I read a headline the other day that caught my attention in a big way.
It read, "Parents need to be present instead of perfect."
How many times have I (and maybe you too) focused on the reverse?
How many times have I wanted everything to be "perfect"- the house perfectly clean, the trips to the store perfectly planned and tantrum free, my alone time perfectly quiet, and the list goes on!
Just recently I stressed about making sure our son's 1st birthday party was "perfect". That he would feel special, have an abundance of fun, and know how much his "ma ma" and "da da" loved him while celebrating his very first birthday!
But did he really need a perfect party in order to experience all the above?
Of course not! All he wanted was us- our undivided attention, our hugs, our kisses, and our silly fun. It didn't matter what we were doing or where we were. It just mattered that we were present with him in that moment.
"The days are long but the years are short."
Being a parent is not easy. Work stress, deadlines, house duties, and more often leave our tank close to empty, but our children need us at 100% all the time. Being present after a long day takes effort; however the benefits truly do outweigh your wanted downtime.
When I look back at photos of our son, his smiles are always the biggest during the candid moments. Those moments when our phones are down, our distractions are pushed aside, and we are present in the moment with him. Being present in our family means being attuned to each other's needs, turning off the stress that impacted our days, and engaging in belly laughing play!
Below are 3 simple strategies to help you be present in the moment with your family:
1. Designate specific time for family time each day (even if it's only 15 minutes, right before bed, or prioritizing dinner at the kitchen table)
2. Disconnect from technology during this time (phones, iPads, TV- turn them off and put them away!)
3. Ask meaningful questions, be attentive to each other's needs, smile, laugh, and have fun!