Parenting is tough. While rewarding and joyful, I’d be lying if I said I loved every moment. Instead of mindfulness, there were times of mindlessness. There were also times when I felt like the next phase couldn’t come fast enough.
I couldn’t wait to say goodbye to the lack of sleep phase, but it was soon replaced by the tantrum phase, then the refusal to poop phase, and on and on it goes. I have to admit, there were times I wanted to hit the skip button.
Lately, I’ve been receiving calls from my wife’s cell phone only to be surprised by the little voice on the other end. It’s my little guy calling to say “hello” and chat about his day. Of course, there is a little prompting from Mom and that’s okay with me. What I can’t get over is the voice. Where did my little guy go? He’s changed from little boy to little kid in the blink of an eye. Now, I’m looking for the pause button.
This really hit home during a recent airing of 60 Minutes. Jon Kabat-Zinn was interviewed on the practice of “mindfulness,” which can also be described as being present. We have so many distractions now and we’re so focused on preparing for the future that we forget to be “present.”
Mindfulness is key:
While planning for the future is important, mindfulness is key. I’ve built my professional life around helping families plan for their future. Most of my conversations with clients involve preparing for the next phase in their financial life, whatever it may be. It’s okay to plan ahead and imagine what the future will bring. But we can’t forget about the here and now.
Kids need a lot of support and guidance, but they can teach us a thing or two about being present and living in the moment. Whether you’re rushing to school, soccer practice, or piano lessons, or pulling your hair out from the latest meal time gone bad, don’t be scared to hit the pause button. After all, the present is where your kids are!