It’s almost 9PM on Tuesday. The kids are asleep and you know what? They’ve been amazing all day. We’ve been amazing.
This morning, they were two very sleepy monkeys as I began to semi-rush them to get ready. Why was I rushing them? Because the repair people were coming to work on the house at 8:30am. I dislike morning appointments for repair people. I hate rushing them…
Rather than run around and bark orders at them, I made sure I talked to them the whole time. I fed them while singing and whistling. We danced and played. Despicable Me was on in the background, but it was more for the music (great soundtrack!). And somehow, amidst all of that fun, we got ready and out the door in a relatively timely fashion and I was home in time for the repair people.
#winning. Right?! Totally. Seriously, my soul felt good. My heart was happy. I was content.
At about 4PM, I missed them. I felt that feeling I sometimes get where I just need them. I need to hold them and play with them. Enjoy them. I have them every other week, and they spend part of that time in daycare… and I want them. I don’t want daycare claiming all of those precious hours of their childhood, robbing me and them of quality time. So I picked them up early just so I could simply see more of them. Spend more time with them. It was worth it a million times over. More of those smiles, more of Max walking and Claire talking. More hugs and kisses. More words. A longer bath time. More snuggles.
More time. More moments we shared. And time? Time is our most precious resource.
I know that now. I feel that. I’m working my ass off to ensure I honor that. To make sure that I choose love. Happiness. That I focus where it counts and where I can make a difference. That I’m willing to grow as a person and be courageous.
I once read that knowing where to place your attention – your focus – is something of an art form. The Art of Attention. I liked the way it sounded. I wrote it down and kept it. Revisiting it from time to time and tonight, I think I’m learning it. Living it.
Knowing where to place your attention in order to be true to yourself? Wisdom. Actually doing it? Courage.
Knowing you have a choice? Wisdom. Choosing the path that your heart yearns for, even if it’s not popular? Especially if it’s not popular? Courage.
It’s such a process – learning this skill… choosing to honor what you know is right. To be the best mother I can be. Some days I fall a bit short, but I’m trying. In this situation, I think that trying counts. Being a mom (or a parent for that matter) is hard work. You’re human, not perfect.
For me this journey to paying more attention happened slowly. I noticed I wasn’t feeling right. It was sort of an increased awareness of all of the decisions I had and the people they impacted. Noticing that I had the power to make a difference. The power to do great things – like raise 2 amazing children. To be there for them. To be present in the moments we share.
Your journey there may be similar: you start seeing and feeling when you’re somehow not quite right. When the decision you’re living isn’t right. You’re off kilter. Maybe it’s that the woman you wanted to be and the one you’ve become aren’t aligned. Maybe you have dreams that you keep having to say “tomorrow… next time…” to, and every time you do it, your heart breaks. Maybe you’re with someone who doesn’t see you. Maybe you’re a working mama who loves her job, but you love those babies and omg you miss the stinking daylights out of them when they’re not with you! Maybe it’s something entirely different or somehow similar. But somewhere, you feel like something isn’t right. And it’s taking you further from that person who you know you were meant to become. The person who you know can do amazing things, who is loving and kind, who is graceful and grateful. Who is wise and courageous. That person? She requires focus – attention – to realize her potential.
It’s totally worth it. We all only have so much time…
In the end, I live with my decisions and so do those I love. When I choose work over the kids a few times, it’s ok. I mean, me having a job is important for many reasons and they won’t grow up to be criminals just because mom works a bit. But when I choose work over them all the time? That’s laying the groundwork for more mess. And not even that, but I’m not ok with it. I love my time with them. I love being there for them. Playing with them and teaching them. Watching them explore the world… and I wouldn’t miss that for anything. I choose to focus my attention on them. I know it serves us all, and it allows me to honor what I know my heart needs: time with them. Moments with them. For us all to connect and share. To communicate. That is worth everything.
So tomorrow, they go to daycare and I go to work… and I will happily skip my lunch so that I can spring them out an hour early. After all, my heart and head? They’re in agreement and I’m totally going to honor that.