Lately, I’ve had this really intense awareness of how short this time in life is. The milestones keep coming, they keep growing and learning… and it’s wonderful and bittersweet at the same time.
Being a parent means constantly caring for other people’s needs, as well as your own, and the busyness of it all can be overwhelming. I feel like even when I try to appreciate the gift that parenthood is, I miss the special moments as they come. I have a sleeping baby in my arms, but my thoughts go to the laundry that’s piling up and the dishes that need to be done. It takes effort to let go of the to-do list and just BE.
I heard somewhere that distraction is the thief of memory, and I can’t stop thinking about that idea. That every time I split my attention (playing on my phone is a huge culprit), I am stealing memories from my future self. And this is not to “phone shame” anyone – I think sometimes the internet is a needed and necessary break – but to remind myself what the cost is.
If I’m honest, I am attached to my distractions. It is comfortable because I am so used to it- even though I didn’t have a cell phone until high school, I almost don’t remember life without it. And the quiet is deafening and uncomfortable and weird. But once the initial weirdness passes, it is SO nice. I notice things I have been ignoring- like the sounds a quiet house makes or the birds singing outside. And I start to hear my own thoughts again, pushing past the running task list, and start to remember how nice my morning was.
My wish for all the parents out there is to give yourself permission to “set down” your mental load. Trust that it will be there when you are ready to pick it up, and just BE with your children. Put down or turn off the extra distractions (mental and physical) and be present.
If I am wishing for a way to freeze time, to savor this moment just a little longer, I think this might be the key. To just breathe and BE.