Being Fully Present

Quiet Wednesday morning. Foggy outside. I breathe a sigh of relief. I have twenty minutes until Jack and Fiona start waking up. My breakfast consumed, my coffee drunk, time to sit and write. Time to relax and prepare for my day. Time for me. Today is a studio day. I am looking forward to it. As I just went to that thought I stood still for a moment, my mind started to race, a conflict arose in my thoughts, “I can just paint and work on my projects” then “No, I need to organize my work, my studio” Paralyzing. What is the solution I wonder? Split my time in half? We’ll see. It’s another case of single-mindedness vs. multitasking. I’m good at multitasking but I’m not really a multitasker. My mind gets boggled and I go into fight or flight mode. I’m better suited doing one thing at a time, focusing on one idea. I’ve been doing this with the babies a lot. When I’m spending time with them, that’s all I do, read them books, sing goodnight songs, eat dinner. I am getting good at being fully present, no preoccupation. It’s been great. I think it is very important at this stage because the babies are going through rapprochement, a developmental stage between 15 and 24 months where the child moves away from the parent but then comes back. It’s the time when they are learning they are no longer connected to their mother, that they are an individual. When they come back for reassurance I find it’s very important to really be there, to give them my full attention, my full support. I noticed when I try to just give a quick hug or am too busy to sit down on the floor with them when they go through these little tantrums things just deteriorate. But if I get in there and am totally available the tantrum stops and they are off playing nicely again. They just need that little bit of extra support to feel confident. I’ve also become an expert in not being a permissive parent, meaning I’ve learned that at night when I make dinner Jack and Fiona are expected to eat it, if they don’t want it, they start playing with their food, I put them down and if they go to bed hungry so be it. I used to worry so much, bring snacks down to the nursery, but I realized I was sabotaging myself and the babies. Eventually they will learn that they need to eat at dinner time. I also have learned that there are times when they are going to tantrum no matter what, for example when putting on clothes, sometimes they get really fussy. I tried the choice system, but sometimes there’s no time for that and I just say sorry, time to get dressed and let them fuss as I put on their clothes. There is definitely an art to parenting sanely! Speaking of which the babies are starting to wake now! Time to present myself.

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About Dirty Laundry Blog

Bay Area Painter, Author, and Mother of Twins.