As parents, we may wonder if we are doing enough with our kids. Are we present enough? Are we talking to them enough? And if we aren’t, does this make us a bad parent? However, if you are worried about this at all, you probably are a good parent.
There is a certain bliss and happiness in being more mindful and present with our children. My daughter is still young, but I love asking her questions such as, “What is your favorite color or favorite food?” I want to know everything I can about my daughter and for her to know that she is important to me.
I also find happiness in watching her learn and experience new things. For example, one day we found a turtle in our yard. She had never seen a real turtle, but she got to touch it! Again, it is a blissful experience in getting to see my daughter experience life and being with her in those moments.
We are busy as parents, and we want to be successful in our careers, and we also want to enjoy our children. It can be hard to balance work with our home life, which does it make it hard to always be present. However, there are some things you can do to be more present with our children even if you are busy.
Put away the screen
This is probably a given. A lot of people enjoy checking Facebook or email, among other things. I find myself working on Pinterest and trying to work on my blog on my phone. And all of this can take away from being present with our kids. If you do find yourself spending a lot of time on your phone and it’s taking away from your time with your kids, try to find some time to engage with it when your kids are asleep or engaged in another activity.
Mindfulness means that you are focusing on the present moment. You are not thinking about past events or what may happen later. I think, at times, our attention is on bills that need to be paid or housework that needs to be done even if we are playing with our kids. When we do this, it takes away from the enjoyment of the present moment.
For example, my daughter enjoys helping me make biscuits. This, of course, requires the use of flour. And to her, flour is a blast to play with! One day, she was sprinkling it on the floor. I had this crazy idea at the moment to put a small pile of flour on the floor and let her get messy! We have a linoleum floor, so I was not worried about how difficult it would be to clean up. At the time, I was not even worried about having to mop up the floor or even clean up my daughter after she was done playing. I was happy watching her be happy. This is being mindful.
Leave work at work
If this is possible, leave any work at work. I used to be a professor, so there are a lot of things I could do at home, but I tried to do grading and creating lectures at work. In doing so, I was not distracted by doing this at home and, therefore, I could spend more time with my daughter.
Take care of yourself
If you are not sleeping or eating well, you likely are going to be stressed and cranky. You will be more present and aware if you are getting the sleep and nourishment that you need. Also, take care of your mental health. If you find yourself depressed or anxious, seek out help if you need to.
Set aside a specific time to be with your kids
I get off of work at 3. I pick up my daughter and then go home. I get into comfortable clothes, and do any quick chores that need to be done, and then it’s our time to be together until I cook supper at around 6. Put this time on your calendar if you need to. And do something you and your kids haven’t done before, which makes it even more fun!
Final Thoughts on Being Present with Your Kids
I know we are all busy parents, and we want to do our best for our kids. And it can be overwhelming to try to balance work and family. If you need tips on how to balance work and family life, please visit this post: 13 Tips for Balancing Work and Family . You are doing a great job and the main thing that your kids need is your love!