A Busy Mum Lets Us In on How to Be Present With Your Kids
Samantha Wennerstrom lives in Santa Barbara with her husband, Todd, and her daughter, Elin. Starting out with a career in publishing, Samantha created Could I Have That? as a creative outlet to house all the things she was coveting and loving. What started out as a hobby in 2009 has since organically grown into a business featured in The Wall Street Journal, C magazine, Who What Wear, Lucky, The Zoe Report, Santa Barbara magazine, and more. Could I Have That? is a destination for all who love upping the ante in their everyday lives. Today, Wennerstrom is sharing her tips on how to be more present with your kids.
I’ll be the first to admit that I get easily distracted. My work hours have no limit, and I’m horrible at doing two things at once. But luckily for me, I have a 3-year-old who keeps me in check when I’m not being present enough for her. And while I can stop everything (most of the time) and give her my attention, sometimes we both need more to be completely in tune. Going into the madness of the holidays, this seems more important than ever to keep in the forefront of my brain.
Here are some of the ways I’ve been detaching myself from everything else while soaking in every moment with her.
Ditch the Technology
If I can hear or see my phone lighting up with a message of some sort, it’s literally impossible for me not to pick it up. For that very reason, I put my phone away (out of sight), turn off the TV, and put away computers so there are no distractions.
There’s something incredibly therapeutic about fresh air. Even just a quick walk around the block, picking lemons or watering the plants together in the yard can be the answer to a bad mood.
My mum gave Elin a watercolour set, and we both are obsessed with painting with watercolors now. It’s an easy form of painting and oddly super calming. It’s one of my favourite things to do with her now.
Build a Fort
This is a fun one if it’s too cold outside. It always instigates pretend play, which I read recently is super healthy for a child’s cognitive, emotional, and social development.
We used to make my favourite chocolate chip cookies, but then I realised the sugar content was no bueno for a toddler’s nap—lesson learned. So now we make these healthy oatmeal cookies with no sugar. Although we may be whipping up a batch of Rice Krispy treats this weekend; it’s our Halloween special.