Mindfulness and Our Children

Sunday and Monday I was battling a stomach virus. I hadn’t been so helpless and weak feeling in years. My stomach was in extreme pain, I couldn’t keep food or water down, I was up throughout the night, and having to lay down as much as possible while still being mama to a toddler. The worse part of it all was the extreme guilt I felt, as if I were “taking off work” as mom and stay at home wife. Repeatedly I’d have to say to myself, “You are sick! You need time down to recover. Everything is okay.” Walking into the kitchen full of dirty dishes didn’t feel okay. Having my husband ‘fend for himself’ without me cooking didn’t feel okay. Allowing Eisley to watch Bubble Guppies and WanderPets over and over ESPECIALLY didn’t make me feel okay, but it was the only time I could lay down on the couch and rest. Simply standing up made me feel nauseous, but I felt bad for Eisley that I wasn’t being a present, involved mother. I was having the TV babysit her for me.

 
Luckily, after holding down a banana, apple, Greek yogurt, and water, I was able to get a great night’s sleep and woke up feeling healthy again. While I was sick, it forced me to slow down and get a reality check about the quality of time I spend with our daughter. Sure, we are together ALL of the time since I am a stay at home mom, but it had me thinking about how special we choose to make that time. I am guilty of getting so caught up in house chores or things that “need” to get done that I forget that those “things” can wait. HELLO prioritization! Eisley is far more important and she won’t stay this little forever. Her second birthday is one week away and life only continues to speed up as she grows. When we spend time drawing pictures, exploring outside, or playing pretend with her animals, she is obviously filled with joy and I am too. Then I remember, one day she’ll be embarrassed to be seen in public with me. At home, she’ll listen to loud music in her room with the door closed. She’ll be busy with friends and school and activities and she won’t want to play with me anymore. So before that day comes, I want to soak up her sweet littleness. 

Eisley's been on adventures since she was born!
We live near a park with a playground, so we try to go there often. On Tuesday when I was feeling better, we spent over an hour out there trying to make up for the previous two days indoors. There was a little brother and sister playing that were a few years older, but Eisley loves following bigger kids around. The entire time their mom sat afar at a picnic table while staring down at her phone the whole dang time. The only attention they got from her was the time she yelled at them for running on the grass and not playing together. It made me feel sad for the kids. Another mom was there, also glued to her phone, while her son was messing around on the swings. I was pushing Eisley in the baby swing nearby, but I didn’t feel it was my place to ask him to stop since his mom was standing right there. Before you know it, he jumped out and landed face down in the wood chips…hard. He wasn’t even crying, just laying there still. The mom jumped down to him and was freaking out, rubbing his back. Thank goodness he was okay! The fall just knocked the air out of him. Was this simply a common childhood accident, or could it have been prevented if his mom had been paying more attention to him? 

Sharing adventures on Mt. Baker
 
LET ME BE CLEAR: I am not judging either of these moms. I am simply relaying two different situations in which the mothers weren’t paying attention, or being mindful, of their children. Together in this tribe of motherhood, let’s choose to live in the present. Lay on the floor while playing with toys, snuggle up to read books, get EXTRA messy using finger paints. Remember, our children won’t stay this little forever. Do you, as their mama, want them remembering the top of your head while staring down at the glowing screen in your hand? Do you want your children to grow up feeling like you’re always too busy for them? Together, let’s choose mindfulness as mothers, lovers, and human beings. Strive for our children to remember laughs, experiences, affection, and adventures!

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