I’m not sure where the whole notion of thinking stay at home moms sat around eating bonbons came from but I admit that just yesterday I was probably doing the real-life version of this. I was snacking on some Aldi-brand nutella and toast and snuggling with my daughter in the middle of the day. And as I was sitting with my girl, I was thinking about all the things I should be doing. But in a matter of minutes I made myself S T O P.
I can’t imagine I would have thought this was “okay” a few years ago – this, meaning sitting on the couch not accomplishing anything on my to-do list, let alone doing it “bon-bon” style…in the middle of a weekday.
What’s funny (or sad) is that I never truly appreciated or respected sitting or resting before. I’ve felt like life had to be on the go, that we should always be moving and always doing something. Even when you sit and watch tv or read a book, how many of you get distracted by doing something else? Guilty. (I’m going to pause here quickly because you’re probably a mom and thinking “sitting around?! what kind of kids do you have?” I hear ya. My everyday mom life is a lot of physical ups, downs, bending and hauling throughout the day but I’m getting to the sitting here soon.)
I’m thankful to say I’m definitely in a different place than I was on my initiation to staying home and my belief about all the “doing.”
Do you know the saying about changing the world starts with going home and loving your family? This is something that’s FINALLY resonating with me and my oldest is turning seven next month. Yikes. It’s not that I never thought it wasn’t important but maybe I never took the time to really realize HOW important it was or the fact that it is THE most important thing I do everyday. And by being the most important, means that’s where time…the most time…should be spent.
You have to give your family what they need – go home and love them in the way they need it. And while I sat on the couch, I was giving my girlie exactly what she needed. Some of you may know that we’ve been dealing with unknown pain issues for the last three years. It’s manifested at its worst to 3-4 days A WEEK of screaming and at its best been controlled at 2-3 days a month. Right now we’re somewhere in the middle. It’s ever fluctuating and we’ve done everything in our power and in our means to figure it out but when your child cannot tell you what hurts, cannot point to the problem and the pages and pages of journal scratch entries don’t line up, you do your best to guesstimate and make your mom-diagnosis on what’s causing it and at the end of the day (or straight smack in the middle of the day) you sit. I sit and cuddle with her and 75% of the time it helps. It calms her down and gives her the comfort she needs. Hardest part is that I can’t sit alllll day because things do have to get done, other children need to be cared for and darnit, I have to pee!
Yesterday, baby girl was upstairs taking a nap and my oldest was at school. So on this day, in this hour, I sat. I sat on the couch, feet up on the ottoman and my daughter’s beautiful face nestled into my chest. This is the best position I’ve found for a chance to calm her down. And as I said, my mind quickly went to what I should be writing, what I could be doing while I sat there and feeling guilty for not starting something…thankfully, I was able to stop myself before guilting myself.
That’s one of the best changes I’ve made in the last year. I’m intentionally focusing my days on what I need and what my family needs vs. what I think we need (or what I think based on what I see others doing). This intentional focus has come after the books I’ve read and the conversations I’ve had with friends over the course of the last year and the time I’ve spent praying and with the thoughts in my head. I’m so happy we as a society are finally (or at least I am finally) realizing it’s okay to just be. Or as the Bible says, “be still.”
I’m clearly still learning and re-focusing and there are plenty of times I should probably sit and I don’t, but this isn’t about every time. This isn’t about doing it right every time. This isn’t about being perfect. It’s about taking the time when you recognize it and giving yourself grace when you don’t.
I’d encourage you to go and sit if you haven’t done so recently – go sit on the floor with your kids, go sit next to your husband (next to him, not on the other side of the couch which we do 90% of the time) or go sit with yourself. Note: I didn’t say by yourself. I said with yourself. Take time to rest and be still. It’s amazing what you’ll find it does for you.
Here’s to you,