Being present seems like such a common sense phrase. However, time and time again, society tends to favor moving quickly, life in the fast line, hurrying and hustling. But, there’s a beauty to be found in going against the grain. Slow down. My guest today, Erin Crites, expands on this subject and shares her own insights.
Take your time and soak it all in…
Careful – you’ll blink and they’ll be grown.
Embrace every moment – it all changes so fast.
They’re only small for so long – cherish it.
If I had a dime for every time I heard one of these sayings… I would be pretty rich! And I’m quite sure I’m not the only mother who’s hearing lines just like these and more.
But I have caught myself (more times than I care to admit) not paying attention to the moments right in front of me, trying to multitask, or getting caught up in the “it will be so nice when she can ______.”
And then sure enough, something that my daughter is doing either disappears quickly or she skips it entirely, and I miss it. And for what – to worry about what she’ll be doing in a few months or years?
It can be so easy to fall into the habit of thinking ahead.
When you’re a brand new mom and faced with many long nights with very little sleep, it can be so easy to remind yourself that this is only a phase and one day they’ll sleep through the night (and so will you). If you have an especially loving baby who never wants to be away from you, it can seem hopeless and the only thing that gives you comfort is that someday, she’ll sit up on her own. And if you have a demanding toddler who wants your undivided attention, isn’t it normal to remind yourself that soon he will be able to play by himself?
Our society is obsessed with setting and mastering goals, so much so that we now judge and grade our infants against them – and each other. It almost becomes a competition to see whose child will sit up first, eat their first solids, or walk. And if your child isn’t doing one of these, well – you must be doing something wrong as a parent.
But should we really be pushing our children towards these intangible goals?
Doesn’t it seem counterintuitive – to push our babies out of us and then rush, rush, rush to get them to a certain weight… then push push push to get them to eat solids… then hurry hurry hurry and start walking…
Only for us to later realize what we’ve gotten ourselves into and insist that they “slow down” and to not “eat us out of house and home”?
What if we took the advice everyone gives us and actually enjoyed the moments we have in front of us?
You may wind up being the odd duck out in your moms circle, and you may catch an odd glance when others inquire “what will you do when ______” and you just shrug your shoulders because you’ve honestly not given it any thought.
But what you will gain will be so much worth it.
You will gain the ability to:
- set down the phone and the books, and just observe what your child is doing right now.
- immerse yourself fully in the moments, the hours, the days with your child and watching as they attempt (and eventually master) new skills that may have otherwise not noticed.
- share in a game of peek-a-boo or copying each other’s facial expressions, causing your little one to fall apart in giggles.
- embrace and enjoy the extra snuggles, the pulling-up-onto-furniture stage, and the very first steps towards their favorite toy.
All of these could so easily be missed by us when we aren’t paying attention or when we’re so busy we rush our little ones.
So the next time you feel the urge to rush your little one to do things faster or to lament to yourself “oh I wish you could…”, remind yourself of three things –
1. They truly are only going to be this way for so long; you will not ever have their time back. Think on that.
2. Ask yourself why you’re wanting this – if the answer is anything other than “this will help them”, you’re looking at it all wrong.
3. Place yourself in your child’s shoes for just a minute and imagine what it would feel like to hear what it is you’re about to tell them.
My guess is that after thinking of these, you’ll probably slow down and be in the moment… which is exactly where you need to be.
Erin’s love of cooking and passion for teaching led her to the world of health coaching in 2016. Her personal journey through infertility caused her to explore what beyond nutrition could be causing her health issues. This led her on a deeply spiritual and self-explorative journey which ultimately led her to coaching so she could help others through similar transformational journeys.
Erin firmly believes that people inherently know what is best for them, but it takes being still, tuning into ourselves, and having a positive support system to tap into our natural intuition.
Erin graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and uses her training to focus on full-life coaching. She guides clients towards reaching their nutritional goals, while also supporting them in exploring how all areas of life influence their food choices and health. Whether you’re searching for help with food, weight, career, exercise, or something more personal, Erin provides a supportive and safe space for you to grow and accomplish your goals. Erin specializes in working with women who have undergone or are going through major life transitions, such as a new career, major health changes, pregnancy/childbirth, and fertility.
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And grab your freebie on how to Get Lost in Your Child and really engage with them even on busy days. (I’m off to spend the day with the girls before brother gets out for the long weekend.)