July 30

Engage in a ‘Shared Occupation’ to Promote Positive Wellbeing

Awena Naomie Ella

The wonderful thing about slowing down and just being present with your child is that you can leave the world behind and enjoy being in the moment guilt free.

Too often you end up feeling guilty for not ‘being productive’, or not ‘getting stuff done’.

But you're also exhausted and desperate for a break!

But then you feel guilty again!

It’s the never-ending wheel of mama-dom. But, you can jump off this wheel if you just give yourself permission to do so!

This is now your permission to stop. Be In the moment.

You will feel glad you did!

Being present and in the moment with your child allows you to engage in something called shared occupation. This is when you and your child are engaging in the same activity together, albeit experiencing it differently.

For example, when you are feeding your baby, bathing with your child, playing football, or building a den. It’s when you are sleeping together, eating together, talking together, watching a film together.

When you fully allow yourself to be present in that moment with your child and engage in the activity without distraction, you are allowing for magic to happen.

Being in this moment with your child can increase your connection and your bond, it builds trust and understanding. You are giving your child the opportunity for autonomy and exploration in imagination play, while building internal confidence and self-worth.  

You can easily begin to notice their nonverbal communication skills, their motor movements, the way they respond, their energy patterns, their cognitive abilities and communication skills. Something we often neglect to really observe as we are just so busy!

It provides a safe space for them to feel heard and listened too.

It also gives you time to just be, without the guilt, without the need to crack on and ‘be productive’.  

Here is something you can try:

How about you set yourself a timer of say 30 minutes and tell them that they have all of you for this time. Put the phone away, make sure the schedule is free for you to just be in that moment, ideally undisturbed.  

You can always pick everything up again after, so you might as well allow yourself this time to be present and slow down.

You can do this just for you too, you don’t need to engage in a shared occupation. You can also do this in order to give yourself some down time, read a book, scroll the internet, create a new pin board about the kitchen you really want!

How can you carve out time to be present, slow down and just be?

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