LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – In about a month or so I’m going to have a newborn baby, a 4-year-old and a 2-year-old at home while, all working full time. I’m overwhelmed just thinking about it. I try to have a good balance in my life, but sometimes it feels like I’m never fully present with my kids because I feel like I’m pulled in so many different directions.
So this week I wanted to share an article with you that really spoke to me. I found it on the website herviewfromhome.com, and it’s written by Michigan-based couples therapist and relationship coach Kelsey Nimmo.
Nimmo starts by highlighting how fast children grow up and jumps right into the frustrating and guilt-producing “Catch 22” when moms are with their children but feel overwhelmed and distracted remembering all of the things that need to get done.
They need a break, but when they do get a break and are away from their kids, they miss them and feel guilty about being “less present” with them.
So Nimmo offers this advice: “single-task” instead of multitasking.
She says single-tasking requires you to train your brain to stay focused on what you’re doing, and slow down. If you can do this, she says you’ll find parenting is far more enjoyable.
Here are her 3 simple strategies for being fully present with your kids.
Number one: turn everything into play. So if you have towels to fold, turn that into a game. Turn the towels into mountains that cars can drive over. Race to the kitchen and have them look through the pantry to scavenger hunt to make your grocery list.
Number 2: slow down. If you’re pulling weeds, pause for a moment and talk to your kids about the shapes and colors of the weeds. While in the grocery store, stop and take a moment to let them study the pillow with the zebra on it and enjoy their reaction to seeing and learning new things.
number 3: give them your undivided attention. Nimmo says if you know you’ll be away and have work to do, connect with your child first. Play with them, sing, play hide and seek. Let them know it’s their time and allow the focus to be on them. Then you can step away knowing you already built a strong connection with your children.
Hopefully then the familiar “mom guilt” will start to fade away.
Nimmo ends the article by saying parents are the “keepers of time.” You have the choice to spend your time here and now. She says if you stop multitasking and start single-tasking, it’s one of the best gifts you can give your child.