How to be present for your kids


If you're a parent, a human parent, then you know that sometimes its really hard to simply "be present". I don't plan to preach now or even pretend to have the answer or cure all to be consistently present for my children, or for you to be for yours. I do however want to share something that each of my kids have articulated to me in their own way this year.

One message came in written format, a mother's day card.
Another message came in a sleepy voice explaining their favorite part of this day as I was putting that child to bed, and the last message came from a small, innocent voice commanding me while holding my face in both of his hands...

"play with me"

The mother's day card read:
"I love it when __________" And written was: "my mom plays with me"

As I tucked one child in for bed I asked what their favorite part of the day was.
"I loved it when you played with me in the water and we were splashing each other"

And then there's my child who can't pretend or be coy, he just impulsively has to blurt out whatever thought he has in that moment. "Mom! Play with me"

Ugh. It tugged at my heart to hear them each say these words. They're not sophisticated enough to have somehow conspired to drive this point home to me, but in the end, they sure did. The reality is, I have tons of things to get done every day, and I don't particularly like playing "hot wheels" any more than I want to play "club penguin" or hear another, longggg story about Star Wars. Most days, what I really want to do is hide in the bathtub with a hot latte and cruise Pinterest for an hour, uniterrupted.

I know I'm not the only parent who feels this way. I don't have any answers to shout from the mountain tops, but I'm taking a moment today to humbly share some of the experience I have from raising my kids for the last 12 years. This message hit me hard when I heard it three times. I'm not a slow learner, usually, but I do need reminding. So today I am sharing this thought with you, and the photo that sparked the memory for me that I need to be present for my kids, in the way that they want me to be.

Be Present. 

Helpful Links:
If you want to read more articles that offer advice on ways to be more present, I've googled them already, because that's what a guilt ridden mom does. Let me save you the time, here are a few good write ups.

12 ways to be present for your child

Calm Mom

5 ways to be present with your kids this year

How to be present

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by mlekoshi