Today while I was running around doing my morning chores as quickly as I could, I stopped for a second and enjoyed that bright sun shining in one of the favorite rooms of my home (well I have many favorites for all different reasons). But the BOYS room-the room where my boys have always shared, the “musical bed” room where boys have come and gone and come back and the room my little Janey, with a nice new pink room, insists on sleeping in so she is not alone. It is decorated almost exactly like it was when we moved in 13 years ago and I want to leave it like this always.
I was filled with this overwhelming sense of gratitude-gratitude for what IS right now. I know almost every mom with little ones, or who is pregnant, and feels overwhelmed, and “not enough” and is waiting for the next stage to come so life gets easier, needs to hear this message because I did too.
Love with all your heart what your life looks like right now. Yes maybe it could get easier, but there will probably always be something that makes life a little more complicated than what we want it to be. When you feel that baby kicking inside of you and can’t sleep, just sit and love the feeling of it and be so appreciative that you get to experience that miracle.
When you trip over toys and step on Legos and the beds are unmade and the sink is crusted with toothpaste, just take a breath and think of the days when your house will look like no one lives there and you’ll want it filled with children playing and the comfort of knowing all your children are in their beds safe. Do you really want to put away those toys forever? I bet not.
When you haul in those groceries and plan those meals, sit back at that table and look around and be so so grateful to share a meal with all these people who love you, and that you have the money to fill your children’s tummies with food, even if it is loud and fast and a lot of work.
Who cares if you don’t have time to do all that you are supposed to be doing. Cancel the plans and stay home and cuddle or eat popcorn and watch Rudolph for the 100th time. Do what you want to do with your children and love every minute of it, even if it never turns out the way it is planned. Or badly. Live and learn and laugh about it and try again, but love the process of learning how to be a present, content parent. Life will teach you if you stop long enough to let it.
Try not to care about the mess, and the discomfort and noise and the demands-yes a day, or a week or maybe even a month you think would be nice.
But life changes, and kids grow up and they grow up FAST. Yes, I know you’ve heard it in the grocery store from an old lady so many times. Because IT’S TRUE. Put down your list and listen to those old ladies! Babies are sweet and warm and cuddly and toddlers are hilarious and so fun to watch, and kids just love us, and teenagers test our love so we love them harder, and then they LEAVE. And it’s all over.
So treasure it all – the kicked ribs and sore back, the messy room, the quick meals, the tripped over shoes, the sweet little squeaky voices even if they are whiny, the work that seems endless.
It’s not endless, that’s the thing. Pay attention, be filled with gratitude for it all, and simplify your life enough so that you can take the time to deeply love it all.