I have two small children. One boy named Danny who is a year and a half old and a girl named Veronica who is three months old. Although I am extremely blessed, let’s just say, life has been a bit chaotic lately.
The other day I was SO in my head. I was worried about all of the housework and when I was going to possibly get it all done. After all, it seems like all I have been doing lately is nursing and changing diapers. I was sitting there, looking around my house. COMPLETELY consumed with the clutter, crumbs, laundry etc. In fact, I was SO in my head that I forgot I was holding on to my beautiful baby girl.
I looked down, mesmerized. What was I doing? I automatically felt regret. I was missing out on the precious moments of holding my daughter because I was consumed with my own anxiety and overwhelm.
It is SO important to be mindful when it comes to parenting. I don’t want to look back and miss out on the moments because I wasn’t mindful enough. In fact, there are so many times that I catch myself in zombie mode. I often feel panicked by the day’s duties or to do lists instead of being present for my children,
So many times I miss out on the small moments because I am so consumed with the big ones. For example, I have been planning my daughters’ baptism. SO much goes into preparing for the big day. The catering, the cross I want to buy her as a special gift, arranging the small details etc.
However, my son Danny was playing on the floor and he wanted to play with me. I was too busy to play with him because I was planning my daughter’s baptism. Playing with Danny is especially important to me because my maternity leave ends soon. I will be away from my children so much more than I would like when I return to work.
I needed to tune in to my babies and tune out of my head. After all, we had the baptism and it turned out great! What was I so worried about, anyway?
THE PEACE THAT IS FOUND IN CHRIST
Jesus is always waiting to take our burdens if we only let go, and let God. Often times we don’t turn to Him enough for peace. We need to trust Him more which is so very hard. I often think of Jesus as a running back and myself as a quarterback. I throw him the ball, BUT all too often I want to take it back from him, instead of letting him keep the ball.
Similar to football, we need to remember our positions. I am a human being with limiting beliefs and control. God is the creator of the universe who takes care of us all. Let’s let Him keep the ball from now on. After all, He is the only one that can make the touchdown, anyway.
For example, I have been struggling with when to go back to work after my maternity leave ends, to either six weeks or twelve weeks. I review it in my head over and over and over again. I think of all of the scenarios, the negatives, and positives, the what ifs. I ruminate on these thoughts until I feel exhausted.
So, I try to remember to pause and mindfully surrender to Jesus. When I trust Him I feel the burden melt away. This frees me to live in the present moment instead of being trapped in fear and a make-believe world of what ifs.
Afterward, I am able to relax, get on the floor with Danny and enjoy the present moment. What a present it is! This is my touchdown and victory.
So, next time you are lost in thought remember these three mindful parenting tips:
1). Write down a checklist of tasks that need to be completed. Then, get on the floor and play with your kids! This way, you will lighten the mental load so you can enjoy it.
2). If you need to fold the laundry, fold the laundry AND play with your kids. I do this all the time. I am often folding towels while I am playing ball with my son. Talk about multitasking!
3). If you play with your kids, be present with them. If you really have a task that needs to be completed, get it done and then enjoy playtime.
It will be so worth it when you are connecting with your kids. You will enjoy it as much as they do!