Subconscious Parenting: Warning Mama’ing on Auto-Pilot
Have you ever been driving and realized that you’ve driven at least two miles or so, pull yourself out of your thoughts and think. How did get here? Sometimes I can make it more than halfway to my mama and daddy’s house for instance, and not remember passing the gas station, car wash and banks I normally see. Experts call it subconscious driving, where you stop seeing things that are already there. Parenting confession: sometimes I parent like I drive. Not that I intend to, but sometimes I am distracted by a ‘challenge’ I need to solve, schedules I need to organize and a to-do list that I am desperately trying to complete before the sun goes to hideaway for the night. I think I am disguising my lack of attention well, spurting out automatic replies as needed, like: ‘That’s nice.’ ‘Reaaallly.’ ‘Oh yeah.’ ‘Mmmhmmm.’ ‘Yes…huh…no…say it again.’ On one hand I can’t help but think, who has the time to be fully in the moment with the kiddos – everyday. But to tell the truth these years of parenting have flown by. Our oldest will move on to high school next year while our youngest will enter first grade! It seems like just last week they were all wee little babies, smelling of sweet pink Johnson and Johnson baby lotion. My goal is to make sure I parent like I drive less and less. When I do I get to eavesdrop on the three and listen to little jewels like them trying to calculate how old they will all be when the oldest goes off to college, how they will miss her and who will take her room. Chauffeuring kids around and working sometimes it does seem like time can stand still. But, when I stop working on automatic I look up and realize that time really does fly.