“These days go by so fast.”

“Once this time is gone, you won’t be able to get it back.”

“They’re only little once, so soak it in.”

“One day you’ll look back, and wish you could have these days back.”

If you’re a mom, chances are you’ve heard at least one — if not all — of those statements a time or two. I feel like we’re constantly bombarded with some form of the verbiage, “be present with your kids.” Though I completely agree with this statement and believe we all should shut off the TV, put down our phones and unplug from social media each week, the ever-popular saying, “be present” often sends me into a downward spiral of mom guilt and sends my anxiety through the roof.

Some common thoughts that arise: I’m not spending enough quality time with my kids, and if I don’t stop what I’m doing right now to play with them, I will regret this for the rest of my life. OR If I take this time for granted with my kids now, I am somehow going to be punished for later in life — my kids will be taken from me, I’ll be taken from my kids, terminal illness… It’s crazy all the things my mind can come up with when I let it get the best of me.

But, it was this week when I was having a similar mom guilt/anxiety episode that it hit me: I am present with my kids every single day. And, you are too, my friend.

Did you get them up and get them dressed for school or the day in general? Feed them? Brush their hair? Brush their teeth? Pack their lunch? Comfort them when they got the dreaded boo boo? Help them with homework? Teach them right from wrong? Tell them you love them? Let them know they are cared for and safe? This is you being present.

Sadly, not all children are blessed with this type of love, care and support throughout their childhood. But, if you’re able to do these things for your children, then you are being present. But wait, you say… these are just “the basics” and essentially a normal family routine, I’m confused? Being present doesn’t necessarily mean carving out time daily to build a lego house, or create an at home spa day, or take them out for a special treat. Yes, these are all ways to be present and make memories with your children, but doing “the basics” qualifies you as being present as well.

This consistency of always being there and providing your child with their basic needs, love, care, encouragement, guidance, a safe place and a trusted adult they know that they can come to with anything is what sticks with them. They will remember you always being there for them, providing them with a safe and loving home and the things they needed to thrive.

Let’s be honest, you will carve out time to do those other, more special things with them — you’ll play chase, build lego houses, take them out for ice cream, take them shopping for new clothes, go on vacations, plan a family day…etc. But, doing one of those things every single day or even once a week sometimes just isn’t possible. Maybe it’s a busy week? Maybe you’re busy at work? Maybe you’re tight on money? Maybe the kids have a lot going on with sports and activities outside of school? There’s so many different factors that play in to our day-to-day lives.

So, stop beating yourself up — I’m preaching to the choir on this one. Your kids see you. You are present. They know you love and care for them. And, the sheer fact that worry about it proves you’re a great parent. If you feel like you’re just “doing the basics,” and you’re worried about not being “fully present” with your kids. Take heart. You are. In fact, “doing the basics” is the best type of “being present” you can be.

Verses to Remember This Week…
Luke 2:51: “And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart.”
Deuteronomy 4:9: “Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.”
Deuteronomy 6:6–7: “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”
Proverbs 31:28–29: “Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.”
Proverbs 31:25: “She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.”
Proverbs 31:31: “Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.”

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