Catching the Moments

I feel like I reflect on this often: how busy life can be, how many of the little things that are so easily lost in the hustle and bustle.

Part of my struggle as a mom is to recognize the need that, more than anything else, my kids (and my husband) need to know that every minute I have with them is meaningful to me. That doesn’t mean life has to be epic and suffocating and completely planned out (in order to maximize doing things), but rather to do every little thing with purpose.

I am a doer, a go-getter, a leader.  My mind is usually going 100 miles an hour.  I am thinking, planning, dreaming, hoping, discovering.  And yet, my problem is that sometimes when I am doing all that, I am failing to sit back and listen and just be.

I am aware of my own personal weaknesses.  This is one of them.

My kids are teaching me about life through the questions they ask (again and again and again….until they get a satisfactory answer.)  How do I explain what purpose a graveyard has, what death means? How do I live in reality and yet shelter them from their own misguided conclusions to content they are prematurely exposed to? How do get a 3 year old to understand that that cool old building we are hiking past is from so many years ago (and has so much history far beyond his understanding?)  It’s complex.  It’s life.

This weekend, as we headed out to the woods for a fall camping trip, I made a very concious choice to completely tune in.  I heard every question, I contemplated my own questions.  Yes, of course, I was still frustrated by little things (like full on tantrums in a pile of dirt) and the whining from tired kids.  But, I caught the moments.  I unplugged, I didn’t think a thing about anything at home and I just enjoyed my family 100%.  It was awesome.  And the kids noticed too – they didn’t want to come home.

These are just some of those moments, a little glimpse into our life:

Do you find it easier to direct your focus when in the wilderness or do you find yourself thinking (deeply) more than you do at home? Do you completely unplug or let your phone, etc. remain with you? 

© 2012, Tales of a Mountain Mama. All rights reserved. Republication, in part or entirety, requires a link back to this original post and permission from the author.

Amelia lives with her husband and three young children in Yellowstone National Park. As a family, they believe that life is precious, short and should be lived to the fullest. That includes introducing a life of adventures for their boys in the form of skiing, hiking, biking, running, camping and lots of outdoor playing. Amelia writes at Tales of a Mountain Mama in an attempt to inspire others to get outside daily too with tips and tricks, stories and lots of gear reviews.


  1. I agree wholeheartedly! It’s so easy to get so caught in “adventure planning” that you forget to fully engage and enjoy it when the time comes! Thanks for the reminder…

  2. Agree. I find it the hardest to tune into my child when we’re at home. There’s just so much to do. But put me in the mountains out of cell range with no facebook, no twitter, no computer, where I can’t write or anything, and I find it much easier to be in the moment. It’s actually why my son and I spend very little time at home together. We bond better when we go out.

  3. Laura Ellingson says:

    I admit I keep my phone with me however secretly like it when we end up out of cell range! Forced to enjoy life, family and nature!

  4. I have a really hard time disconnecting – I usually always have my phone with me and am searching the internet, facebook, etc. I’m currently a stay at home mom and a lot of the time the internet is the only chance I have to interact with adults (besides my husband) but I need to remember to pay more attention to my little one. I have to admit that some of my favorite times with him are during those middle of the night feedings when it’s just us – no phones, no TV, no distractions.

    • I totally agree – sometimes I think I tend to stay more connected (over my phone) throughout the day when I yearn for some adult contact. It’s a good eye opener to the value of things in life, isn’t it??

  5. Ann Fischer says:

    Such a great post! Even without a smartphone, or any phone in hand, it’s so easy to check out mentally to get a break from the persistent questions, requests and needs. Just to sit for thirty seconds during the kids’ waking hours is a luxury! Getting outside or to the park, or in the pool is the best exercise for mind, body and soul! Thanks for the reminder! One I commit to these activities and choose to be present during them!- we have a wonderful time!

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