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Make Every Minute Count

by Sesame Lane Admin on 20/12/2016 12:25:43 PM
Days can fly by without you even realising. How is it the end of another year already? Life is crazy. Time just ticks over and before you know it, BAM, your children are off to highschool.
Ok, a little dramatic. But also kind of scarily true.
It feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day, so how do you make every minute count? How do you stay present with your child and really enjoy watching them grow?
There a few easy habits you can put into your daily routine to make sure you take a step back and really appreciate your little one, just as they are, right now.

What Does it Mean to be Present?
Being present, in its most literal sense, is being fully, 100% in the present moment. Taking it in for all its glory and practicing mindfulness as much as you can. It is making a conscious effort to stop worrying. Worrying about the ‘what ifs’ of the future and the regrets of the past.
But what is mindfulness?
It’s an ‘active, open attention to the present … Instead of letting life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to the experience.’
It can feel a little ‘hippy’ but mindfulness is incredibly healing. Fact.

8 Ways to Be Present, Everyday

#1 Accept the Mess

Kids are messy. They learn by making mess. Before kids you don’t realise how much mess a small child can make! But mess is a part of having a child and it’s time to accept it.
One way to do this? Be curious. Watch what they’re doing. What mess are they making, why are they making it and are they really enjoying it?
Taking a second to notice that yes, your little one is dragging mud here there and everywhere, but they are really enjoying squishing the mud between their fingers, trying to find worms or making you a ‘cake’.
What is their thought process? Are they happy? Can you clean it up (relatively) easily?
There’s a huge difference between your little one making mess through play and exploration or doing it for attention. If it’s the latter, it’s going to be even more important to practice being present with your little one. It will help stop the attention grabbing mess and encourage the playful mess.


#2 Do One Thing at a Time

How many things are you thinking about right now? 3, 5, 7….? It’s definitely more than one. The washing needs doing, the kitchen needs cleaning, this bill needs paying, this food needs cooking etc, etc. It’s so easy to get caught up in all the things you think you need to be doing.
What will happen if you just simply do one thing at once. Think about one task and one task only. The washing needs doing? Then do it. Focus on every step of it and don’t address the next step before you get to it. If your mind wanders (which is definitely will) simply acknowledge it, let it go and bring your attention back.
Have your little one help you (if it’s safe) and savour the process of teaching them new skills. They will enjoy helping you and you will be happier staying in the moment.

#3 Savour a Moment

This is incredibly similar to taking things step by step but being present and really savouring the moment have their differences.
Just notice.
Is your little one sat on the sofa playing with some stickers, colouring in or playing with their trucks? As you pass by, your instant reaction might be to warn against getting stickers on the sofa, or colouring the floor.
Next time, just notice. Watch. And take it all in.
It makes you focus on the simple, small pleasures. Like seeing your little one struggle to get a sticker in the right place and the pride on their face when they finally figure it out.

#4 Sing More

Kids love a good nursery rhyme. And what better way to spend some time connecting with your little one than to sing together?
It can be part of your daily routine. Sing while doing the dishes, cleaning their teeth, getting dressed. Whatever works for you, but singing as you do activities together will keep you in the moment and having fun.

#5 Take Note of Your Reactions

If you react with less patience than usual, what are you doing? Does your child have your full attention or are you checking emails/ getting distracted by cat videos on Facebook?
We’re all guilty of it from time to time, but it massively changes the way you react to your little one.
If you respond, it will be shorter, less patient and less considered.
Take note of your reactions and if they’re not where you want them to be. Change it.

#6 Talk, Talk and Talk Some More

How do kids expand their vocab? By being talked to. It also helps their social skills and can influence their ability to learn as they grow. But it can make your days together go much quicker.
They love you talking to them, even if they can’t respond much yet. Look them in the eyes, ask them questions and don’t worry if they don’t respond. They’re listening.


#7 Start a Journal

Daily journalling is proven to help with mindfulness and practising gratitude on a daily basis. Even writing for just a few minutes can help you relive the day. And with how fast times goes, reliving every moment is crucial.
Take five minutes at the end of each day to write down some of the things you experience that day. Little things you noticed, things that made you laugh and things that made you angry or sad. It helps you appreciate all the small things. And trust me, you’ll be so happy you did when your kids are grown.
Try the 5 minute journal for some prompts and guidance or try an app like Day One if you prefer to journal on a tablet or phone. One sentence every day, something that made you happy and one that made you mad. Your future self will thank you.

#8 Prepare to Be Mindful

The next time you catch your little one making a potential mess or they ask for your help when you’re a little...distracted. Take a second to be curious and just notice.
  • Focus on the activity at hand
  • Put away all distractions, just for a minute
  • Sit with your child, look them in the eyes and listen
  • Write at least once sentence at the end of your day to remind you of the simple moments
Practising a little mindfulness every day will make a huge difference. Not just to you but also to your little one. You’ll be helping expand their vocabulary, build their social skills and their confidence. Having your attention will make both of you happier, trust me.