Being a parent often feels like you're watching time slip through your fingers.
Yes I know, I talk about this a lot.
As a mom of three, I get asked on the daily “how’s motherhood going?”
I now find myself saying “It’s bittersweet…” On one hand, I am super grateful that my children are growing and are healthy. On the other, how are they their ages already? Where is their baby fat? And is it even possible they can now reach into that cabinet without a chair??
It feels like just yesterday they were so small…
And yet I have noticed that when I am in deep connection with them time “slows down”, and there is less time spent arguing, negotiating or even (gulp) tantrums.
It got me wondering…
If I am more present will I feel less “bittersweet” and more truly in my joy and gratitude? or more peaceful with exactly the way things are?
So here are five practices that my husband and I are playing with to help us connect with our kiddos:
The foundation of any relationship is being truly present. This means not just being physically there but being emotionally and mentally engaged.
Practice: Dedicate pockets of time each day where you are entirely focused on your child. This could be during meal times, bedtime, or a short play session. Yup…put the phone down and stop thinking about dinner or traffic or that work email you need to send and immerse yourself in the present moment.
Listen not just to the words but also to the feelings and emotions behind them. Understand that for your child, their concerns no matter how small, are very real.
Practice: When your child speaks, get down to their eye level and maintain eye contact. Validate their feelings by saying, "I understand why you feel that way" or "Tell me more about it."
Bonding over shared activities creates lasting memories. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate. Simple daily tasks, when done together, can strengthen your connection.
Practice: Cook a meal, garden, or even just take a walk together. As you do so, talk about what you are doing, ask for their opinions, and sometimes let them take the lead so they get to feel how much they matter and how important they are to the family unit.
As your child grows, their world expands. From school to friends to hobbies, they have a life outside of the home. By showing interest in their external world, you let them know you're always there.
Practice: Make it a habit to ask about their day. Instead of a simple "How was school?", dig deeper with questions like "What was the funniest thing that happened today?" or "Did anything surprise you today?"
Your relationship with your child isn’t static. As they grow and change, so should the nature of your connection. Embrace the changes and grow with them.
Practice: Take on new challenges together. This could be learning a new skill, reading a book series, or exploring a new hobby. As you both navigate the unfamiliar, you'll find comfort in each other's company.
Deep connection doesn't come from the big, grand things but from the consistent, small, and intentional moments you share with your kiddo.
By being mindfully present, actively listening, engaging in shared activities, checking in regularly, and growing together, you ensure that you never feel like time is moving too fast, but rather that you are making the most of every precious moment with your child.
P.S. the above also works for your relationship with your partner too… (just saying).
So much love mama.Satya Twena | We Are Amma CEO and Mom of 3