I always seem to be on the edge of my seat, turned away and toward the next thing, looking into the future of what’s next on the list or how long we’ve got til I can get onto the next chore or (my current favourite), bedtime.
I realize this about myself, but it’s my kids that bring it home to me. How good a mother am I, I ask, if I’m too busy making breakfast to spend time with my son wants to play trucks? Or if I walk away to fold laundry when my baby has locked eyes with me and wants to goo goo ga together for a while? The reality is, though, that there are things that need to get done, unless we are content to wear dirt -stiffened clothes and eat nothing but toast.
It's not prioritising that is really the issue. It's that when I’m with them, my iphone often is as well. Or my mind is off and I can tell my eyes are glazed. They deserve better.
So over the last few days, I’ve made some commitments to myself.
First and foremost has been my attempt to cut down on my iphone addiction (something I called iddicted). I'm pleased to announce that it has been losing its grip on me. On Tuesday, for example, I found my phone under the bed at 2pm and remembered that Miles had dropped it there at 6am. The best part about it was that I hadn't really noticed. Sure, I may have been on my computer in between times, but this was a massive improvement for me. I intend to get better.
I've tried saying "Yes" to Miles more often, to join him- even for 10 minutes- to play tank engines or kick the ball around or play tigers. He's so thrilled that I'm spending time with him that it makes my heart hurt.
Most importantly, I’ve decided not to study next year. I know what I’m like when I’m studying. I may be with you physically, but my mind is working on how to phrase the next perfect sentence to get my point across. I’m wondering when I can get back to my writing. And at my worst, I’m resenting any time spent away from completing my essay.
I don’t want to do that to my family.
Instead, I want to neglect my blog, my facebook account, my webpage and on-line life so that I can talk to Miles about his day.
I want to sit still and square in my chair and focus on the conversation when my husband tells me about his latest discovery in his latest and much loved hobby- brewing (I may not be able to commit to this when March swings around and he wants to talk about his other love- football).
I want to put down the book and chat to my gorgeous baby girl as she squirms with delight at my attention, until she tires of it and looks away from me.
Mostly, I want to immerse myself into this gift of being a mum, bask and giggle and savour this existence and this infinitesimally precious opportunity that I’ve been given: a second chance.
Right now, I can hear my baby stirring and I’m leaving this- or maybe just publishing it in a half-perfected state- to go and sit by her while she wakes up. Because I may not do mindfulness well, but there is one thing I've learned. You at least have to be there.