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Welcome to my musings on pop culture and parenting. I am the Pop Mama and this is a safe place to steal away from your screaming child and get your fix on what's up with Beyonce and great poop stain remover tips.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Resting in the Present

3:49pm - Working at my desk, kids are with babysitter.

Today a friend told me that she thinks I do a really good job of being present on the days that I have the kids.  I was shocked as I am constantly beating myself up for being distracted and overwhelmed with business stuff when I should be "enjoying" mothering moments.  Trying to take the compliment, I said "thank you" and told her that I struggle with this daily.

There is a lot out there today about parents being distracted from their children or family time by their phones, work, social media, etc.  I see it in others and I admit that I too am often half present instead of fully present.  For me it isn't a good thing, but sometimes it is a necessary thing.  I work for myself and I am also at least partially responsible for the income of two other people.  Sometimes I need to address a work related issue immediately.  And, sometimes I just "think" I need to address something immediately.  Differentiating between the two and trusting that the world won't fall apart if I don't act is the struggle.

Our culture has become reliant on the immediate response.  However, very few of us are actually performing tasks that require an immediate response.  My work is as an attorney and consultant and I must remind myself that no one is going to bleed out on the table if I don't respond to an email within the hour.  A few months ago I was completely overwhelmed, stressed and exhausted by work projects, which translated into me being short-tempered, anxious and distracted with my boys.  One day I snapped a little and took a step back.  I needed peace.

I know that balance is constantly shifting and all the pieces will never be in perfect harmony (at least not all the time), but I had to figure out little things to do to create boundaries.  Now I don't check email after a certain time at night.  I try to put my phone down and walk away from it when I am with my kids.  Instead of hurriedly getting the kids to nap and rushing to do work, I now give myself permission to take some alone time where I am not working.  And, if Cam doesn't nap, I try not to freak out and just enjoy a little quiet time with him.  The last month has been better -- or at least, some days are better than others.

So, this afternoon when I found myself with Cam on the couch and he fell asleep on me as we were resting together, I did not reach for my phone.  I closed my eyes.  For at least one moment, the world was in balance.





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