As a parent, you want to be present and make time for your kids as much as is humanly possible. However, you live a busy life, and you need to work to support your children and give them the best futures possible.
This work-life balance can often be challenging, especially when you get home feeling tired already. How can you be present for your children each and every day?
On Summer Shepherd’s No Seriously, How Do I Do This? podcast, Chris Cleveland from the Christian band Stars Go Dim said that being present with your children requires a lot of effort. Chris has one main goal as a parent: “Hopefully, I can be awake enough for it that I can enjoy it.”
Chris said that when he pictures his deathbed, the only people he sees there are his wife and his kids. Both he and Summer recognized that these times with their young kids are the best of their lives. Their kids continue to get older, so instead of trying to look back, they strive to appreciate the beauty of each moment.
However, as Chris recalls from his days touring, being present is hard after a long day. When you’re worn and exhausted, you’re not at your best.
This is why Chris emphasizes self-care over beating himself up when he doesn’t have the energy to be present with his kids. He realizes that if he’s not taking care of himself, any efforts to be present are just going to backfire.
He encourages you to make time for yourself the next time you come home after a long day and realize that you just can’t be the parent you want to be at the moment. Try to have some understanding and grace for yourself, acknowledging that not every day is going to filled with perfect, present moments.
Chris and Summer also talk about the role technology has in our everyday lives. It can be difficult to be present with friends, family members, and even our kids when there’s a screen involved.
Summer admitted that she used to be on her phone constantly and that it became a serious concern in her family. How could she be truly present if she was always waiting for the next notification to come in or mindlessly scrolling? After lots of prayer and a mindful effort to put her phone down, Summer is making great strides in what she described as a cellphone addiction.
But at the end of the day, it is God’s strength that gives you the energy to be present in your family and with your kids. How can you be praying for the energy to balance it all?
It’s not an easy journey, but Chris and Summer remind us on the episode that just being mindful of where we’re placing our time and mental energy is the first step to being a more present parent.