I’ve had a busy, let’s say… emotionally diverse day, which ended with the kids chasing each other around half naked — screaming at each other over an hour past bedtime — and one pair of poopy underwear (not mine, in case you were wondering). I was SO done with the day, and I just wanted the kids to go to bed as fast as possible.
But as I was trying to get them to bed and wishing that they would just shut up already so I could go downstairs and work on my blog about being an awesome mom, I made a conscious decision to let go of what I wished was happening and instead embrace the present moment.
The reality of the present moment right then was that I had let the kids stay up later than usual because I took them out for gelato, and they were simply not ready yet to be calm enough to go to sleep. So instead of yelling and trying to force them to do what I wanted, I just made a conscious decision to fully engage with them as we read a couple of storybooks and to spend an extra 5 minutes each just cuddling and snuggling with them one-on-one.
It totally turned the night around. In the extra 5 minutes with my 2-year-old, he asked me in his totally sweet, squeaky voice, “Mommy, you sing me wu-wu-by and goodnight, go to sweep my witto baby?” It just melted me. And in my 5 extra minutes with my 5-year-old, she sang me a song she made up on the spot about how much she loves me.
The Buddha wisely advises,
“Be where you are; otherwise you will miss your life.”
If I had chosen to be 20 minutes into the future, wishing I was at the computer, instead of just embracing those short 5-minute moments with my sweet kids, I would have missed that precious part of my life.
Motherhood is definitely a balancing act. We do have our own things we wish we could be doing sometimes, but sometimes the reality of the moment we are in is that our children need us to truly connect with them, just for 5 minutes.
So, my goal for tomorrow is to try to stay present, to pay attention to giving my kids what they need in the moment they need it, and to really experience my life, however that looks tomorrow.
How about you?