If mindful parenting is about living in the moment, then I

May 04, 2015

Posted By: Shaunescy

Written by Leigh Ripley

If mindful parenting is about living in the moment, then I’m falling very, very short. I don’t have a moment, and I’m betting most of you don’t either. Life as a parent is a chaotic whirl of needs, responsibilities and obligations, and slowing down to appreciate life simply gets overlooked or pushed so far down the to-do list that it falls off.

I eat entire meals without tasting anything because I’m completely distracted by my three children who won’t stop touching each other, feeding the dog their lovingly-prepared food, burping or farting.

I am so tired that I fall asleep sitting upright in a chair, watching TV with my husband, and wake up at 5:30 in the morning with half my body on the floor – furious that I missed an entire night’s sleep in my bed.

I’ve left the house in my slippers a number of times (not on purpose), worn pajamas to drop the kids off at school and neglected to brush my hair for two days. Apparently my children’s grooming trumps my own hygiene.

I yell. A lot. Not proud of that one.?I rarely get my kids’ names right.?I forget homework, field trip consent forms, play dates and promises.

The tooth fairy clearly doesn’t know how to get into our house because she rarely shows up. One child had a tooth sitting on her beside table for a week before the fairy found it.

I miss entire replays of the day’s events at school because – rather than listening to my children – I’m going over the list of things I need to do tonight in my brain. Which is nuts, because I really miss them when they are at school and I know I should be completely engaged, hanging on every word. However, right now, as I write this, I am thinking about the load of laundry I put in the wash two days ago and forgot about.

Since I proofread every article that goes in our magazine, you can imagine how bad I was feeling about myself after reading all these insightful articles about mindful family living. At first, I resolved to be a better parent and try harder to live more fully in the moment. Then, I rather quickly came to the conclusion that I am doing a pretty good job. They are all good, happy kids, and they still love me, most of the time.

Despite all of my blunders, I do have some shining moments, moments where I am being mindful of what’s going on around me. Maybe I shouldn’t be shooting to live in the present all the time, just making sure it happens some of the time.

I have a theory that when a woman has a child, her brain splits in two: One half constantly focuses on the child while the other half focuses on everything else. I understand what all these mindful people are saying?– I need to fuse the two halves back into one and focus completely?on what I am doing. Wish me luck; I didn’t even know what mindful parenting meant before this issue.

You are a great parent, whatever kind of parent that may be. Heck, you’re reading a parenting magazine, that’s a start. Maybe next year we’ll dedicate an entire issue to the exhausted, overworked, stressed- out mindless parenting that occurs most days.

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