Monday 23 January 2012

Living in the moment

I never gave much thought on the way I was going to experience motherhood. Even now, I rarely think about the future in very specific ways. Like Brian's psychologist told us (yes, we hired a dog psychologist a few years ago), dogs live in the moment. This concept recently became my mom motto.

Living in the moment with a baby, especially in a era when we try to cram so many activities in the free time that we have, is challenging. When Alice was about two months old, I somehow managed to semi turn off the "I want to do it all" switch and life suddenly got much easier and more importantly less frustrating.

Ironically, giving my full attention to the present requires certain planning. It will be even more important when I will return to work. As an event planner, I know that a strict schedule is a gateway to disappointment so we try to remain as flexible as possible but with certain boundaries.

Writing a weekly meal planner (Simplicity Parenting)
Doing a quick house clean up once Alice is asleep for the night
Dedicating days for specific chores (baby carrier = easy vacuuming)
Turning off the technologies (yeah, it's a work in progress!)
Paying bills, taking appointments and returning calls ASAP
Doing errands efficiently (errands + baby = can be intense)
Dividing projects (sewing, etc.) into small time segments
Living without too much stuff (stuff is time consuming)
Learning to say "no thank you" to certain activities

Once that "routine" was established, it became much easier to focus my attention on the present and fully enjoy a long bubble bath with Alice, a game of hide and seek around the kitchen island or a nap cuddle together in bed...without worrying about random stuff.

Living in the moment is pretty difficult especially if, like me, you write "pointless" lists as a hobby, over-analyze everything and spend hours obsessively re-organizing the items in your kitchen cabinets. However, I'm 100% sure that it can be beneficial for Alice, myself and our little family. So far so good!

Do you have tips on how to live in the moment as a family?

note: Alice looking at herself in our vintage chrome lamp.

* * * * *

mjb: And wait! I know many other cute European brands ;)

indigorchid: I was freaking out when I looked at their web site the first time. We so don't have stuff like that in Montreal (well, I don't think so).

shannah: This is exactly what I said when I looked at Alice's clothes! Not fair, ah!

sara-ananda: OOOUUUUIIIII! Je veux voir des photos d'August avec ses vêtements d'Alice à Paris! Et si tu veux me donner d'autres noms de boutiques se serait super...j'ai plein d'amis Français qui me servent d'assistants ;)

taryn: Totally!

emily: Thank you. I just learned a new word (swoon).

hello milky: Hopefully they do.


Gimbo said...

I find this the hardest thing and, given my track record, I'm not sure I could give you any tips (especially as I'm married to a hoarder who seems to just create "stuff" out of thin air). However, we do try and make sure that on the weekend we don't just use the other to look after the baby while we get on with our own stuff. This is SO hard, especially as we now have a crawler, but otherwise there is no family time, only baby time, and it's not the best for any of us.

p.s. Your picture is so adorable! A lovely family portrait!

Vivian Doan said...

I don't know if you've read about Emily Rapp. She is that Harvard educated writer who had a son about two years ago and found out about a year ago that her son had a degenerative disease and would probably not live past his 3rd of 4th birthday. I stumbled upon the article and cried for her and her son. And I follow her blog. And whenever I read it, I remind myself to live for the moment, with my own baby and to enjoy him as he is now, not for who he will become in the future, because we never know about the future.

Her website for her son is called Little Seal.

I bought the book you referenced in your post. I cannot wait to read it.

I love your photos by the way. I am a photographer here in Montreal and your photos of your little one inspire me to be more creative with my own photos of my son.

Thanks for blogging, I do enjoy reading your posts.