How do I parent more consciously and in the moment – try to express gratitude every day

I look back at the ease and calm of life before children. Amazingly, I didn’t realize how calm it was at the time. I wonder how I filled all the free time that I had. And what was it like to clean the house and know that I am the only one I have to worry about messing it. Even when things were more calm, before children, I had trouble just being in the moment—enjoying and appreciating what was in front of me. I wasn’t really living consciously.

Why is it that it often takes a change in circumstance in life or a loss of something that was, in order to be conscious and appreciate what is right in front of us?

I don’t think I fully appreciated the calm and freedom of my life before I had children—when I could spontaneously do what I wanted whenever I wanted to. Just like now I don’t always appreciate the energy, excitement, emotion and sometimes chaos that fills my days. I challenge myself to see the beauty and joy every day amidst the chaos, and consciously live it and enjoy it.

Blowing bubbles

Enjoy THIS moment like children do

I don’t want to only see the good when I look back. I want to see the good in this moment, that is right in front of me.

Expressing gratitude every day has helped me to be more in the moment, appreciating what is in front of me. As I look back on my life, I didn’t always appreciate the beauty in my life while I was living it. I spent too much time worried about what other people thought of me, about how others saw me instead of just how I saw myself. I worried about things that were out of my control. I feared for the future instead of living in the now, enjoying and appreciating each moment.

Now I keep a gratitude journal and give thanks every day.

One thing that has truly helped me be in the moment is keeping a gratitude journal. I try to write out a few things that I am thankful for every day. My journal is just on my laptop and I write out a few things before bed, in the morning when I wake up, or sometimes from my phone when I am commuting or just have a few moments to myself. It can be as simple as “thank you for the mint chocolate chip ice cream cone.” Giving thanks for even the little things can change your perspective. You will start to see more beauty in the your life right now. I believe that those moments of gratitude emit positive energy into the world, which then comes back to you. The more thoughts of appreciation, love, and gratitude seem to bring that all back into my life in unmeasurable ways. It is the law of attraction.

Seeing the beauty in the now is the hardest but most gratifying thing.

Life is just better when I see it through a lens of gratitude, appreciation and love. When I am really down, I can look back at my gratitude thoughts and it brings me to a place of joy again. I see how full my life is and how much I do have to be thankful for. It makes the hard things right in front of me feel smaller, like I can conquer the task ahead.

Negative thoughts are usually because I am worrying about something that was or could be. I’m not in this moment.

When I do feel worry or fear, I also try to write those thoughts out. It is better for me to get those thoughts out of my head. I usually find more clarity and feel more capable of handling the hard things when I write them out. After writing out what I am feeling, I can often see that I am worrying about something that is out of my control. It is something I regret from the past or fear for the future. When I put words to what I am feeling, I can see it results from me not being in the moment. I can then change that thought from one of fear to one of love by expressing gratitude.

When I’m not in the moment, my children can feel it and I’m not at my best as a parent.

As a parent, my emotions are so intertwined with these little people that I spend every moment with. When I’m living consciously, from a place of love and gratitude, that positive energy extends to my children. I feel now, more than ever in my life, I’m responsible for being my best self every day. I’m responsible because if I’m not my best self, I can’t be the best parent, and it’s not fair to let out my frustrations and fears onto my children. I feel blessed to be my children every day, because their pure love inspires me to live from a place of love and gratitude as well.

Do you have any tools for living more consciously?