My beautiful friend, Alynne is up today.
Awhile back, I attended a PD course called “The Challenge of Real Life Balance”. After the course, I have come to realize that everyone’s life is busy, besides trimming some unnecessary busy-ness out and applying the “it’s ok to say NO method”, for the most part you can’t change being busy. But what the course taught me is that it's what you do with the time you have that makes you succeed and feel good about yourself and the roles you have. It is a simple concept, but can be applied to so many different roles, and that is to be present.
So what does that mean – be present. From what I understand it is what you are doing at that time, to focus on that. I guess the days of multi-tasking are gone, and uni-tasking is the way to go. I sat down and looked at my life and figuring out how I can be present. So for example, at work, I am present in my job, prioritizing my tasks, setting deadlines, making lists, evaluating work load, focusing – getting the work done. The harder I work and the more present I am, the less overtime I have to put in and the more successful I feel. I feel taking the time to truly be present in my children’s lives gives them the feeling of worth, love and belonging. It makes them feel worthy of my time and they are not competing with my cell phone for attention. It helps me feel like I am succeeding in being a caring mother and being there for my kids. Here are some examples of how I kick ass at being present in their lives.
Being a working mom, I have limited time with my kids during the week. I try every day, even if just for 15 minutes, half an hour, to be completely present with my kids. The tv is off, my phone is on vibrate, I am not folding laundry, doing dishes. I am being present – listening, engaging, focusing, playing, laughing, making memories. It is my favorite and most valuable time of the day.
One of the hockey rinks Karter plays at there is a saying on the boards which reads "Pay attention - your kids are watching". It makes me so sad to see one of Karter's team mates score a goal and look up to see their parent(s) on their cell phones. The parent(s) are there at the game, but not present. I will rarely take out my phone during a game. I want to be there, watching Karter score a goal, so when he looks up he knows I saw it and am cheering for him. And yes, in order for me to get that focus, if that means Bentley will eat a whole bag of skittles and box of popcorn so she will sit nicely next to me, so be it.
Life is busy, I get that. I am not saying any time we have with the kids is 100% devoted to them. I don’t think that would be possible or even healthy for the kids, and I would have the most unorganized life I would probably go insane. There are houses to clean, meals to cook, relationships outside of the household to maintain. It is coming up with the plan to pick a time, make that time even for just half an hour, and be present with my kiddos. I have no issues, nor feel guilty for having a house cleaner and someone to help out in our yard. I truly think it is genius, I am gaining that time back to spend with my kids – invaluable. So now my house is clean, we can go to the park after supper and play. And p.s., I leave my cell phone at home!
One night when she was about 1.5 years old, she kept getting up, I would say about 5 or 6 times over the span of the night. Very out of the ordinary for her. She would call for me, I would check the monitor and see she is ok, I would tell her over the intercom she is ok and to go back to bed, and shortly after she would fall back asleep as would I. In the am I went to wake her up. I opened her door, and was instantly taken back by the smell. She must have thrown up during the night and was sleeping in it. Mark entered the room, and instantly ran to the bathroom to throw up, it smelt that bad. It was caked into her hair, thick chunks, it was all over her bed, even on the wall. No wonder she was trying to get our attention. She honestly smelt like puke for a week.
You can read Alynne's previous Mommy Diary entries here and here. Her 30 somethings is here and this is what love looks like to her.