My toddler daughter awoke at 6 am this morning, wide-eyed and ready for the day. Momma (that is me) on the other hand was a bit more groggy and sleepy-eyed. Once my daughter wakes, I can usually pacify her for 25-30 minutes in our bed before we really must bounce up and face the world.
To be honest, our typical mornings spent "cuddling" in bed are selfishly for me. And, not for reasons you would think. My hope is to possibly sneak 5 or 10 additional minutes of shut eye, while she watches Doc McStuffins on Disney. When that does not quite work out, I find myself laying there, usually stroking her hair, my mind racing and placing unnecessary pressure on myself.
Looking at the clock and beginning to feel anxious I silently tell myself, "10 more minutes." I have already created a deadline. A deadline for my daughter and I. How sad? I have already made a mental list of chores or errand to-dos that I must accomplish. It is so unfair to her that as she looks up at me, fixated on me, all I can do is look at her and think about what needs to be done.
Lately I have realized that I do not enjoy such little snippits in time. I do not live in the moment.
You know what I am describing? The moments where there are no cell phones or laptops. Moments of quiet and contentment. Moments where the only form of entertainment is my little one's face starring at me, examining my structure and pointing forcefully at my nose and into my eyes. Moments when there is nothing to do but be present, breathe, live. I do not like to admit this. It makes me really sad actually, but unfortunately it is the truth. Maybe you can relate?
She is so content in herself and her current surroundings. She, in her little unknown wisdom, teaches me so many lessons and things about life.
Sometimes I wish I could live my life like a child, like my daughter. They see their surroundings and the world untouched by perceptions, hate or even harsh truths. What is in front of them is what the see. There is no complexity about it. They do not worry about what must be done or time wasted. They succeed in truly living in the moment.
When I watch my daughter play, I see how engaged she is with her current reality. Unlike me, who sits on the couch worrying about work, even though it is a day "off." I fearfully login to my email to make sure I am not missing anything and think that by always being connected, I am proving my commitment and reach. Although, the truth is because of this action I am missing something and I am disconnected. What I am missing out on is the little thing directly in front of me that means the very most. She is so content in herself and her current surroundings. She in her little unknown wisdom teaches me so many lessons and things about life.
I am sad. I am angry. Why do we create such unnecessary pressure on ourselves to always do more, be more? Why are we not satisfied with the present? Why can't we live in the moment?
So, this morning as my daughter got sleepy-eyed and needed her morning nap, I did like I always do, gave her the pacifier and her blanket, placed her in her crib and walked away. I sighed in relief for an hour to myself to do all those things I mentally had accumulated earlier that morning, clean-up the kitchen, pay bills, make a grocery store list. But, shortly after I began, I heard her cry.
Why do we create such unnecessary pressure on ourselves to always do more, be more? Why are we not satisfied with the present?
Every single dish in the house was dirty and I swear every piece of clothing laid in two heaping piles in the laundry room waiting to be folded. But, this morning, when I heard her cry, I walked away from it all. Instead of returning the missing pacifier to her mouth and patting her back, and yet walking away from her again. I chose her. I chose the moment. I picked her up from her crib and I rocked her in her room for much longer than I typically would. I lingered. I stayed. I held on and allowed my mind to mentally focus on the now and on her. And, you know what she did? She stared at me, soaking me in. Breathing in every bit of me and my energy. What was she thinking? "What is wrong with you Mom? You hardly ever do this." I felt so ashamed.
All she ever needs is always right there in that second. So, I stared at her and smiled back. Kissing her forehead, humming and truly cuddling for the both of us. We said more and shared more with each other in that moment, just quietly rocking and being present.
Slowly she fell back asleep, and I placed her in her crib. As I walked away I thought, "Gosh, I needed that." It was a feeling of contentment, happiness and purpose. Once I allowed myself to give her all of me, I realized in essence that she gave it all right back and more. Nothing else that typically races through my mind of to-dos or have-tos ever could or would fulfill me like she does. Why must I always be racing to the next when what I really need is right there in the present? The greatest lesson to date I have ever learned thus far as a mother, happened this morning and thank goodness it did!
This post originally appeared on backwardsnhighheels.com.