbing. I have to reduce the amount of time on my phone.
I’m going to commit to putting down my phone during all feedings, walks, trips to the playground and evening playtime. I am also okay with not being perfect and not being too hard on myself if I slip up. I will always keep in mind why I am doing this. I’m committing myself to being more present and in the moment with my daughter for me and for her. She will learn so much just by watching me. So I have to ask myself, who do I want her to be and am I modeling that for her?
How are you finding ways to stay present and live every moment with your little ones?