These days with social media, smartphones and being "plugged in" all the time it's significantly more difficult than ever before to be present in the moment.
Even as I write this post my son is at the breast, what am I missing while I think about this and record my thoughts? Thankfully he's falling in and out of a gentle sleep while he sips at his milk but still. When I stop for a moment, even this moment when he is content and not looking for my attention, I realize how precious it is to sit here and watch him gently breath, eyes quickly opening and closing as he falls in and out of sleep. Why am I missing this? Why is it so difficult to be present in the moment?
I think before we have children we are so busy with life; jobs, daily duties, friends, extended family, fun ect. that when we have children and life slows down and priorities shift we try to fill our day with mental busyness by checking Facebook and other social media sites 100, 000 times. I feel that this is why so many moms have complained to me that they struggle to be present with their children when they're older and life gets in the way again with returning to work and everything else. It's important to invest the time and effort to be present now so being present later will come naturally.
Obviously this isn't an easy venture when we're so use to be plugged in and entertained but I've begun making changes to challenge myself and be more present for my son and prepare myself to continue making the charms of the present my priority. I've given myself permission to do things like not take pictures very 5 seconds, of course taking pictures of our children is an excellent way to preserve memories but my son wants me to be here to play with him, look him in the eye when he smiles at me and be there to genuinely smile back not there with my iPhone camera in his face. At night when my son wakes to feed I use to surf the net or check Facebook, I've given that up and I spend the night wakings breathing in every sweet baby smell, memorizing the curve of his lips and his little sucks. Sure, these moments happen everyday, my son loves to eat, but these specific moments will never come again and I want to hold onto each of these memories instead of making myself busy.
As I continue to challenge myself to be continually present I want to challenge you to look at ways you're being distracted from your child or children and how you can be more present too. Share your ideas, I'd love to hear and try them!
Look at your little one today and relish the little things, the wrinkle of their nose, their soft lips, how they look when they sleep and be present when they talk to you, play with you and even when you're just quiet together. Today will never come again. Tomorrow they will be one day older.
I think Anne Shirley said it best: "I don't want diamond sunburst or marble halls, I just want you". Although Anne said this to Gilbert I feel the same way about my son, all the things that use to seem important all fail in comparison when it comes to how important my son is to me. My selfish wants fall by the way side, I just want him.
Let's be present moms.