Busy, busy, busy!
That is the best way to describe how our lives are lived this day! We are constantly on the go, constantly trying to plan and coordinate the next thing! It is both exhausting and often leaves us feeling as if we are always behind and never actually experiencing everything!
This is doubly hard as a working mom. We LONG to spend time with our babies and to be more present in our parenting, but we lack the time with all of the mental energy we expend towards making our households run smoothly. So, how do we stop living in the constant hamster will and start slowing down and being present?
Staying in the moment can be challenging, but it is not impossible! In this post I am going to give you a little encouragement and some tips on how to experience a more present life! Let’s dive into it!
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What does it mean to be present?
Being present is defined as being aware of and experiencing the current moment. Being present means not living in your head, being fully engaged with what you are doing right now instead of planning for tomorrow or fretting about yesterday! Being present is a form of mindfulness where we give our full attention to one thing at a time without judging ourselves negatively when things don’t go as planned.
And this all sounds a lot like something that only people without responsibilities can do, right? Wrong! Being present and experiencing life where you are able to fully engage in the moment at hand is not out of your reach, even if you are the main caregiver at home.
Being present is something that takes a full commitment but just a few steps to see it come to life in your life!
Why is being present important
There are so many benefits to being present and so many reasons why it is important to stop multitasking mentally and start experiencing what is going on in your life in the present moment. The benefits of being present include:
As a working mom you have likely experienced the following scenario. You are cooking while having a conversation with a child, the child is going on and on about something, but you can not be sure what it is. You begin focusing in on the task at hand and notice it gets earily silent. Your child is staring at you with that look. The one that is slight sadness and a hint of hoping. You realize you have no idea what they were saying, if they asked a question or anything. In that moment, the guilt settles in hard!
When you intentionally live in the present your experiences with others are rarely like this! You will be able to experience the best in your relationships.
Additionally living a present life allows you to be much more focused in your day to day tasks. Being present will allow you to focus on what is important in the moment, without distraction.
The mental strain of worrying about and planning for the future can be taxing! Being present allows your mind some relief from this stress as well as gives it a break from continually being engaged with negative thoughts that are unproductive!
More fulfilling experiences
Ultimately all of this leads to a more fulfilling motherhood experience. So many of us end up missing out on the best of what this life has to offer because we are either the default parent or the main caregiver. We take on the responsibility of all the things that need to be done in and around our homes and end up distracted from the beautiful moments happening in the present.
How to be present: 12 Ideas to try
So now that we know that being present is uber important for so many reasons in our life and relationships, how can be practice being more present? Well throughout the course of my motherhood journey specifically, I have found that there were many moments when I catch my mind wandering, and I have felt so guilty for this lack of present parenting. Through research and a lot of trial and error, I have been able to have a few being present hacks for my toolbox!
They are foul-proof, but with mindfulness and practice they have helped me to be more present in my day to day living.
Turn off your phone
Today’s society has told us that we have to be accessible at all times, cell phones make that possible which is great for quickly tackling emergencies. It is terrible for present parenting. Learning to do activities without your phone in close proximity makes being present possible.
Multitasking , as it relates to being present, is not something you should be doing. Being present in a task at hand requires us make time for the task and do that one thing without other distractions popping up! Trust me, multitasking while trying to give your child your full attention will lead to some major guilt later on.
Plan your day
When you plan your day out ahead of time, you are able to be present in it. Being intentional about the tasks that need your attention and those you can let go makes being present possible!
One way I have found to help me get out of my own head is through mindfulness. Being mindful on a daily basis allows us to notice what things we might have otherwise overlooked. Try to truly experience each moment. Whatever that may be!
Plan your week
Like planning your day, planning your week can be a game changer when it comes to more present parenting and living. When you plan your week you can create a schedule that is not top heavy on one particular day. This ensures your week is both productive and leaves room to slow down and take in each moment.
Prioritizing rest is one of the present living tips that has really made a huge impact on my ability to enjoy life more! When you are weary, it is impossible to focus, impossible to be productive and hard to truly enjoy the best of this life in the present. Prioritizing rest allows you to live each day at your fullest potential.
Declutter your spaces
Clutter causes stress, stress and worry increases your mental fatigue and overthinking which keeps you from being able to be present in the moment you are experiencing. Whether that is with family, friends, or in your work. Clutter takes up residence in your mental and physical spaces and keeps you from being in the moment at hand. Decluttering helps reduce stress for many reasons and helps you in being present.
Create healthy boundaries
Creating boundaries in your time between work obligations and home life can be a great way to help you live in the moment. Being present is hard when we feel like there are so many demands on us that it seems impossible to find any time for ourselves. Being intentional about how and where your boundaries lie can create more balance for those who need it most- YOU!
Learn to say no
Having nothing to do, is having something to do. Obligating your time and energy to activities that you do not want to do, do you and your family no good. Learning to say no, and recognizing your free time is not available time can help you not fret over an overbooked schedule.
Don’t overbook your schedule
Speaking of overbooking your schedule, this is a big one. Being present can be difficult when you have too many things on your plate and feel like there are no breaks in sight. When we overbook our schedules, it becomes hard to take the time for those around us as well as ourselves!
Take some deep breaths
It might seem silly, but taking slow deep breaths will help you be present in the moment. Being able to take deep breaths and focus on that one breath allows us as adults and parents to recognize our need for self care.
Time block for productivity
This one may seem like something you know but maybe it’s been a while since you’ve done it. Being present in the moment, means being productive as well! Time blocking can help you decrease multitasking and be present for every part of your life. Including your work hours and your play hours.
Focus on what is in front of you
When we are thinking about other things going on around us or worrying about future events all at once, this can cause our minds to wander. Focusing on the activity at hand, experiencing it with all of your senses, and giving thanks for the blessing in the moment are great ways o reset and focus.
Give yourself Grace
Lastly, you want to extend yourself when learning to be more present. Even being preoccupied with failure in this arena can keep you from enjoying the best of what is in front of you!
Being Present Takes Practice
It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day, but putting some intentional effort into living more presently can make a huge difference. We all know that being present for those you love takes time and practice, so if you haven’t already incorporated these 12 tips for living in the present into your daily routine, it may be worth giving them a try!