Mothering Presence

I have been trying to nurture my own sense of gratitude for a while now, attempting to have it in the scope of my vision at all times.  What I have come to know is that moments are all we have.  I used to rush through some of the more arduous tasks with the children, like diaper changes, potty trips, and dressing feeling like I needed to get through these in order to get to the good stuff.  I would not take the time to engage in my child’s silliness while we went through these motions together.  But when I stopped to consider how much of our togetherness I was missing out on, and began to approach routine with the presence of gratitude, I began to realize that a diaper change offers a stolen moment where I get to be alone with one of my children.   Now that I have three, I find it is difficult to have time to indulge fully with each of them, particularly with my baby girl.

It is in the fleeting moments where I get her all to myself, without the distraction of her older brothers verbal capacities which often punctuate our time together.  I capture her tiny hands in mine, give her a tickle, or gently kiss her soft round cheek.  Now that I have begun to be present for these moments, I wish there were more of them.  I have begun to carve out more little joys in our daily routines.  It is amazing how much difference a little mind shift can make.  This small mental shift to be present for my children during routine tasks has taken away much of the drudgery of motherhood.  When I can view these moments as the very things that bring me joy and connection with my children, I am reminded that it is the slow and quiet things that repeat that will grow my children into the people I want them to be.  From my own childhood, I don’t remember the fights, the bedtime battles, what I remember is the tone and emotional feel of my household, the way my parents met me with love.  I want to create as many comforts for my children as I can, for beyond the walls of this home the world can be a difficult place to be.  I feel I am making our home a better place to be by taking time for gratitude in each small moment I can.  These moments are all I have…these are my life.  The more I can capture the joy of what is, the more beautiful my life has become.  I have stopped wishing for more, and instead have begun to appreciate what is.

“Life is all memory, except for the one present moment that goes by you so quickly you hardly catch it going.”

~Tennessee Williams

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4 comments

  1. The days are long, but the years are short. Enjoy it while you can because they grow up fast. When you look back on it, the 18-20 years we spent raising kids is long gone now. We’ve found new joy in seeing our grand kids, but that’s only a few times a month.

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    1. I think this was the undercurrent of my realization! Not only that, but in an effort to slow down and be present we are enjoying the good times we have now. One never knows how long they will continue for…

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  2. This is a beautiful post. I need to remember this too, especially with my “older” kids, 11 and 13, but it’s still the small moments, and I do rush through them a lot. And as everyone says, it’s amazing how quickly time goes.

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    1. Thank you. It is so easy to get caught up in routines, feeling like they’re drudgery. Because they cycle around and around, it’s easy to forget that it is possible to fill in the tiny spaces around the action with connection and joy!

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