Especially when we are immersed in the wonderful flurry of taking care of young children, it is so easy for the days to fly by in a way that feels like time is out of our control. In a blink of an eye and windstorm of diapers, toys, feedings, play dates and sleepless nights, our adorable babies grow into toddlers and preschoolers (and then help! preteens and teens!). One season flows into the next.
How can we feel more present and truly experience our time with our children and the other aspects of our lives that matter to us? Children can be a great role model for this as they seem to really experience every moment whether they are happy or sad. They are feeling the moment, playing, loving, temper tantrum, friendship, whatever and wherever the experience leads them. Our children truly do smell the flowers and see and explore what is around them in a way that we can forget to in the rush of everything we are trying to get done.
For us we usually have to be more purposeful if we want to feel more engaged and present in the moment. Yet, it’s so easy to get distracted by our devices and to do lists when we are with our children and loved ones. We can’t make time stand still or add more than 24 hours to a day but here are some quick tips to try:
- Think about what is most important to you and select three to four goals you’ll prioritize so that in the rush of everyday you can keep these top of mind. What will you care most about when you look back on this time in your life? Such as spending quality time with your children (and partner if applicable). What would most disappoint you if you didn’t do? Or didn’t do perfectly? (Hopefully housework would not make the list!)
Set times each day or a few days a week when you will put the devices on mute and just spend truly present time doing something fun with your children and/or partner. It doesn’t have to be a long time, it’s about a distraction-free zone.
Plan something fun whether a walk outside, playground time, or dinner out with a friend
Spend some time watching how your children are focusing, playing, interacting. Take photos, enjoy them and marvel in what you see that’s new from last week. Jot down some memories of the moment. You’ll love looking at them in years to come.
- Once in a while take a moment to smell the flowers, do something for yourself. What makes you happy? What is most fulfilling and helps you release stress? Taking care of ourselves and being happy re-energizes us so we can be more present and enjoy our families.
What have you found most helpful to feel more present and fight the feeling of time flying by?