We wear many hats all day long as moms. But rarely do we gift ourselves the permission to just be the mom.
Being present is a big part of our roles as moms. We know that we need to be take care of our children, know what is going on with them, what they need, what they are doing, if they are safe and healthy. But we also know that we have so much more to our lives than to be the mom all day.
The many hats of a modern mother are plentiful.
And that is why it’s super easy to be present without being present.
It’s easy to be in there in body but our minds and hearts can be in another place altogether.
Present is just being there. Showing up. Going through the motions. Breathing. Doing. Going from here to there. Sitting in the chair next to your child.
Presence is awareness. Attention. Noticing. Going deeper into that place of connection. Engaging. Connecting. Listening with our eyes.
I have always felt that my biggest mom superpower is being fully present for my daughters and that is why I’ve been so passionate about mentoring and coaching moms around the world for nearly a decade on these practices.
The world needs us to stay awake and live with intention — to make choices that are enlightened and conscious.
Soon to turn 13, my twin daughters rarely feel like I I’m not listening to them or paying attention. They’ve never had to tap me on the shoulder a million times to get my attention. They’ve rarely done those crazy “look at me, look at me” attention seeking behaviors (except doing tricks in the swimming pool.)
And I don’t feel that I’ve ignored myself, either.
I just practice a simple system of being present with them when I’m with them.
I’ve known plenty of mothers who wake up busy, stay busy and go to bed busy … always doing something. Always cleaning or working or tending to others. Always multitasking. Always heading toward the next thing.
It’s easy to let the busyness of this busy, crazy life steal your time and your hours.
But today I want to give you permission to just be the mom for a bit and offer your full presence.
Not only is it good for your child.
It’s good for YOU.
It’s good for our world.
By breaking the cycle of distracted parenting — and we must now more than ever in this land of online, media and news distractions — we are making intentional choices to put our focus on what matters most right now, in this very moment.
What we all need most is permission to be the mom, to regroup, to collect ourselves and be present with what is happening in our homes and in our lives.
And releasing everything else for a while …
When life feels hard or stressful or mundane — as it can be with children or with political upheaval — we will find anything to fill the void, to fill the hurts, to fill our time.
We’ll clean. We’ll organize. We’ll declutter.
We’ll create new things to do even though we claim we are too busy. We’ll read the news incessantly.
This is not to say to ignore the world’s problems. I believe now more than ever we — as mothers — must speak up and have a voice.
But we must begin at home with being present for those we love.
And, of course, our children don’t need our attention 100 percent of the time. That’s not the goal. The goal is to be present while being present.
- If you only have an hour with your child a day, be present in that hour.
- If you only have 15 minutes with your child in the morning, be present in those 15 minutes.
We can be present for our children in so many ways but it does require a few changes in how we show up. We don’t rush through moments of connection. We don’t spend all of our time tidying and cleaning and making things perfect. We don’t gloss over feelings and long stories that our children find important.
Our children don’t really care about how perfect our home is … they just want to be with us.
When we are fully present we see things we wouldn’t otherwise. We hear things — important things — we wouldn’t otherwise. We hear the sadness. The jealousy. The anger. The disappointment.
And then we can connect on a greater level. We can respond with love and kindness. We can give our child the whole-hearted witnessing they need in that moment.
Imagine how much better the world would be if we, as parents, would just slow down and practice being fully present?
The other day I went on a long evening walk my daughter and she was chatty. I mean really CHATTY.
I hardly spoke a word on the entire walk. I listened to her every word. Her every sentence. I notice how she’s grown up. How her body is changing as she prepares to enter her teenage years.
I noticed how she talks with her hands now because she’s just as animated and passionate as I am. I hung on her every idea and thought.
I took in our surroundings. Our pace. Our closeness.
I felt like I had been in a dark cave of peace and quiet for a half hour.
We returned home more connected than ever.
That walk will stand out to me forever because I wasn’t just there … I was fully aware of what was happening in the moment. I didn’t force my thoughts and opinions, or give advice or life lessons.
I was just present. I was just the mom.
The rest of the world’s problems slipped away for a bit … and when I returned home I felt recharged and more energized to do what was needed most.
It can be a relief to toss everything else away for a while and just be the mom.
It’s not always possible but when it is it’s nice to remember what matters most right now in this very moment.
And when I do, it makes all the difference in the world to how to see the world around me.
READY TO BE MORE PRESENT? That is exactly what we focus on inside The Abundant Mama Project Home Study Program. Get started now by downloading your workbook and putting all your energy into being the mom you want to be.