When I was a little girl, all I wanted to do was come home and share with my mom all that happened during my school day. I would tell her who liked who, which of my friends got in trouble and who wore what, to name a few. I know my mouth ran for a mile a minute and may have been challenging to listen to on certain days, but my mom listened. When I think back on my childhood I can remember my mom being more than just physically present. Of course she had her days every now and then as all working mothers do, but she was completely engaged and connected to our lives.
As an adult, I am just now realizing the impact this had on me and why it is necessary that I carry on this tradition with my own children. I once thought sitting in the same room with my children with a TV on or them playing a game was me being present and spending time with them. I was wrong. My girls need more than that. Although they never complained, I felt convicted because I was missing the connection. They are just like I was as a child. They need me to actively listen to their stories and not only listen but ask questions about what is being shared. They also need me to close my magazine or book, put my cell phone away, and turn off my laptop.
My mom making us a priority way back then made me feel important, worthy, and like I truly mattered. It built my self-esteem and convinced me that there was a person in this world who thought I was wonderful. I am grateful because my mom still listens to me just as she did then. This is the exact feeling I want my daughters to have when they grow up. I don’t want to waste this precious time we have together by not being fully present. I want to give them all they desire to feel loved, appreciated and know that they are worthy of the best that life has to offer. In order for them to experience that feeling, I know I must be more than just physically present. I must be all in by being aware, connected and engaged.
BMWK – Please share with us how you ensure that you are present for your kids.