Whole Parenting Family

Practicing Being Present as a Parent versus Survival

We were out of town last weekend and it was wonderful. SuperBoy stayed at home with my family and AA and SweetPea and I had a lovely little trip. Being home and back in the swing of a semi-dirty house with semi-dirty diapers everywhere and very dirty laundry and a semi-whining child and a very tired baby was less than ideal. I have literally 46 things to do this week, and no time in which to do them. It could have been a very frustrating week. Instead, I’m trying to practice being present as a parent, and not just going into survival mode. (And yes, my son wears the same football sweatshirt all the time. All the Time.)

Survival mode looks like this:

Sweets on the move

(Oh good, you found something to put into your mouth–I’m laying on the floor with you, periodically patting your bottom so you know I’m alive while checking life on my IPhone.)

reading SuperBoy

(Here, take all the books I can find about baseball, and please have quiet time in your room. No, I won’t read all your baseball cards aloud. I’m busy laying on the floor in your sister’s room, responding to emails.)

beans for dinner

(Oh, look, you’re mangling beans everywhere. You’re eating something. That’s great. Now I’m going to go and lay down again on the floor and try to write two articles on my laptop whilst laying down. I wish I could sew laying down. Thank GOD your father is home because I’m exhausted and crabby.)

Parenting in a present way looks like this:


(Oh, you’re so cute in your new wool onesie. Care to roam around while I follow you paparazzi style? I am only focused on you right now. Nothing else.)


(Still just so cute. I’m singing songs aloud to you to inculcate your love of Latin church music–just like your brother loves! I’m completely focusing on you because you are only going to be this cute and this size for today.)

don't mind if I do

(I am consciously imprinting in my memory your little shrieks and the way you wriggle when you crawl. Before I know it, you’ll be walking and talking and off to the Prom.)

I'd love to play chess

(Yes, your brother wants you to join in his chess game he just set up. Just for us! When he asks if he can play chess I don’t think about how I’d like him to do an activity in my work room so I can get “things” done. Instead I realize how great it is he wants to play and sit and play with him, unshowered, no dishes done, and happy to just be with you two.)

thinking with my tongue out

(A little Etsy extra spending money, and now he’s wearing his new wool sweater too! You two are like little model Minnesotan babes.)

monk play

(He’s strongly considering the monastic life based on the hood thing.)

gimme the camera

(And look, voila! They really love each other.)

have a nice life

(But simultaneously want to escape each other. A day spent just being and playing and getting housework done along the way, none of my pet projects done, was so beautiful just to have this really engaged interaction time!)





  1. Vivi's mama on January 30, 2013 at 9:42 am

    Love these pics. They tell the whole story.

    • Natural Mama Nell on January 30, 2013 at 8:19 pm

      True. Except the me looking pretty destitute in my unhygienic state. That shall remain a mystery.