Last Updated on January 13, 2021 by Creative Parenting
I read a quote the other day…
And it really struck home with me, because we’d just had some visitors. The grandparents! And it seemed like they just have that magical touch.
You see – having a helping hand around the house (and with the toddler) was AMAZING.
Reminded me of this Helen Keller quote:
“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched- they must be felt with the heart.”
Since the grandparents just left, this quote got my mental wheels turning.
You see, so often I go through life just thinking and dreaming about the next big thing. At the risk of ignoring the present moment.
And this didn’t stop once the baby arrived.
If anything, it accelerated. Because there was a new, never ending cycle of milestones to think about. For example: He grew fast. So we needed new clothes.
He had acid reflux. So we had to get a new chair for him to nap in. And so on it went. And you know what?
It’s continuing still today! But this cycle, if you’re not careful, can be a mental rabbit hole.
I’m finding – especially with a toddler- the mind is constantly wandering from the next item on my to do list. Even if it’s early in the morning. Or late at night.
Even the weekends it seems these days are, it seems, a blur of one to do list item after another!
But I’ve started to realize something (after 15 months of this cycle);
When I’m caught up in my every day to do list, item after item, I forget to be mindful, stay in the present, and practice gratitude.
And I don’t think I’m alone in this.
When were you last able to do one of these:
- Took a bath, without a toddler knocking on the door
- Went to the gym without worrying about the baby
- Had more than 10 minutes out of your crazy day of errands to sip some coffee
- Had a family evening with MORE than 45 minutes WITHOUT devices
…We all want the best for our children. And our families.
But it can be so easy to just let the days run together. Get caught in every moment. And forget to live in the present moment.
There’s so many opportunities every day for worry!
But have you ever taken time to ask grandparents what they wished they’d focused on?
I’m sure it will vary. But I can guarantee this:
They’re probably going to tell you some version of this:
Enjoy every moment. Live for today. Because it goes FAST.
Something akin to the wisdom Helen Keller shared above.
If you can learn to take a few minutes out of each day, re-focus on being in the present moment, your future you (the grandparent version) will be grateful.
Because you’ll have a lifetime of wonderful memories, of not being distracted. Of being available. And making memories.
Instead of hurrying from one parenting routine to the next, take some time out today.
You’ve only got one life to live (as far as we know) as a parent.
So here’s 5 ways to stay present, mindful, and go through your day with zen focused gratitude:
This often comes up in similar articles to this one, so I get it if you’re thinking “no kidding!” But it’s worth thinking about, especially if you’ve never tried it before.
It doesn’t take a lot of time to form a regular habit. There are many FREE apps out there that will lead you through guided meditation in just a few minutes a day.
If you’re not a fan of meditation apps, you can always find a podcast on iTunes or even just a guided meditation on YouTube.
One of my favorite meditation teachers is Tara Brach. You can learn more about her resources and teachings on her website.
Become A Minimalist
Do you consider yourself a minimalist?
If the answer is no, then I’m writing this section especially for you!
Now, you might be wondering: what’s the point of minimalism? Perhaps you think minimalists are boring? And there might be something to that – at least for the lame ones out there. We’ve all met a few…
But I’m not talking about them! I’m talking about just developing a minimalist mindset generally? Why? Well, I don’t know about you, but after our baby was born the amount of clutter multiplied by what felt like a factor of:
That’s why I’ve been thinking more about minimalism lately. As a method to remove clutter. And get a little more peace of mind.
Because if I can do that?
I’m more present for my kids.
But here’s the thing. Learning how to be present means more than just getting rid of clutter!
Another key way to be present?
Reduce your stress (and cortisol levels). One of the best ways of doing this is to get some exercise, even if it’s just a little.
So that’s our next topic!
Move Every Day (Even Just 20 Minutes)
Has this happened to you?
The baby is born. Life gets CRAZY. Then suddenly one day the baby becomes a toddler…
And you know what?
Life gets even crazier!
It can be hard to make it to the gym. And so it’s easy to relax a bit and fall out of your old workout routines. I know for me, before my baby was born I used to go to the gym AT LEAST three times a weeks.
These days? It’s hard to find the time. That’s why I try to move at least a little bit. Every day. Here’s a few ideas of things I do to move regularly. Maybe it will help you?
Track movement with my fitbit
- Go for family runs on the weekends
- Get my husband to take the toddler out of the house so I can workout
- Do Yoga after the baby’s bedtime
- Go for neighborhood walks when the weather is nice!
Those are my main strategies!
If you have more ideas, let me know via the comments below!
End Your Day With Gratitude Reflection
It can be so easy to just always be focused on what we need to do NEXT.
The to do lists are endless.
THAT’s why I like to take five minutes each day, at the end of the day, to just write down 5-10 things that I’m grateful for.
Don’t Quit Implementing YOUR Dreams
And last but not least…
Don’t give up on your dreams.
Even if they’re not the same ones you had 10 years ago….
They’re the ones you have TODAY.
And the ones you need to work on, to make tomorrow:
Till next time,