For many of us, mom guilt is all-consuming and it takes up our brain space for most of the day—no matter if you work outside of the home, work from home, or work as a stay-at-home mom. Nobody ever feels like they’re doing enough. With social media, it may look like everyone else has it together and is the perfect parent making special memories with their children daily. But many parents feel like it’s an accomplishment getting everyone clean, clothed, fed, and out the door for school or extracurricular activities—and then feel guilty that they should be doing more. 

Thankfully, this viral video mom and influencer Sarah Martinez posted on her social media accounts will help many of us take a big breath.

@iamsaramartinez

I always struggle with mom guilt and questioning if i was present enough. If this is true or not, I do find setting aside specific time to be present with my toddler (no phones out, etc) has made a positive impact. #raisingkids #parenting #parentingtips #parentingtip #childpsychology #raisingtoddlers #toddlerparents #toddlermom #presentparenting #toddlermama #raisingchildren

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Apparently, she discovered that all you need is nine minutes a day to make the greatest impact on your child’s day and help them see that you’re present. In an interview with Newsweek, Martinez shared she was inspired to share this clip with her followers after asking fellow toddler moms for advice about feelings of mom guilt. 

“It’s a common thread among parents, from those who stay at home and juggle countless tasks to working parents who face their own unique challenges,” she told the publication.

This theory is credited to Jaak Panksepp, an affective neuroscientist, which means he studies how the brain processes emotions. And Panksepp’s theory is that if you spend nine minutes a day with your child—three minutes after your child wakes up, three minutes after you pick them up from school or daycare, and three minutes before they go to bed for the night—they’ll feel fulfilled and loved, debunking the idea that you have to be present 24/7 to raise an emotionally healthy child.

The trick is being totally 100% present with your child during these three minute interactions. No phones, no screens, and no chores, as evidenced by the video Martinez shared of the times she spent with her daughter. She highlighted playing with her and snuggling her daughter as soon as she woke up, snuggling on the sofa and reading to her after presumably picking her up from daycare, and then snuggling in a comfy chair with a book and a lovey before putting her to bed.

Martinez shared why she put this theory into practice online to show her followers. “It’s about making those brief daily reunions with our children special and present,” she told Newsweek.

“My hope is to convey that, despite these different circumstances, being intentional and present in the moments we share with our children can alleviate some of this guilt,” she said in the interview. “It’s about cherishing the reunions, whether they’re after a long day of work or simply a short separation. These moments are opportunities to reinforce our bond, making each reunion special and memorable.”