How Being Present Changed Everything in My Life
I used to hate crafts with my children. With a deep, burning passion.
Mommy can we do slime?
Excuse me, and get it on the carpet? Absolutely not.
That's the thing with crafting with kids, it's SO MESSY. AND WASTEFUL. You do not need that much glue child.
And the of course there is the clean up. And the crying to continue. UGH.
But then we realized my son was going to stay home from preschool this year.
We Were Going To Miss A Lot This Year
All those cute and fun crafts my older two did during preschool, and the sweet “fill in the blank” sheets they completed with their teachers about what these little ones think about their families . . . I'll miss those.
Find my silly toddler interview questions here.
I miss picking him up every day and seeing the fun craft he worked on drying on the drying rack outside his classroom, and him telling me about how day.
No part of me wanted to take him away from that, and when I think about it too long, my eyes fill up with tears, and I can't see the keyboard.
So I am doing what I can to make sure this year is the best year for him.
How I Decided to Change Our Course
I am putting my hatred for arts and crafts with small hands behind me, for my son. Because he deserves to squish his hands in weird fluffy junk, and glue a thousand little pompoms on popsicle sticks.
The more I thought about this, the more it infuriated me. I don't think I am the only one here.
I think our society today tells us not to enjoy spending time with our children. Our society teaches us that we need a break from them.
We are a military family, and when this pandemic started, our bubble of friends in this town, 1,000 miles away from our closest family member, popped. We had a handful of friends we went to see often, but since this started, we haven't seen anyone.
There are certain restrictions for military families now, like we can't go to restaurants, gatherings of more than five people, and vacations? Ha, they'll need every single aspect of your trip mapped out for them, so they can tell you that you can't go.
It's so easy to get stuck in finding only the negatives here. But I decided to go a different way for once in my life.
I tried to put my phone down, and enjoy my youngest more. I noticed whenever he walked into a room, his older siblings would tell him to go away, and he only wanted to play with them. It broke my heart.
Eventually during quarantine we all figured out how to like each other, which is amazing. But for me, it was about being present with my children.
There is nothing on my phone more important than spending time with this guy.
It goes against everything in our lives today. To put that phone down . . . it's crazy.
But when I did, I saw his face. I saw how happy he was, and I learned so much about him.
I Learned About My Child During Quarantine
I learned he hates when we paint his feet, and we have to talk it out if we want to do that. Then at the end of the day, he tells me his favorite part of the day was painting his feet.
Also, he just wants me to look at him. Notice him.
With a phone in my face it's easy to brush him off, and tell him to stop asking for my attention. But when I take that away, he is so happy.
When I focus on him instead of focusing on my phone, his behavior issues slowly went away.
Sure, he still got in trouble sometimes, but he wasn't getting frustrated by me anymore. His cup was getting filled.
And the biggest improvement for me? I stopped feeling like my cup was constantly draining. I think those feelings were caused by always trying to get away.
A Funny Thing Happened When I Stopped Grasping For Alone Time
I was stuck in this sick cycle of grasping for time to myself. I was doing everything I could to get away so I could just write one more post, or just get out this email, or watch this video on YouTube.
When I put all of those things away, and I focused on making my son happy . . . I had more time.
This last week, we did about 25 different crafts, because I was working on an ebook for space arts and crafts, and I've never seen him more happy.
Since he was happy, he didn't mind giving me alone time to go work on things, he was just happy we had spent our morning together.
I went from thinking “I never have time for myself” to having enough time to launch an entire store attached to my blog, and add a handful of products, as well as get my product into an Ultimate Bundle.
A few things I want you to take away from this post:
- You can connect with your children.
- You can ENJOY motherhood, even when it's stressful.
- Don't worry about what everyone else is doing, start where you are.
- YOU are the perfect mother to your child.
Tune in next week for your regular blog content, where I am much more helpful.
In the meantime, please check out my new store I created for you: