Each stage of motherhood is great and hard and wonderful and demoralizing. It is all of the things, but it happens so fast it’s hard to register you’ve moved on to the next stage until you’re in the thick of something new.
Currently, I’m at the stage where my girls have just started to make their own breakfast. It’s the stage where my heart bursts with pride and love and unicorn farts every time I see them and it’s also the stage where I have to fight one to do her homework everyday and the other to go to the bathroom before bed. (You do it every night. Tonight is no different. Why do you think you can skip it this one time??)
My dad often said that he liked me more the older I got. I can tell that will be the case with my girls, too (with a possible exception for the pre-teen years). On the other hand, the days are just whipping by while I want them to slow down! I thought it was just the pandemic routine of every day being exactly the same that made it feel like a broken record on fast-forward, but no, time is still flying.
I feel like I write this same blog post at least once a year. It’s the one where I lament the passing time and say I can’t hold on. I guess this is just what I do.
But to try and be in the moment this time around, here are four new practices I’ve added to our routine. Fingers crossed it helps me appreciate this age, this moment, and not let it slip by unnoticed.
Play Uno every night.
Our next door neighbor gave us a pack of Uno cards three months ago and I swear we have played at least a hand or two every night since. I don’t know why this is such a hit for all four of us, but it is. The girls are learning strategy and poker faces and I get to play with them without having to get down on the floor or learn the names of all the PJ Mask guys.
Watch them walk away.
I’m the one who drops the girls off at school in the morning. I could just open the car door, but I get out and watch them walk away. Every morning it breaks my heart just a tiny bit and then the crack fills with pride. They are learning to face the day on their own, but they still want one more hug and smooch before they go. I’ll take what I can get at this point, but I also want to delight in the fact they are confident enough to become their own humans. Good job, mama.
Appreciate the interruptions.
Malorie keeps joining me while I put on my make-up in the morning. Charlotte has really taken to helping with dinner, which is normally my time to get lost in the kitchen with a podcast in my ear. Frankly, both situations are really a hassle and make everything take double the time it should. I’ve heard from enough parents to know this won’t last forever though, so I’m trying to bite my tongue and allow them into my space as long as they want to know the secret password.
Make note in my gratitude journal.
I know, I know – a gratitude journal is just as eye-roll-y as it sounds, but hey, it works. I keep a journal on my bedside table and each day I write one line about what happened or what I’m grateful for at that moment. I’ve done this since before Malorie was born. It has become a great keepsake and time capsule as to what was happening at the moment. (Fun fact: yesterday’s note from last year – “Had to wear masks to work today. That was weird. Wonder how long that will last.” Oh, the simpler times.) Time may be flying, but this pause gives me a chance to appreciate it at the moment and enjoy the memory in years to come.
What are you doing to be more in the moment with your kids as this Mother’s Day approaches?
Of course, not having to make dinner and instead spend time with them (hopefully doing the fun stuff for both of you!) is one way we can help. Otherwise, I hope this list inspired you to focus on the now.