Ever since the birth of our daughter last month, I’ve been doing some thinking. It hit me that our children grow up so quickly and how easily we can miss little special moments. Living in a world that is packed full of distractions (so much more so, I believe, than when we were children) moms today (including this one, here) need to be so careful to not let teachable moments, special moments, and bonding opportunities pass us by!
We, moms, have so many high expectations for ourselves. Besides raising tiny humans, we- more often than not- expect to manage homes, maintain health and fitness regimens, contribute to our family’s income, feed, clothe, keep our family clean, etc.! To be honest, I find it amazing that many of us still try to wear makeup; let alone try to pull off pink hair. Oh, wait. Just me?
ANYWAY, during these recent moments of reflection, I’ve thought of a few ways that mamas like us can carpe diem those special moments and not let them pass unnoticed!
Leave the phone in the other room.
I usually try to do one of two things: 1). I keep my phone on silent (but on me) that way I’m only checking it when I intend to, not every single time it vibrates. Being a blogger means I have several social media accounts, and if I checked my notifications every time I got a new one, I would never look away from my phone! And 2). I keep it in the other room, but with the ringer on, that way I know if I’m getting an important call, but I’m still focused on what I’m doing here and now.
Technology is great and there are so many ways to stay close to family using technology! But, by now it can probably go without saying that technology can be a huge distraction. I’ve found that by making so that I can forget about my phone, I’m WAY more likely to be living in the moment with my family rather than distracted from them.
Get your husband (or mom, or friend, or that stranger) to take candids of you with the kids.
And I’m not talking about Instagram or Snapchat “candids” where you ask your child twenty times to repeat that cute thing they just did. More often than not, it’s ok to just enjoy that cute thing and store it in your mind’s memory box. I sometimes catch myself trying to get my son to repeat that adorable thing he just said so I can save it to my Snapchat story and then download it to my phone, but then I realize that I’ve spent so much time looking at my son (and now daughter) through the lens of a camera instead of just looking at them.
But I still want to remember precious moments! So what’s a girl to do?
After my husband took that photo of me and my daughter (above), I realized that I want him to do a lot more of exactly that! Usually, I’m the one who is posting to Instagram or Snapchat, and while I’m not going to make him actually use his Instagram account (which only exists so I can tag him), I will ask him to take photos and share them with me at the very least. Same goes for my mom or friend or maybe even the occasional stranger!
Make the most of bedtime routines!
The more independent my son gets, the more his desperate need for a daily (if not hourly) bath time increases. I’ve also found that it’s a good form of wind-down playtime (i.e. not chasing the dog around the house with the noisy walker that he outgrew a long time ago). I love that Ivory Soap makes only pure and gentle products that are paraben free, pH balanced (so they don’t strip and dry out your skin!), and free of dyes!! I use Ivory Original Bar Soap or Ivory Aloe Body Wash during my son’s bath time because I know Ivory values families! To top it off, they haven’t changed their signature bar soap formula since it was created in 1879.
During my son’s bath time, I try to use those undistracted moments to have conversations with my son. As silly as our conversations get, I’m learning about who my son is and he is learning that I care about who he is, what he does, and what he cares about. After bath time, we usually read a story, pray together, turn on the nightlight that plays a tune that inevitably get stuck in mine and husband’s head, and then say our goodnights. I usually find bedtimes to be bittersweet. As I’m sure most mamas can relate, I feel relieved that I won’t be begged for another juice pack for the rest of the night, but I’m sad because he’s just so cute and I want to hug him forever.
Those are my suggestions to make the most of family time; but I’d love to know, what are yours?? What are ways you choose to make the most of small family moments? Leave your ideas in the comments below and remember to share with a mama this Mother’s Day!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Ivory. The opinions and text are all mine.