As I sat in my camping chair drinking my coffee and reading my book while the kids played I just couldn’t help but think… this is the life I want. I want to live in the moment and have no regrets. I want to stop feeling guilty for not doing more.
I want to sit here and listen to the wind flow through the beautiful fall trees and not worry about anything on my long to-do list.
I feel like as children we live in the moment because we have no expectations to be or do thousands of things in a week.
As adults, we often feel like we need to say yes to everything in order to feel approval. Whether it be for a job promotion, fit in with the mom groups or even keep up with family.
The problems that keep us from living in the moment
We say yes to more than we should. You’ve done it. I’ve done it. You have great intentions but you don’t always have the capacity to come through with the results like you planned. Holding our expectations so high that we say yes to everything. People start to rely on us and it can become exhausting to always show up.
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Constantly hustling to do more and be more. This goes right along with saying yes too much. You hustle to do the weekend events, kids sports, school activities and the like. You get caught up in trying to be a perfect mom and become exhausted instead. Hustling isn’t always as good as people say it is. Especially when it isn’t in line with your values as a family.
Social media. Social media has led us to feel the need to keep up. If Sally down the street is doing something then you should be too. If her kids are in 4 different after-school activities then yours should be too. This is exhausting. Keeping up with everyone else and having this invisible competition going is exhausting. It doesn’t allow for living in the moment. It doesn’t allow for downtime and rest.
The solutions to being more present and living in the moment
Saying NO. I’ve actually written about this quite a lot in the budgeting posts on the blog. But it’s true when it comes to daily living as well. Our kids don’t need to be in so many activities that they never have time to just sit and be happy. As parents, we don’t need to do all the things for our kids to make all the memories. Learning to say no is the first step in learning to live in the moment.
Less multi-tasking. This one is going to be especially hard for this Type-A mama but I’m here to tell it’s important to stop. Stop multitasking. Your mind will constantly be somewhere else if you’re multitasking than where it needs to be… in the moment. I’ve been there too many times to count.
I think to myself… I’ll just pin recipes while we play monopoly and then I don’t have to spend time doing it tomorrow.
Yeah, that never works. I always end up making my family mad because I can’t seem to look away from my phone. Then they skip my turn and I get mad.
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Be intentional with your time and tasks. When you are focusing on a task or family time then put all of your love and energy into that one thing. Chances are our kids will enjoy and remember those moments. Those will be the moments they think about when they’re adults. That is what drives me to be more intentional and live in the moment. I want them to remember that. I want to be their role model.
Spend more time doing nothing. This time can be spent with your family or not. But just spending more time being present in the moment. Watching, listening, loving that time in the moment. I really enjoy sitting on the porch watching the leaves blow and listening to the birds.
Tonight at the park I sat and read my book and listened to the kids playing. It was just perfect and the only thing missing was our man.
Learn to love the boring tasks. For years I’ve hated cooking and cleaning. For years I’ve wished I could hire someone to do it for me. And as I get older and learn to live for the right now I’m learning that those boring tasks are part of the life I yearn for. So I’ve begun embracing them. I’ve chosen to cook simple meals so when I do spend time in the kitchen I can dance around, taste test and just enjoy it.
Let go of what you can’t control. Oh man, this one is tough for a Type-A personality especially, but it’s true for anyone. I have struggled with this for so long and part of the mindset issues I’ve been working on is learning to let go of these things I can’t control.
I can’t control early out days every week for my kids. I can’t control when my kids get sick. I can’t control my husbands work travel or long hours. But I can control my attitude towards those occasions.
I can plan fun things for my kids. I can stop working so much during those nasty colds and love on my kids more.
Those are the things I can do to live in the moment.
Accept that you are imperfect. No matter what we set out to accomplish we are imperfect. We can’t do it all. We can’t be everything. We just can’t. But we can embrace ourselves for who we are and just go with it. Enjoy your time because it’s going to go quickly.
Learn to lose track of time and be there watching the leaves fall from the trees.
Stop and smell the roses, Mama, because it won’t be like this for long.
Here are some “you shoulds” you can focus on instead:
- Take more short trips as a family discovering new things
- Go for ice cream
- Go on walks
- Read more books
- Listen to your kid’s stories
- Dance around the living room
Affirmations for Motherhood
Breathe life into your journey through motherhood with these affirmations.