I’ve been trying to live my own advice for living in the moment as much as possible, with varying degrees of success. We went on a wonderful hike that made some great memories, we’ve been spending time in our garden and enjoying the literal fruits of our labors, and I’ve been playing with Emmie before she and Peter leave me alone for 2 weeks.
The latter has given me food for thought. There has been much written on motherhood today, specifically, on being an engaged mother/parent. Most writing concentrates on putting down the phone and picking up the baby, as it were. Other writings talk about how you’ll never remember the dirty dishes, but you will remember your children’s laughter. Etc.
I must say, I sort of struggle with these things. Not because I simply must have all my dishes clean. Ha! Anyone who has ever seen my kitchen can attest to that.
No, I find I struggle with these thoughts most between 4 and 5 PM, when everyone is hungry and cranky, Emmie is insisting on being held, I am trying desperately to read a recipe (at best) or simply scrape something together for dinner (at worst). I *can’t* pick up my baby and treasure those snuggle that will flee too fast because some things MUST BE DONE.
Lost in all the motivational speech and memes-of-the-day is the reality that some things absolutely have to happen in order to have a semi-functional household. Laundry has to be done to avoid public nudity. Dishes must be washed to be able to eat. Food must be prepared in order to stave off hunger and tears.
Somewhat similarly, sometimes parents need to disconnect, just a little bit, just for a moment. Phones and computers are just the new way of doing this. Our parents and their parents had books, newspapers, radios, TVs, even cigarette breaks and afternoon cocktails. Taking a break from the incessant…noise/chatter/demands/whatever it is of your child’s current stage is sometimes necessary, I think. In moderation, it makes me a better parent and makes me MORE able to really connect with Emmie because I’m not completely worn down.
Moderation, once again, seems to rise to the top. I will continue to try to balance loving my daughter and spending time with her with doing the household chores (which I am not naturally good at, therefore taking me more time and mental effort to do). I will try not to feel too much mommy-guilt when I have to deny Emmie her snuggles during meal-prep time, since we have to eat.
As promised, here is some evidence of my attempts at balance:
The whole family hiked to Lost Lake, which is very near Jasper Lake, which is where we met Jasper 4 years ago. The whole thing felt fated, and it was wonderful to be able to take Emmie and Jasper up there again. Jasper is getting older and who knows how many more times he’ll be able to make that hike. But we all had a great time and got some semi-decent family pictures even. Emmie called the lake “ocean!” when she saw it, and LOVED talking about “hikin’ walk mountains, mama, daddy, Emmie Jasper!” I definitely want to do more!