Like many of us, I imagine there is never a shortage of things on your to-do list. It's no easy task to keep a household running, keep the myriad of other balls you juggle in the air, and keep your children happy and healthy. It takes a lot of hard work and devotion and it also takes a lot of time and attention. Many of the parents I work with would like to gain some of that time back to enjoy the present moment without all the background noise. Here are 5 tips to doing just that.
5 TIPS TO BECOMING A MORE PRESENT PARENT
Set specific times to check email and social media and set time limits as well. We all know how much of a time and energy drain email and social media can be. You open up your Facebook to RSVP to that one event and next thing you know you've been scrolling for 30 minutes and the kids are screaming at each other. It's easy to get sucked in! Schedule time and time limits and you can get what you need to accomplish done and have time to be present with your little ones. Test this out today: Set an alarm on your phone morning, noon, and evening to remind you to check your email/social media and as soon as that alarm goes off set yourself a timer so you know exactly how much time you have and when the timer goes off your time is up! Time to be present!
Schedule child free time for things you love so when you return to momma or daddy life you return rejuvenated. We all have different circumstances so this is going to look a little different for everyone. Some may have family available to help, some may have the ability to hire a babysitter, some may have none of the above. That's okay, let's work with what you've got! For those mama's that have baby home full time those much needed hour long naps and early bedtimes might be your opportunity. Now, the idea is to schedule in time, no matter how short, to do something you LOVE! The dishes don't count. Maybe it's a coffee date with a friend, your favorite TV show, a bath, or a quick workout. If you're short on time you can check out my blog on 5 Self-Care Ideas in 5 Minutes or Less. Any activity you can lose yourself in, even for a moment, and come back from feeling fully present counts!
Be mindful of everyday passing moments. Your child's giggles. The slow rise and fall of their chest as they sleep. Take a deep breath and take in the good. Our lives are made up of an endless string of passing moments. Of course we can't be mindful of them all, but we can make a conscious effort to pause and sit with the ones that stand out and let the good wash over.
Write down the things that keep your mind running. Use any format that works for you- to-do lists, journal, but DO get it down on paper and out of your head. The act of putting pencil to paper and allowing your thoughts to flow out can be an amazing release. It's a lot of pressure to expect yourself to remember everything that needs to get done, memories you want to hold onto, things you learned. Release it all onto paper so you can let it go in the moment in order to be present here and now. All those thoughts and to-do's will be there for you on that paper when you come back to it.
Be kind to yourself- It's impossible to be present with your little ones all of the time. Some days aren't going to go as planned. You are doing the best you can and that's good enough. The necessity to hold yourself lightly trumps journaling, or finding those child free moments, or being present. Parenthood is full of highs and lows and taking good care of yourself is paramount. There's no harm in reaching out to a therapist to help you create a plan to thrive during this time. If you're feeling like you could use some extra support please reach out and I'd be happy to speak with you.
Now it's your turn! Pick one idea to implement and see if notice any changes occurring in your day!
I'd love to hear from you!! How did it go? Share in the comments below.
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