Present Parenting: How To Eliminate Distractions
Present parenting doesn’t mean ignoring chores, work, and daily routines.Those responsibilities will always be there. But it does mean eliminating as much distraction as you can so you can truly enjoy being around your kids.
You wake up, and already it hits you: The daily schedule. The news. Preparing meals. Facebook notifications. Work emails. Instagram friend requests. Text messages. Housework. Tidying up. Piles of laundry. Washing dishes. Carpool duty. Walking the dog. Homework help. Phone calls.
And so on.
The dizzying laundry list of the daily duties of motherhood can become a tedious chore. There can be so many things to accomplish on that endless to-do list that it’s hard to even get started. One day easily blends into the next, and before long, you’ve lost sight of the joys of being a mom.
In a world of distractions, it’s important to stay present.
Present parenting doesn’t mean ignoring chores, work, and daily routines. Those responsibilities will always be there. But it does mean eliminating as much distraction as you can so you can truly enjoy being around your kids. Are you feeling lost in the endless cycle of wake-cook-clean-wash-repeat?
Here are some simple ways to be a more present parent:
1. Get up early.
This may seem like torture if you’re a mom whose children wake up throughout the night or fight bedtimes. But for mothers with children who sleep through the night, setting an alarm and waking up early can be a very helpful way to start the day. Getting up before the kids help you start the day on the right foot. You can take a few moments to meditate, pray, stretch, read, work out, or enjoy a warm cup of coffee in peace and quiet. Taking time for yourself at the start of every day can help you feel better prepared to handle your kids throughout the day. Try to get up at least 10-30 minutes before your kids, and take some time for self-care.
2. Practice meditation.
Whether you’re new to meditation or a seasoned pro, there are many ways to become better at practicing mindfulness. If you’re wondering where to begin, try downloading a meditation app like Balance, Breathe, HeadSpace, or Calm. Meditation is usually incorporated into yoga classes, so consider taking up yoga as well. Meditation helps you connect mind, body, and spirit, and this connection can help you stay more present at the moment.
3. Set up a daily schedule.
Don’t let your children dictate the schedule. Setting a daily routine can be helpful in combating stress and distractions throughout the day. You can stay present in the moment instead of constantly checking the calendar or your phone to figure out what comes next or how to fill the time. Set expectations with your kids about the daily routine. If everyone is on the same page about what needs to be accomplished each day, you will have a much easier time parenting your children.
4. Set limits on your phone.
This is a hard one, but it’s important to have time throughout the day without electronics. Turn off the TV, put your phone away, charge the iPads, and spend time as a family without being distracted by electronics. This doesn’t mean the technology is a bad thing, and it’s important for mothers to have a break throughout the day, but walking around with your phone in your pocket or with Netflix playing in the background can be incredibly distracting. Let your kids know you love and care about them by being intentional about setting limits on technology.
5. Keep a journal.
Writing in a journal can help you see growth and progress over time. It can also be a way to catalogue things you are grateful for, and things you look forward to. Set aside some time each day to journal about your children. You can write about their small accomplishments, such as sleeping through the night or learning to crawl, or bigger issues such as your dreams for their futures. Jot down a few things you are thankful for each day, and what you think were some successful moments from the day.
6. Change your mindset.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and distracted, try changing your mindset. Consider changing your outlook on what makes a day successful or not. Does “success” mean completing all the chores? Or does it mean having fun with the kids? What defines a “productive” day? Washing 10 loads of laundry, or getting on the floor and laughing with your baby during tummy time? Change your focus, and you might just find that you become a lot more present in the little moments of joy throughout the day.
Parenting isn’t easy, and being a present parent isn’t any easier! Try your best to implement these tactics in your own life, and you will find yourself a lot more fulfilled in the day to day life of motherhood.
Parenting is awesome. Sleep is overrated. Every day is an adventure.
Meet Our KeaMommy Contributor: Kaitlyn Torrez
I’m Kaitlyn Torrez, from the San Francisco Bay Area. I live with my husband and two children, Roman and Logan. I’m a former preschool teacher, currently enjoying being a stay at home mom. I love all things writing, coffee, and chocolate. In my free time, I enjoy reading, blogging, and working out.