A few weeks ago I had my first child, and the flurry of “what-ifs” and planning questions are flooding my mind.
What if my son won’t want to cuddle with me to breastfeed once he starts using a bottle? What if I miss his milestones when I go back to work and he’s at daycare? Will teething be as bad as his fussy hour each night? What type of child will he grow up to be?
I recently went on a tangent with these thoughts and I had to remind myself to embrace the moment we’re in. Moments like: sleepless nights, being covered in slobber, milk, and the occasional pee, the smiles when he’s sleeping, and his chubby cheeks and rolls.
Not every moment has been glamorous but they’ll only happen once. Something tells me they’ll be missed once we’re onto the next phase of childhood.
As moms, we are busy looking ahead, planning, and thinking of ways to ensure the best future for our children. It’s only natural, as our instinct is to make sure they are well taken of. But, does focusing on the next milestone or moment hinder us from soaking up each and every phase our children go through? Does it take us away from finding joy in the now?
We can’t turn off the planning part of our brains, nor should we. However, when these thoughts begin to flood us we can do our best to refocus our minds to be in the present moment.
I recently gave this a try.
Instead of thinking about my son’s fussiness and how I can’t wait for this phase to be over, I started thinking about what I love about this stage. The way he looks at me with his big eyes. How I snuggle with him, and even though it doesn’t calm him down we seem to share a moment of comfort.
When I think of how I may miss his milestones when he goes to daycare, I relish in the moments I have with him now. The wonder in his eyes the first time he played on his playmat. The first time he really followed the sound of me or my husband’s voices.
When we refocus our thoughts, it helps us be present and 100% in the moment. This is also known as mindfulness.
I know the newborn moments aren’t the only ones to savor. At each phase of childhood there will be something to hold dear. Cherish each new thing your little one does. Laugh at the times they may make you want to pull your hair out, for these moments won’t happen again. We can resume planning at any time, but we’ll never get these precious moments back. Let’s not miss the present by planning for the future.