The hustle and bustle lifestyle is glorified in today’s culture. The more we do, the more others think we are successful. But in so doing, often we neglect the ones we love. In today’s post, we looked at how to be more present with your child.
This post was originally published in May 2021 and was updated on May 04, 2022.
Do you feel remorseful when you lay in bed at night? Because you weren’t able to spend time with your child?
Wished you were able to be more present with your child?
Mom guilt trickling in because you screamed at your child while talking to your boss after work hours?
You feel like there’s so much happening in your life right now, and – a complete failure at motherhood!
These feelings are pretty common. As a mom of two, I have been there, and so have many other moms.
No one talks about this because mom-shaming is real, and mom’s guilt is crippling.
The fear of being judged. Forces moms to portray the perfect life as a mom and hinder moms from enjoying their motherhood journey.
Stop putting on a show and living your life to prove a point to others.
Love your children for who they are and the unique traits they were gifted with. Normalize being a perfect imperfect mom because that’s the mom your children need to grow into strong, resilient, and courageous kids.
What Does It Mean To Be More Present With Your Child
“Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.’ – Buddha
As busy moms, we fold laundry, prep dinner, keep an eye on our kids, and watch the news simultaneously. This autopilot culture gets so much glorification – right!? But is it worth it?
Due to our many distractions, we lose out on a one-time experience with our kids.
To be more present with your child doesn’t mean you have to drop everything you are doing and attend to your child 24/7. But instead being fully engaged with your child in the present moment and bringing awareness to your thoughts.
Let go of the guilt and shame you’ve been holding on to and focus on the present.
Live in the present moment with your child.
Savouring the time spent together. Being aware of your responses while attending to their needs and at the same time learning more about them. Accepting and understanding your emotions rather than ignoring them.
Benefits Of Being Present With Your Kids
Children crave love, attention, and community.
Reminding your child that they are loved and is and will always be supported will bring so much joy to them.
Studies have shown that mindful parenting can promote emotional regulations in both parents and children. (Source)
Being present with your child can also:
- help you feel more fulfilled and liberated as a parent.
- Be a positive influence in your child’s life.
- Bring joy and happiness into your life.
- Kids will follow your rules.
- Help your child to be more resilient to change.
- Foster a healthy parent-child relationship.
- Allows your child to feel secure, loved, and valued.
- You will be able to support your child with problem-solving and making decisions.
- Reduce stress and anxiety in both your and your child’s life.
- It makes parenting feels effortless.
Being more present with your child doesn’t mean there will always be sunshine and smiles.
You will have days where you feel overwhelmed and are in deep need of time for yourself, and that’s okay because you need to take care of yourself as a mom.
Prioritizing yourself and your needs will have a positive influence on your family.
When your cup is filled, you feel energized and can pour it onto others without burnout.
READ: Raising Strong Daughters Quotes
What happens when you are not present with your child
Kids need role models, security, and love to feel and know that they are essential.
Sometimes, we assume giving them the hottest toy on the market and taking them to fancy restaurants and trips will make them happy (and it does for sure), but it will not give them that needed connection.
You know, being there with them and not being there simultaneously – because you are continuously on your phone or laptop or allowing your thoughts to wander.
These unnoticed actions of ours can harm both mom and child in the following ways:
- make you feel anxious and worried.
- Suffer from mom guilt.
- Feel disconnected from your child.
- Crave moments with your child.
- Your child may feel left out.
- A feeling of alienation.
- Loss of trust from your child because you cannot keep your promise.
- Child feeling not important.
How To Be More Present With Your Child
Motherhood involves A LOT of work!
Some days are more challenging than others, and we have to move with the flow when it is. There will be days when all we can do is the very basis for our kids.
This is, get them to eat, have a bath, and put them into bed at a reasonable time so we can prepare for the next day.
But at the same time, it’s imperative to connect with our children positively. That helps them feel secure and loved.
To build strong and healthy bonds with our children, we must give them our full support and attention.
Here are some simple and effective ways to be more present with your child. Allowing them to cultivate positive habits that will grow with them.
Listen and empathize
When your child is mad, upset, freaking out, or maybe just needs your attention. Listening and empathizing can help you through the situation.
As parents, we tend to get frustrated when our kids constantly demand our attention. Instead of getting angry and annoyed at the situation, you can try looking at the problem from your child’s eye.
Make an effort to understand what your child is experiencing.
Most of the time, what they are going through may not make any sense. Actuality, It doesn’t have to!
The important thing is understanding your child’s emotions behind the situation.
This doesn’t mean you are going to give in to them. But instead, look at your child’s body language and gestures. Listen to your child by looking into their eyes, giving all of your attention.
Hear them out – so they know you are paying attention to them. Sometimes all your child need is to be heard.
Go over what your child just said with them so they know you understand.
Ask your child how they are feeling. Acknowledge their feelings without being judgmental. Letting them know it’s ok to feel that way.
The idea here is when your child feels heard and knows that you’re there as their support system, rather than a force that disagrees – they will be open to being guided by you.
Stick to your promises
Children want their parent’s approval.
As moms, we mean the world to our sons and daughters.
Our child may ask us something in a rush, and we may make an empty promise because we are running around mindlessly.
The problem with this is our children will remember mommy breaking her promises for years to come. They will realize that mommy says things but doesn’t really mean it. Your child may conclude mommy is always too busy for me. (In all honesty, I have done this in the past.) Maybe you have to!
Of course, you didn’t mean to hurt your child’s feelings when you broke a promise. But does your child know that?
Chances are probably not. Leaving your kids to think mom never sticks to what she says and always forgets about them – maybe they don’t mean anything to you.
When you promise your child something, stick by it.
If something comes up, explain to your child- that before making plans with them, you were unaware of this situation and will have to make some adjustments. Whatever changes you make, make sure to fulfill them.
When you can keep your promise, you show your child that you care for them, and the things that matter to them matter to you.
Turn technology off
Excessive media use is not good for us emotionally, mentally, and physically. Spending too much time on technology takes away bonding time between parent and child.
We are seeing more and more moms spending time on their phones – whether it’s for work or just playing catchup with social media. Upon seeing this, our children will adopt the same behavior by spending too much time on technology.
When our kids consume technology, they will begin to spend less than with us—failing to greet us when we come home from work or leave to run an errand because they are glued to their gadgets.
When our kids spend too much time in front of a screen – they may also have difficulty building relationships – and expressing their emotions.
More and more moms are bringing their phones to the dinner table and what used to be a great family conversation over dinner is now quiet time or mom yelling – please be quiet and finish your meal, it’s getting late!
It’s vital to have an interpersonal connection with your children. Our kids want to be heard, seen, and spend quality time with their mommy. They don’t want to be second to technology.
Be more present with your child by having technology-free time where the family spends quality time with one another – such as family meals, movie nights, game nights, bonding, and creating memories that will last a lifetime.
Share the snuggles
Listen, kids love the snuggles, and if you are honest with yourself – so do you!
Science has shown that hugging is essential in a child’s development. (Source)
- Hugs are good for our child’s emotional health.
- Hugging your child when they feel frustrated or upset can help a child learn to self-regulate.
- It can help a child become more resilient by adapting to changes.
- Hugs make a child feel happy and loved
- Strengthen the bond between parent and child
Snuggling and cuddling with your kids for a few minutes before they begin the day and just before going to bed is probably the easiest way to be present with your child.
While hugging your child – you can begin a conversation about their day or how they felt today. How was their day at school?
Simply get started with a conversation and bond with your little ones. These are going to be some of your best conversations ever!
Slow down and enjoy the moment
As moms, we are all guilty about trying to rush through a game with our little ones – because you know they repeat the same “pretend to play” like 100 times. Or maybe more?!
And you want to go get the dishes done, finish folding laundry, or check some work email. Or maybe even checking how many likes you got on that last photo you just shared on the gram.
Whatever it is.
Slow down and savor this one-on-one time with your little love bug. Because these moments are precious for you and your kids, enjoy them!
Let go of work and technology and just let it be.
Be more present with your child and have fun
Let this be your mantra when bonding with your child on a one-to-one level.
” Have More Fun.”
Stop worrying about being a good mom or being judged for your parenting skills. Show up and be there for your child.
It’s not about spoiling your kid, giving in to tantrums, or anything like that. It’s about creating a time of a lifetime for your little one. Your child will love to have fun with mommy, and so will you!
Go for walks together, take them for their favorite treats, and spend time drawing, coloring, and painting.
Do the things that your child wants to do. Be your child’s best friend!
READ: 8 Ways To Make Time For Rest & Relaxation
Pause before reacting
How often have you reacted negatively to a situation on an impulse, only to have regrets later?
You see, as moms, we are always running on autopilot. Instead of being mindful of what we do, we walk around mindlessly. Often this mindless behavior means we are not taking care of ourselves as moms.
A 90-second pause can create a vast difference between how you react to a situation and how you choose to respond to it.
Here is a scenario:
You are working on a project, and your child comes by and asks you to play with her. You replied, “I will be there in a few minutes.” However, she continues to tug onto you, demanding your attention. Because you’re so overwhelmed with the project you are working on, you immediately shout at her – “why can’t you leave me alone and do your own thing. I told you, I will be there in a second, just do as I say.” Now, your child feels unwanted. She knows mommy is upset with her and blames herself as she quietly plays alone.
Whereas choosing to be more present with your child by listening to what she is clearly saying and taking a few minutes to pause, breathe and process your thoughts. You can choose to respond in a manner that will not cause you to have major regrets later.
This habit will take some time to cultivate. After all, we are only humans. However, this self-regulation practice will create a loving and serene environment for you and your child.
Take control and be more present with your child
No two days are the same in motherhood. Some days are magical. Then other days are chaotic.
To be more present with your child doesn’t mean being the perfect mom. Or that you have to be there 24/7.
Some days you may forget to be present, but the second you realize your thoughts are distracted, it’s time to choose again.
You can choose again by:
Paying attention to your own emotions:
As moms, we have so many emotional flare-ups that sometimes seem unreal. Don’t judge these emotions. Instead, embrace them. Ask yourself – why am I feeling this way? Look at what is trigging your feelings? Is it during a specific time of the day? Is it when your child is tired and restless?
Set an intention
Now – that you can identify your emotions and the causes, set daily intentions.
As you wake in the morning. Set an intention for how you want to feel? What are the things you want to accomplish for the day? What message will you like to share with your kids?
Setting daily intentions will allow you to manifest your perfect day.
Strengthen your self-worth through self-love
When your cup runs empty, you feel more stressed, angry, and easily annoyed. But when your cup is overflowing, you are in alignment with self-love.
You will be able to pause, breathe and think before reacting.
Take care of yourself as a mom
Self-care is so important to us moms. Yet, we feel guilty or ashamed of taking care of ourselves.
Here’s the thing, if you don’t take good care of yourself, you will get burned out, and guess what?
You won’t be able to care for either yourself or your kids. You will also be more stressed and easily agitated, snapping at your kids for any and everything.
You may not always be able to stay positive and react the way you would have loved to. And that’s OK! When it does happen, forgive yourself and apologize to your kids.
As moms, we continuously evolve and learn new things that will support us throughout our journey. Give yourself some grace and be compassionate with yourself.
Grab yourself my happy mom’s cheat sheats for free!
[…] her heart and is passionate about helping and supporting others. Family means a lot to me, and being present with my kids is […]
[…] our time to learn new things. As moms, we feel there are not enough hours in a day. We are busy being present with our kids, taking care of the house and the list […]
[…] a mom, you are probably going to want to have some sort of flexibility. Being present for your child may be your priority. You know, like not having to miss another one of your child’s school […]
[…] we are unable to take care of ourselves as moms. And in so doing, we will not be able to be present for our kids. Or take care of our kids the way we would really want […]