An Excerpt from Good Mothering by Tiffany Tyndall — Half of 5. Live in the Present

The present is a present.  It gives us the privilege of experiencing life to the fullest, in the here and now.  Some of either get too caught up in the past or too focused on the future.  What happens, then, is that we forget that the present is our moment to begin anew and to shape how we want things to be.  Also, it’s only in the present when what we feel and who we are is completely real.

Let the present be a clean slate, a fresh start, causing the past to not have more power over you than it should.  And let the present also serve as the building blocks of the kind of future you want.  The present is an active thing and can make or break your ability to live out your dreams.  Dreams of a healthy, happy family.  Dreams of strong bonds and close friendships with your family members.  Dreams of mutual respect and understanding and of peace and comfort.  All those things start now, in the present.  All that is needed is the choice to be what you see yourself being.

Be present in mind and body with your children, and seek to fully take in the moments, even if they aren’t on holidays or special occasions.  Each new day offers its own special occasion to be with your children and to love and care for them.  With this perspective, remember to reflect thoughtfully on the past and look forward with hope to the future.  It’s not like yesterday and its memories need to be forgotten forever since they’re now in the past but rather that we can re-enjoy the good times we have had in the past by reflecting thoughtfully and purposefully on what has happened in our lives over the years.  Similarly, the future can be something we have an optimistic outlook of and something wonderful that we can look towards, as long as we don’t romanticize it to the point where we are setting ourselves up for eternal disappointment if we don’t achieve the level of perfection that we expect from ourselves.

Good Mothering: Doing the Best Job You Can Despite the Inherent Difficulties that Come with the Life-with-Kids Territory by Tiffany Tyndall is available for purchase here.

This writing is also included in Loved: Writings on Motherhood and Caregiving, a collection of reflective and expository writings by Tiffany Tyndall.

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