I know one thing for sure and that is being a mother to young children never lasts as long as you expect, you turn around and your little baby is now a big grown-up independent thing which is why I have to keep reminding myself to stay present, to live in the now, to be aware. It’s all too easy to waste our days looking at our phones or watching a programme/film/YouTube video, there are so many ways our time and attention is taken away from our relationship with our children which is why I’m constantly working on being a more present mother.
It’s so easy to get distracted from what’s important but here are a few things I am doing to improve on being a more present mother.
- I am consciously trying to stop worrying about petty little things. The bills will get paid, they always do so I try to put financial matters to the back of my mind. If I find myself worrying about anything, I tell myself that the worrying won’t improve anything, is there anything I can do? If the answer is yes then I take action, if the answer is no then I really try not to think about it anymore.
- As I mentioned in my previous post I have stopped trying to make my house look like a showhome, if the children decide to get loads of books out and toys and change their outfit 15 times a day, I’m not going to get stressed about it. I no longer care if we have a visitor and the house is a tip, this is real life and I’d rather my children were having fun rather than have me nag them all day about the mess. Just a quick tidy up before dinner and the house is looking lovely again so there’s no need to fret all day.
- Putting the phone down. If you’re a stay at home mum, then the chances are you don’t get to see many adults through much of the day so it can be nice to see what other adults are doing by looking at Instagram, YouTube etc but I am now making sure I don’t look at my phone at all until after all the children are breakfasted and dressed, then I’ll have a quick check through emails before we begin homeschool lessons. I then try to not look at my phone again until at least 7:30 pm when the youngest three are all tucked up in their beds. Using my phone and keeping in contact with the small community of friends I have online is something I do enjoy and I see no reason to give it up completely as long as it doesn’t interfere with my time with the children.
- The same thing goes for creating content, whether that be blogging, editing YouTube videos or photography, I like to do these things in the evenings when the youngest children are in bed.
- Keeping energy levels up is important when you have children, it’s no good putting the phone down and switching the tv off if all you’re going to do is get all sleepy on the sofa. I find the best ways to keep my energy levels up are to keep fit by doing some form of exercise every day, keeping hydrated, avoiding sugary snacks, eating fresh unprocessed food, staying on my feet most of the day and by going outside.
- Really listening to my children. As a mother of many, I have developed this fantastic ability to have selective hearing. I’ve become so used to blanking out the tremendous noise my children make that now it has got to the point that sometimes my children are talking to me and I realise I haven’t heard a word they said. It’s terrible and something I have felt very guilty about and now I am trying my absolute hardest to really listen to what they are saying, we have some great conversations so it really pays to listen and understand what they are telling me.
- I find it extremely useful to keep a journal, I have a journal totally devoted to writing all about my journey through motherhood and a separate journal for my thoughts on our homeschooling, both are fantastic to not only focus on what is happening presently but also to look back on and see how far I’ve come.
- Some days we are all so busy, the children are playing, doing their lessons and chores, I’m doing the laundry, baking, gardening and so on and it seems we hardly have much time to even talk so it’s always good to eat our meals together and reconnect. We do this three times a day and it’s a lovely routine that we have all come to cherish.
I’m sure there are a million other things I could be doing to become a more present mother, what are your suggestions? I would dearly love to hear in the comments below.