This is every mom’s difficulty. As creatures wired to multi-task, it is a constant struggle for our species to be 100% present wherever we are. While we are at work, we are thinking about our children. While we are chatting with a friend, we are thinking about the missing ingredient we need to buy for tonight’s dinner. While we are sending an email, we are already thinking about our next task. While we are doing the dishes, we are thinking about this weekend’s plans.
“Wherever you are, be all there,” says Jim Elliot. How to do this, in attention deficit world, where we move through life as though we are switching screens and apps on our iPhones?
Here are a few tips that I’ve discovered through the years:
- If you’re with another human being, put away your phone. Beyond good manners (because there’s nothing like using your phone while you’re having a conversation with someone that tells that person he/she is not important), putting your phone away allows you to give your full attention and respect to the person you are speaking with. This makes you a better listener, lover, mother, and friend.
- Make a list. Do one task at a time. Organize your thoughts by writing them down and resist the temptation to do 3 things at once–unless those 3 tasks are mechanical activities that require little, or no brainpower.
- Catch yourself, and bring yourself back. The first step towards change is self-awareness. As you move through a regular day, pay attention to the moments you switch tabs or pick up your phone to scroll through social media. Acknowledge this as a distraction, and re-focus your energies on your current task. Practicing this will build better habits for intensive work.
The best thing about being mindful or present isn’t checking every pending item off your to-do list. It is about living life to the fullest, by recognizing each moment for what it is–fleeting.
Especially for mothers—as I am one—we don’t want to wake up one day and realize our children have grown into adults without our notice. We want to cherish and relish each moment we can, enjoying the little things as much as the major milestones. So let’s all resolve to be more mindful and present to those we love together, because life is short. Let’s all aspire to live our lives without regrets.
Article originally posted on MomCenter.com.ph, reposted with permission from the editors.