After reading “The Important Thing About Yelling”, I have really been struggling with how I parent. Far too much of my time is still occupied with texting and Facebook. Honestly, I find it embarassing, yet deeply humbling to admit how much time I waste with these things. By taking a step back and looking at my kids, how I parent and how I WANT to parent, I decided to start having hands-free mornings.
This morning started at 6:30am. Ben peed through his pjs – Daddy forgot to change him before bed and I had gone out – and that’s why he was up so early. I changed him and we cuddled while rocking in our rocking chair. The moment was precious because I was living IN the moment, not thinking about when I could put him down to do other things.
Chloe woke up at 6:45am, and together Ben and I went to get her. Her face lit up when she saw us come in the room, and she reached for her brother: “Ben!” she cried happily and they gave each other a morning kiss. Precious.
While I made them both breakfast, Ben – who is now crawling furiously and standing himself using furniture – smashed his face into a dining room chair. Instant nose-bleed for my baby. He cried so hard and I felt so bad for him. We got the little man cleaned up and we all ate our cold oatmeal.
When Ben went for his first nap, Chloe and I made blueberry muffins. My little helper measured, stirring and tasted. She also got to sprinkle sugar on top of each muffin which she loved. While the muffins cooked, I had her helped me unload the bottom rack of the dish washer. Happily, she chatted away while also counting every spoon and fork that she handed to me.
Super Readers is one of her favorite shows, so while she watched it, I had my second cup of coffee and got ready for the day. My make-up regime is very simple and took 5 minutes, so after that I was also able to get some much needed chores done.
We left the house for a quick Walmart and library run. We found lots of great items that will certainly keep us busy for the next little while.
Chloe and I spent a lot of quality time together this morning. Part of why it was so excellent, but because, again, I was living in the moment. We danced to “Tale as Old as Tiiiiiiime’ aka ‘Beauty and the Beast’, played dolls, and read books. Living in the moment can actually be life changing. It means I am no longer focusing on when I get my next break from my kids, but more about, giving my busy-ness a break and focusing on my kids. There were even times this morning that I just WATCHED my kids and envied their simple joy and innocence, while storing up those precious sibling giggles in my heart.
This is what my living room looked like by the end of the morning:
Now that they are both in bed napping, I have looked at my phone and realized, I didn’t miss much except that I forgot to tell my husband that I was taking a hands-free morning and he thought I was mad at him and didn’t know why! Poor guy! But seriously, I realized I didn’t miss anything important by not texting this morning, but what I could have missed was what I took time for today: my kids.
Tomorrow is day two of hands-free mornings.