This post will be a little more personal as I open my heart about my own day to day struggles. I sometimes feel like I’m alone in this but I also feel like some of my struggles are fairly universal amongst mothers so hopefully some of you can relate.
This morning I found myself sitting on the couch watching my little girls play and I was feeling so frustrated and wishing the morning would pass by more quickly. I was feeling tired of the constant peace keeping, toddler wrangling, and sounding like a broken record. My morning consisted of a steady chorus of, “For the love of all that is good and holy STOP pushing your sister!” or “If you hit her or grab anything from her one more time you’ll be sitting on the steps.” After that last threat/desperate plea I once again checked the time on my phone and realized only a few minutes had passed since I last checked the time.
It suddenly struck me that there’s a disconnect between everything I feel inside, what I talk about, and the reality that I’m living.
I often feel nostalgic about how quickly time is passing by, how quickly my babies are growing (when did my first sweet baby girl become a precocious, independent three and a half year old?!), and I often wish that time would just slow the heck down. I feel much and I feel deeply. However, this morning I caught myself constantly checking the clock and wishing time would speed up. I also realized this wasn’t an anomaly. I feel like this describes most of my days. I often find myself on auto pilot just to get through the day trying to keep my patience and just survive.
I know that I will be that old lady at the grocery store with tears in her eyes as she watches the frazzled young mom doing groceries with a cart full of little ones and hardly any room in the cart for groceries. I will watch with fondness remembering the countless times I did the same thing with my own little ones, picking up their scattered, spilled Cheerios from the aisle and pushing the cart with one hand trying to find a garbage. I will remember the times when I could hardly concentrate on reading my shopping list because a little voice was saying, “Mommy mommy MOMMY” with increasing urgency and volume for no apparent reason other than to get my attention. I will watch this tired, sleep deprived, frazzled mom with tears in my eyes because it is just SO beautiful and SO very fleeting.
Knowing all this and having this little epiphany this morning as I watched my girls play/get on each other’s nerves and mine enabled me to pause and totally change our morning around. Instead of just wanting the morning to pass by more quickly and to just sit in peace while they played, I spent ten minutes cutting grapes in half and spreading peanut butter on crackers for hungry little tummies at nap time. Once their bellies were full, I let them pull out the big bin of play-doh and all their cookie cutters and play on the kitchen floor despite the fact that they always make a huge mess with play-doh.
I sat in a chair stroking my babies head, and watching her look up at me with her big blue eyes, while my toddlers played happily on the kitchen floor, getting little bits of play-doh everywhere. I looked around at my messy kitchen counters but made a conscious decision to sit there, and take it all in, and actually enjoy and savour every moment of this precious time. I know one day it’ll feel as though I blinked and twenty years suddenly passed by so right now, I’m consciously slowing down, listening to my favourite Christian music tunes, and making a point of delighting in even the most mundane minute details of my crazy, chaotic life and taking immense joy in my beautiful children.