Being present is truly a form of self-discipline… and one that is difficult to master! But every moment we’re present our children is a moment well invested.

Does this mean your kids must have your complete attention every second of the day (or every second you’re home)? Does it mean that if you’re not playing with them or otherwise entertaining them, that somehow you’re not being the best parent you can be? Or, does it mean that your world revolves around your kids?

You can probably guess the answer: of course not! Being present is less burdensome than that.

The practice of being present

Every parent reading this likely tries *very hard* to be present… with varying degrees of success. I’ve found these two reminders helpful in moments when I’m struggling with being present.

1. Presence starts with perceiving their personhood

Being present with our kids starts with seeing their personhood and valuing them for what they are: a joy and a gift.

2. Presence continues with a slower pace

It means slowing down to listen to their rambling sentences, even when we’d rather continue making dinner, working, or scrolling through IG.

Being present means asking them open ended questions and seeing just how far the conversation goes.

It’s praying with them before they run out the door to school.

It’s sitting with them as they process through a hurt.

It’s getting lost in play once in a while.

All in all, being present means stewarding your small moments together, because you know that time is accelerating and those moments can never be taken back.

Feeling paralyzed ?

There’s also a flip-side to this conversation. If we aren’t careful, we can become so hyper-aware of the limited time we have with our kids that we are paralyzed by trying to capture and retain every moment and memory for fear of missing out. The irony there is that by trying to capture and “own” the moment, we miss it altogether.

Instead, relax. Feel free to merely exist in the moment, knowing full well that it will pass and that’s ok.

Your hope is in Christ and your home is with him. Your moments aren’t even your own… so you are free to just care for your kids and love them well—the best you can—day in and day out. Then, find your deepest joy in trusting that as you train and love your kids, you are doing God’s good work.

"Your moments aren’t even your own, so you are freed... freed to simply care for your kids and love them well—the best you can—day in and day out."

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