Earlier today I read a post on a blog about appreciating the present. The writer speaks of how everything in life is impermanent and how she works to be grateful for each moment with her three sweet daughters. In reading her post, I realized how I, too, frequently take for granted all the small, amazing moments with my son.
I’ve always been a person who is happiest when she’s busy. Just ask my folks how hectic my summer breaks were when I was in high school. There was one summer where I think I may have been home a total of two days as I bounced around from camps and mission trips. Needless to say, becoming a stay-at-home mother has been quite the adjustment. Previously I wrote about how I’m learning to appreciate my new identity and how I’ve struggled with not working a traditional job. While I’m proud to say that I worry less about not having a job, I still find myself getting bored or frustrated when Bug interferes with the tasks I try to complete throughout the day. Almost every day I feel a heavy cloud of exhaustion floating inside my head in spite of the fact that my darling has slept through the night for months now. I sincerely believe that the weariness that bears down on me stems from sitting around too much. Moreover, in effort to combat this boredom, I often scurry around trying to complete chore after chore, project after project all while trying to appease my munchkin who demands my attention when I don’t always want to give it. The stress of trying to do so much while dealing with an angry infant further exacerbates my exhaustion and my original remedy for the fatigue becomes futile. And worst of all, precious moments that could be cherished waste away.
Thinking that I needed to have more mental stimulation throughout the day, I applied for a summer position working at a local camp. It’s a job for which I would be well suited and would truly enjoy. When I emailed my resume to the director, I was geared up and convinced that working was what I wanted to be doing. But then I landed a phone interview for the position…and my stomach started to work itself into knots. Did I really want to go back to work? or am I just anxious about working for someone else again? After the initial phone call, I landed an in-person interview…and my tension soared. I laid in bed one night for hours, contemplating if taking a job would be the right decision. In talking through the situation with my mother, I found myself choking up when I told her that Cricket had started crawling at my house while I was babysitting her–her mother had missed that first. Unable to complete my thought because of the knot tied in my throat, it became clear that, as much as I would love working again, as a mother, I wasn’t ready to leave my baby. I didn’t want to miss a single “first.” In further discussing the possibility with my sweetheart husband, his comment that “it’s not that big of a deal” to miss a first alerted me to the fact that IT IS a HUGE deal if I missed one (his comment was made as a coping mechanism to deal with the fact that he, sadly, has had to miss several of Bug’s firsts).
Since this realization, I have been working to just slow down. To enjoy sitting on the floor with my tiny Bug and to watch him experience the world. I have found that I absolutely love watching him pick up every toy and then slam it down over and over again. Watching him grab a cup but, then seeing one of a different color, he immediately drops it and goes for the other. Seeing that adorable round face of his tilt from side to side as he does when he’s incredibly happy.
While the cloudiness still lingers now and then, overall, I am much less stressed when I remember to just let go–to embrace even the smallest moments with my son…to remember that the laundry will wait.
As I challenge myself, I encourage all of you find the beauty within every moment. Once it has passed, you cannot get that moment back.