Do you ever feel like motherhood is this constant state of waiting? Either waiting in anticipation or waiting in exasperation. We wait in anticipation for those big milestones – crawling, walking, talking. And we wait in exasperation for those difficult seasons of tantrums, potty training, sleep regressions to be over. For me, its waiting for new baby to arrive and for this horrible pregnancy to end.
As I sat on this question today, I realized we do this in our lives as a whole too. We have plans and we are in this constant state of waiting for the next thing to happen. We cannot wait to graduate high school, to graduate college, to get married, to buy a house, to have kids, to be successful in our career. The list goes on and on. We spend so much of our time trying to get to the next thing that we forget to enjoy the moment we are in. The right here and right now.
When we focus so far ahead we miss all of the little moments. And what I have found is that in this little moments, this is where I actually find the most joy. It’s in the moments I stop and really play with my son and watch his engineer mind and his creativity soar as he constructs his legos into a conveyer belt for his library books (aka blocks). It’s when I stop focusing on a clean house and just spend time with my family. It’s when I take time to really ask my husband about his day at work and listen to the struggles he encountered. It’s when I pause and take time for myself as a woman (not a mother or a wife) and remember that I do have aspirations and ideas and things to offer this world.
When I pause and really take notice it’s the smiles, and I love yous, and the crazy dance parties that really bring joy. It’s all those little moments that make up life. Not those big “supposed tos” of our culture. Because at the end of the day – I don’t care what college I went to, how much money I made, or how big of a house I had. What I care about is already right in front of me. I care about being mama to that sweet boy and being present in every way possible. I care about connecting with my husband and remembering why we dated in the first place. I care about love and grace and connection. And when I am constantly in a state of striving and waiting – I miss all those things.
So today, I vow to stop, to pause, to listen and to just be in my actual life as it actually is. Those big things will happen someday – but right now I am happy, truly happy with my actual days.