Have you ever been speaking with someone and then noticed that they weren't actually paying attention? They were nodding along, but you could see that their mind was elsewhere. How often do you think about your work or your endless to-do list when your child is telling you about their day? Have you ever eaten a meal only to realize that you don't even remember what it was?
We've all seen people multitasking without paying enough attention to the things around them. And we've all been guilty of it ourselves. I know I have. Sometimes, it feels like it's the only way to manage our busy lives, but I promise there's a better way.
There is a well-known saying about parenting: The days are long, and the years are short. Being a working mother is tiring and sometimes frustrating. But regardless of your child's age, every moment is precious. Learning to balance work, family, and time takes practice and focus. Part of this balancing act is learning to be present and appreciating the moments that matter.
Yes, it's totally cliché. But it's also totally true. When you reflect back on these years later in life, what will you vividly remember? Will it be the meetings you attended or the spreadsheets you created? Will it be the errands that you checked off your list? I don't think so. The moments and conversations with the people we love the most will always hold the most meaningful places in our memories.
On this quest to explain to people how I manage to "do it all," I have learned that you can't do anything without being in the moment. If I could give just two words of advice, I would say: be present. Below are just a few more tips.
Be present for five minutes: Here is a challenge so simple that you might think it isn't even worth a try. But humor me, and let's see what happens. Commit to being present with one person in your life every day this week for five whole minutes.
I'm asking you to stay totally focused for the whole time. You cannot think of other things, multitask, think about your to-do list, or even plan what you will do or say next. Just simply listen. Look into their eyes and let them know that what they are saying is absolutely the most important thing in that moment.
Can you do this for five minutes? Well, it turns out it's not so easy for me. As a working mother, I have gotten really good at doing three or four or ten things at once. At first, I thought this was serving me well. But over time I realized that in actuality, I was not giving my full attention to anyone or anything.
Typing an email, talking on the phone, and half-listening to my daughter, while keeping my toddler occupied used to be my normal way of life. Honestly, all this multi-tasking was really quite exhausting and distracting as I was largely somewhere else most of the time. At work, I wasn't focused on the conversations at hand, and at home I was only half-listening to what was happening around me in a futile attempt to maintain perfection.
Make an effort to really stay present with the people in your life. I promise you will be amazed at how much you have been missing while you were "accomplishing."
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Samantha Knowles is the author of Working Mom Reviews. To know more about how to dealing with toddler behavior check out Talking to Toddlers Review To learn tips to renew the spark of your relationship - quickly check out Text the Romance Back Review
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