“If you’re always racing to the next moment, what happens to the one that you’re in?”
Go go go!
Life has always been about doing so much.
Well, work life was always about doing much, my corporate job was about pushing…all of the time. Growth, budgets, sales, number one…Push push push!
So I guess somewhere along the way, the rest of life then became the same…Go Go GO! Push push!
My son who is 3 at the end of June 2021 (only a few months from now), has changed so much in the last few weeks. He is a picture of Go Go GO, however he has become a little more stubborn, demanding and his emotions feel like they are sitting just below the surface ready to erupt like the proverbial volcano…and on another side, his need for “dadda cuddles” has been a constant. The constant Go has been replaced with the need for slow.
Shoes on, nappy checked…no time for cuddle… we gotta hustle
For a while it was…honestly….difficult.
He was attached, always needing my attention, cuddles and words. Was it about reassurance, during a time that he needed it? I guess I will never really know, but probably so.
I looked down and there he was, head just below my waist with big ice blue eyes staring up at me. “I am here dadda” he would say.
“Yes, I know you’re there mate.” I would say.
“You are always there” I would often think.
Although at times I struggled and I was then in-turn frustrated that he was being so needy and clingy, my mind foolishly was not looking through his lense.
I had the selfish not the selfless glasses on and for some reason was looking at this like a chore and not something he needed to have and I needed to give.
Outside of the wrong perspective, which we can easily flip (just ask yourself how can I look at this differently).
The issue was, I was not slowing down and missing all there was to see. I was onto the next thing or thinking about the next thing, not present in the ‘actual’ moment.
Put this away.
Tidy that up.
Get ready for daycare.
Get ready for the park.
Check that phone for the email or client message.
Cut that fruit, cook that meal.
The only thing we truly have is our choice
Then I started to work on changing my perspective. I spoke to my wife about us needing to slow down for him and ensure he was with us and not left behind in our blur and haste.
Flip this over and me slowing this down, giving the time, energy and focus he needs has created a number of magical moments. With this success resonating, my mind then shifted to finding magic in the moment and connecting with that. (BOY can that be hard and there have been times where, well….magic is tough to find)
It became about providing choice in the moment for him along with a little space and has given the sense we are on the same team and not just moving him along.
This new pace has allowed us time to cuddle, laugh, tickle and get close to each other. Nose to nose or cheek to cheek. Letting him know he has one more minute to play with his car whilst I do something else, has not created a monster, it has created calmness as we are on the same page when it comes to knowledge and plan. He might not agree but it’s there.
Slowing down for him, has helped me also. I feel calmer, more patient and more in touch with the situation at hand vs seeing where we need to get to several stops down the road. We have spoken more, looking eye to eye as we figure each other out.
What can you do, if this rings true?
- Be more mindful of what your little one(s) are needing from you right now? What do they truly need vs what you might think is required from a practical point of view.
- Make the time to understand what are actual priorities in your day vs tasks. Remove some of that load, that makes you rush all the time.
- Let go of the small stuff, that thing that might be stressing you out. Is it really that significant?
- Know your patterns of when you hit warp speed and what the fallout could be.
- Enjoy the little things, even the “annoying” things as this too shall pass and before you know it, they will be 14 and not interested in being around you much at all. You know it is coming.
- Find a physical action/routine you can take as a circuit breaker to get you out of your head, if you find that you are just caught up and missing the good stuff.
- Create yourself a mantra or mission statement that you can say in your mind when the day starts “these moments are precious” “bring the best version of me as often as I can” “the only place you need to be, is here” this can be a powerful reminder of what you are trying to achieve and it compounds over time.
Wrap it up with a little reflection
Now I never would suggest I am a role model dad and the perfect parent by any stretch of the imagination, god knows and I certainly know that I have work to do. But is perfect what he needs? Does he need me getting caught up on trying to be the perfect dad and lost in my mind as a parent even more?
Or does he just need me, to slow down and be present?
Appreciate him and where he is at, a little more.
To give more to him in ways that takes mere seconds but builds something for our lifetime ahead:
put that piece of fruit on the bench,
hug him and
say “I love you, give me a cuddle, you’re the best.”
And just be slow in the moment for what it is, because nothing else really matters.
For more content from Luke Fenwick as he looks to impact 1,000,000 lives by 2025, head to lukefenwick.com and follow the links to his content, socials, sign up to his newsletter or download his free workbooks.