Friday, October 21, 2016

Being Present

I'm struggling with how little time I have to spend with my son. And knowing that this precious little time will continue to decrease as he spends more time with his father and less time at home with me.

During the week the little time we have together is broken into two chunks: before work and after work. During both of those times I'm distracted and not solely focused on the time with my son. I am fully aware of the distraction and am constantly trying to bring my focus back to him, but it's so hard.

I'm the kind of person that calculates how much sleep I will get if I go to bed at that exact moment each night. I've always been this way. In college I would set aside whatever notes I was studying, knowing my brain needed sleep or it wouldn't matter how much I crammed for the test.

So every morning while I read to my son my brain is calculating how much longer I can get away with reading to him before I have to wrestle him into a clean diaper and clothes. Then we go downstairs so I can make tea and an English muffin, after which we play or read for another couple minutes while I watch the clock to make sure I get us upstairs so I can dress and brush, all the while trying to figure out what I'm going to wear (if I need to take out the trash, stop for gas on the way to work, remember diapers or wipes for daycare, etc.).

After work it's the same sort of thing: when do I have to throw something in the microwave, when do I have to wrangle him into his highchair, when do I have to drag him upstairs to brush his teeth, etc. There is no time to JUST BE.

I'm so afraid when I look back on these years it will all be a blur. That in not being present in the little moments I won't be able to remember what his soft baby-toddler body feels like when I manage to steal a hug or the smell of his hair as I'm reading him his bedtime books. It's all going by so fast. I need to figure out a way to slow down and focus on him. Shut out the distractions. Be present. Every moment matters, and I feel like it is all just slipping away from me.


Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

I'm sorry you are having such a struggle. :( I wish there was something I could do to help. Has something been decided about joint custody? I was so sad when I had to give up my kids half the time (or more). At least they weren't toddlers, but it was still very difficult. And I was working full time, and I remember what it was like and it was very difficult. If there is something I can do to help. let me know.

Kim said...

Deep breathes mama, deep breathes. It is challenging, this whole single mothering thing, and at times I feel like time is slipping away too. All we can do is our best. Our best at being present and aware in each moment, and yes, I know that is a challenge :)

I wish I had some marvelous advice to share, sadly I don't. I am a year into this single mothering gig, and still have days when I sit back at the end of the day, and say what the heck happened to the day, and where did it go.

Hang in there.

a/k/a Nadine said...

Thank you, Mary and Kim.