Moms wear a lot of hats, and days can quickly fill with tasks and errands and chores that have to be done. I know I’ve spent days being so focused on being productive that I realize at night how little time I actually spent with Aidan. This pains me, because nurturing our relationship is a big part of why I choose to stay home part-time.
I’m trying to figure out that balance between being productive and being present when I’m home. I don’t want to miss all the special moments while Aidan is young. I don’t want to be so busy and preoccupied that I look back weeks, months, or years later and realize I didn’t appreciate the time I had with him. Time is irreversible; once it passes, it’s gone, and you can’t ever have it back.
I don’t know for sure where that balance lies; I’m just trying to do the best I can. On the one hand, I want to be productive – I want to be a good steward of my time, take good care of my home, and build this blog. But I also want to prioritize my relationship with my husband and son.
To help me do that, I try to keep these 5 P’s in mind:
This is the big one for me. Sometimes I just need to stop what I’m doing and remember what’s most important. Not that cleaning or cooking or whatever else I have to do aren’t important, too, but I need to make sure that my husband and son get the best of me and not just what’s left of me.
I realize I’m in super task mode when I find myself constantly stepping around Aidan, evading his grasp, saying things like, “Not now, Mommy’s busy,” or “Just a minute” fifty times in a row. Sometimes it’s unavoidable and I really do need to finish the task at hand. But often that’s my clue that I need to spend a little time participating in whatever game or activity he’s concocted. Or, if I really need to get something done and he is desperate for my attention, I will find ways to include him in my activities. Luckily, he’s getting to the age where that’s a viable option, and it is great!
I’ll be real with you – I am not the type of mom that loves to play. That used to really shame me, but I’m finding as I read from other moms that I am not alone! There are a lot of fantastic moms out there who don’t particularly enjoy playtime!
However, motherhood is full of doing things you don’t like doing for the good of your child, right? Getting on the floor and playing cars is not my favorite thing to do with Aidan, but he loves it when I do! He has so much fun with me, and I can see that it creates huge deposits in his love bank. Though it doesn’t come naturally to me, playing with Aidan is one of the biggest ways I can build our relationship.
My days can so quickly fill up with various tasks and busy work that entire weeks have gone by before I realize that I haven’t spent the amount of quality time with Aidan that I desire. In order for that not to happen – to prevent “time creep” – I have to be so purposeful about spending time with him. When I make out my to-do list in the morning, I will actually schedule in times throughout the day that are strictly play time. No chores, no work, just Aidan. That might sound bad that I have to schedule that in, but I’ve found if I don’t, I will just keep filling the time with one more thing that “has” to be done.
I’ll conclude this list with the other big one for me. A huge part of being “in the moment” for me means simply paying attention. Really looking at Aidan – not just seeing him or looking around him, but actively looking at him. Watching him. Taking it all in, taking mental snapshots. Relishing in the moment. Putting my phone away, putting the work down, and enjoying the fun little fireball that he is.
These five steps help me be more “in the moment” when life threatens to take me in every other direction. What do you do to ensure you’re spending quality time building those important relationships?