The Art of Being Still: Lessons From My Three-Year-Old



“Still”–not a word I’d ever use to describe a three-year-old. My daughter is one active girl–from the minute her little feet hit the floor in the morning, to the second her eyes close as she drifts off to sleep. Technically, there is nothing still about her. Yet, the other day, post holiday hustle and bustle, she taught me a valuable lesson about the importance of stillness.

Our week had been busy–filled with fun activities. Just the night before we spent time visiting with friends from out of town and got back very late. The next day was a beautiful fall day and I really wanted to get my kids outside to the park and library. When I mentioned this to my daughter, she simply said. “No thank you, Mama. I just want to stay home.” I let a few minutes pass and mentioned my plans to her again, but received the same response, “I just want to stay home, Mama.” Inside my heart, a little voice said, “Just listen to her.” 

So I did. And you know what? It was such a fun day–a day that I needed on so many levels. We laughed (a lot!); played Legos, raced cars, played with trains, did crafts, and snuck in a couple of TV shows filled with lots of cuddles on the couch. There was no agenda and I enjoyed every moment. 

It is tough being a parent to this active, adventurous three-year-old. I have been feeling so depleted and am tired of hearing myself say “No,” “Stop strangling your brother,”and the list goes on. I also struggle with wondering if I am filling up our day with enough activities. Mom guilt is so very real. 

But there is something to be said about being still, about having a day with nothing planned and just BEING.

I love just sitting back and watching my daughter’s imagination take shape. “Mama, I have a great idea!” is something she loves to say as she is playing. I want to be present and in the moment with her and hear these great ideas–and not always follow a checklist of what I need to do for the day.

Oh, these three-year-olds. They can be little monsters. They are trying to figure life out and how to express themselves. There have been so many times I thought I knew best and didn’t listen to what my daughter was saying. 

Right now, I am:

  • listening more,
  • being in the moment more, and
  • lingering a little longer at bedtime to watch my babies sleep.


I am taking mental snapshots because I don’t want to forget these little moments. Our schedule is less full; yet, really, we are doing more. Doing more of the things that matter. My heart is so full from this week.

Take some time and listen to your child. What is he/she trying to tell you? Take a day to be still. Have a pajama day, drink lots of coffee, and just have fun. You will be so glad you did. 

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Hello, I’m Colleen! I grew up in Massachusetts my entire life but have been living in NH for the past two years and absolutely love the Seacoast. I am a SAHM to two miracle babies and I’ve been married to my best friend for almost 14 years. I have gone through struggles such as unexplained infertility, a miscarriage, the roller coaster ride of adoption, and have just recently completed treatments for thyroid cancer. It is my passion to use these struggles for good and to encourage other women through the daily life of motherhood. An introvert by nature, I recharge by spending one-on-one time with friends. I will definitely take quality conversation over quantity because my typical conversations are primarily with my three-year-old centered around Daniel Tiger, poop and Curious George. When I have a free moment, I enjoy GOOD coffee (forget decaf or generic!), wine, running, all things pink, writing on my blog, and being at the beach.