JEN’S ZEN – Pinterest & Presents

Jen is a freelance writer, parent to three, and she’s been a stepparent for over 15 years. She is well-equipped to discuss and write about the great, and the not-so-great, details of all-things-parenting. Along with spending quality time with her family, Jen enjoys music, chocolate, camping and relaxing. And laughing!


Short and sweet – who’s got time to read blogs right now? Christmas is coming! We’ve got holiday parties to attend, dishes to make and bring (leaving us with more damn dishes to do…Ha!) We all try so hard, don’t we?

Presence, Present, Presents

There I was, eye-glued to Pinterest…scanning all the amazing crafts I could make with my kids and activities we could do. Oooh, the possibilities! Repurposed projects, make-at-home gift ideas for the holidays… My mind was joyously thinking, “We could make this and we could do that and …”

Out of the corner of my eye – I saw my kids. All three of them – Catatonic. Glued to the television. Like zombies.

The room kind of started spinning as I took in a birds-eye view of my living room. Me, lost in cyberspace of “great intentions” for the future, and my kids – in the present — lost. 

I shut down the computer, and turned my phone on silent.

I grabbed a ball and we played good ole’ “Hot Potato”! My catatonic kids transformed immediately into children, giggling!

We moved on to Play-do. Nothing fancy. I fought the urge to “post” photos of our creations…I didn’t talk on the phone. Instead, I stayed completely in the present with my kids. Pure. Fun.

Then we popped popcorn. No intricate recipes. No step-by-step instructions. Regular butter and salt. Yum!

I love Pinterest like the rest of the world. Crafty projects and the likes, inspirations for creations…I love Internet recipes, too. And Facebook photos, and, and, and…But that evening, Pinterest inspired something else for my family.

My presence — not just in the room, preoccupied, but my actual — presence

In the present — not lost in future plans, not even doing the laundry or the damn dishes — but the true, living room floor, dining room table, right-in-front-of-our-face present

Created real presents — an evening of laughter and fun and love. True connections. Twinkles in my children’s eyes, and moments where I felt… like a great parent, with great kids, in a great life.

Merry Christmas! I hope you find time to enjoy your present — and the Presents of Presence!


— Because the damn dishes are never done. Laundry is a cruel joke. And because children are beautiful lessons in Patience and Counting. 10, 9, 8, 7 Breathe…

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