Moms everywhere are struggling to be present. Is is their fault? Or is something else happening in our generation? Here are the main reasons and it has nothing to do with your phone:
After chatting with some mom friends, I had an epiphany.
We often blame screens for why we aren’t present and, yes, that can be a factor. But also… there are other really important reasons.
So Much to Do & Not Enough Time to Do It
Mom’s have so much to do and we feel like don’t ever have enough time.
And actually modern times have enhanced this. Because there have been so any conveniences added to our lives, we stack on the things.
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For example… we make grocery story pick ups, so that gives us more time to add on other things in the day. Things that normally wouldn’t even be there.
Life becomes overloaded.
The truth is that if you have 50 things bouncing around in your mind, listening to you kids really long stories or ideas is challenging. It becomes hard to sit and play LEGOS.
It’s totally natural that if you have tons of things to do, you’re going to find it hard to be present in the moment.
Your brain is going to be totally distracted with the list of things to do in your brain.
Now, we know we’re going to prioritize our kids over these things. But moms struggle being present with the list in our mind.
- Take all the things off your list that don’e actually have to be done.
- But boundaries around the time needed to do the necessary things.
- Get the things done that truly need doing.
- Don’t procrastinate.
- Make time and a plan to do the necessary things.
Don’t procrastinate because if you do, they will still be there nagging at your brain.
And, then you will find that your brain will allow to to enjoy the present.
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Unsolved Problems Consuming Our Mind
If you have got some “open ended problems” like…
- Something that’s not working
- An ongoing situation
- One of your kids is having an ongoing problem
- Financial struggles
- A nagging job situation
- Relationship problems
- Health problems
We are made for our brains to ruminate on our problems. It’s natural.
So, you can either berate yourself over thinking about your problems or solve them.
I’m not saying that your problems are an easy fix, but I am saying that unsolved problems cause stress. I am saying that lecturing yourself about having them is only making it worse.
Of course we know that in the grand scheme of things, our children are more important than our problems. However, chances are that our problems directly affect them.
And… moms struggle being present when this happens.
Make a brain dump of all of your problems…
It’s not going to be fun. Furthermore, some of them have immediate fixes, but others not so much.
- Solve the easy problems quick.
- Think outside the box.
- Be creative in your solution and don’t worry what others think.
- Do what we need to do to solve our problems.
We Need Time Alone
Some of us are introverted and need time alone. If this is how you energize, you have to have that time alone.
If you don’t take that time alone, you’re always going to be craving it.
Even if you’re not introverted and you never get that quiet time…
Your instinct is going to be always driving the kids away. Moms struggle being present when they are “driving” their kids away.
- You’re going to be in a crowd and wanting to go hide.
- Playing games with your kids, but you want to go along.
- Anytime someone else comes by, you’re going to want to go lock yourself away and be alone.
Consider this: If all your time is spent wanting to be alone, you need more time alone.
You could berate yourself and be like “It’s so selfish to want to be alone.” But, you’re going to live like this until your kids leave…
You’ll have lots of time when your kids are grown. But, then you’ll feel guilty about spending their entire childhood wishing you could escape them.
Just take some time.
We Can’t Relax
Hypervigilance… this is what we have when we have a 2 year old, a 1 year old, or a baby.
You know, when your nervous system is constancy firing information. Your child is…
- Going where they aren’t supposed to go,
- climbing things,
- putting things in their mouth,
- licking the cat, or
It’s very stressful.
This is a real situation for moms who have gone through pregnancy with small children. We wouldn’t consider ourselves malnourished…
Buy possibly we’re not optimally nourished.
There are stressors affecting us. Stressors at home, marriage, extended family, etc. If we are constantly dumping cortisol and adrenaline into our body, we start living in this heightened state. Eventually, our adrenals crash.
When your nervous system is on edge… someone waking up behind you can be a terrifying thing. Obviously your nervous system is shot.
It’s not an easy fix, but I want to comfort you. I want to validate your feelings.
Since you’re living in this state, you want to run and hide. You want to sleep all day. It’s natural and expected.
Your body is wanting to heal. Often times we don’t have that time luxury…
But we can still take the steps needed to heal.
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We’re in Survival Mode
When we’re in serval mode, we’re driven to want to escape.
It’s my hope that as you read this you’re feeling encouraged. It’s not that you’re a bad mom when you struggle to be present. Instead, it’s because you’re not being mindful of your own needs.
Take a step back. Make a long term strategy to help balance because it’s not that you don’t want to be with your kids.
It’s not that you don’t enjoy your kids company.
The issue is all of the other things are so “urgent feeling” to your spirit/body/mind. And, your nervous system is throwing up red flags because of it.
These red flags are there to tell you that you’re…
- crashing, and
- ignoring the signs.
We typically end up in survival mode because we ignore what our nervous system is telling us. It could be edged on by lack of sleep or unfixed problems.
To fix this we need to ask ourselves- what are your boundaries?
I’ve written a book on this: If Mama Ain’t Happy – Why minding healthy boundaries is good for your whole family.
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You may have to help yourself from the ground up. It will feel like a life rebuild and that’s ok. But what I want you to do in meantime is stop berating yourself because it’s hard to be present.
The reason why it’s hard to be present is because there are some things that need addressing. Don’t just spiritually bypass and simply pray to be more present.
Of course you can do that. But, it’s not gong to work if all of these other issues aren’t dealt with.