Welcome to Mama Be Present: Tiny, Mighty Joy Prompts for Mamas + Toddlers.
After a full day of driving here, running there, folding this, cleaning that, wiping butts, and cooking stat, we often hit the pillow wondering if it was enough. Even after ALL the things we did with our invisible capes on, we can’t help but feel mom guilt over what we did or didn’t do.
“I didn’t play with him enough.”
“I was on my phone too much.”
“I was late to her soccer game.”
Then, our inner Jesse Spano starts screaming, “There’s no time! There’s never any time!!”
But maybe more time isn’t what we need. Perhaps a shift in HOW we spend our time is key.
In other words, it’s time to give ourselves grace. We think if we’re not going big with everything, we’re failing. But guess what?
The things our kids need the most from us are the things that don’t ask much of us.
By locking eyes with your little one — specifically in those in-between, playful moments — you’re communicating in more ways than you think. You’re saying, “I’m here. I’m interested. I love you.”
And this might blow your mind: Researchers at the University of Cambridge and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore found that when moms and babies were making eye contact, their brain waves were in sync!
If that’s not motivation to slow down and crouch down with your little love sponge, I don’t know what is.
Here are some ideas to gently spark the connection:
- Have a staring contest.
- Play a game of peek-a-boo.
- Invite them to sit in your lap.
- Ask them if they want a happy face drawn on their hand.
- Join them while they’re playing. Start asking questions.
- Sit across from them during a meal. Look at them and say, “Buddy, I love you so much!”
- When you’re parked or at a red light, turn around and move your head to the music while looking at them. (I just did this yesterday. He copied me. It was everything.)
If your tiny tornado doesn’t look at you, all is not lost. Just the intention of making eye contact just might make you more present. It sure softens me on those really hard days!
So, mama. Are you ready to melt into the moment with your child?
Go ahead. Say “Eye” Love You.
Feeling inspired, mama?
Revel in the small things. Share your memories in the making.