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Being With vs Doing For
by Corrine Bucher

“Are you going to sit down and eat with us mom?” my five-year-old daughter said in surprise as I sat down at the table for dinner. That simple question was like a two by four to the head. The realization that I spend dinner time mostly on my feet running back and forth to keep everyone supplied, as well as trying to knock out the dishes, was not a happy one. I had one of those uncomfortable moments when I saw something I wasn’t even conscious of, that kind of awakening where you kick yourself for not seeing it sooner! My efforts to be a great mom and partner were taking me off track - imagine that. My motives were certainly good: Keep the family running smoothly and make sure everyone has everything they need. However, what became apparent in that moment, is that my family really needs for me to BE WITH them rather than DO FOR them. 

Once I stopped beating myself up, I saw all kinds of great new opportunities to be more of the mom I know I can be (and want to be). I became extremely aware of all the ways that I get too focused on Doing For, rather than Being With. I started to shift in small ways, not necessarily letting go of what I need to get done, but finding ways to have the children do it with me. I found there is a trade-off, trips to the grocery store and setting the table now take longer and I have to let go of perfection. But I also feel fully present with my kids, which they are soaking up. This lesson has spilled over into my other relationships and I honestly enjoy my life more because of it. I can’t remember who said it, but it resonates deeply with me: “We are human beings, not human doings.”

About the Author

Corrine Bucher is a veteran coach and mother devoted to transforming the lives of both working and stay-at-home mothers. Her Workshops for Working Mothers, originally developed for a Fortune 500 Company, challenge and inspire women to define their work/life balance vision so they may begin to feel a sense of control again. Learn more and sign up for her online newsletter, Embracing Motherhood, at http://corrinebucher.com.

Please note: You may reprint this article; however, it must be used in its entirety and not be edited or changed in any way. It must also include the author's byline and "About the Author" section at the bottom, with an active link back to this web site. Failure to comply with these instructions is considered an infringement of copyright law. © 2008 Corrine Bucher. All rights reserved.

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