We have been blessed. Both of our children are good sleepers. I know this has prevented a huge amount of stress in our lives. We don’t usually fight with our children to fall asleep. They usually just go without arguing, in fact Ms. J. will actually tell us when she’s ready for bed. Rubbing her little eyes she’ll say “i tired” and when placed in her sleep she’ll just roll over, hug her bunny and go right to sleep. Although Mr. T. isn’t quite that easy, normally when we say it’s bed time he lays down and goes to sleep. I am fully aware of how lucky we are in this respect.
This evening Ms. J. screamed when put in her crib. She cried and screeched at the top of her lungs begging one of us to come get her. This isn’t her, so I went up to settle her. As I sat trying to rock her into peace, my mind raced with all of the things that I still had to do before going to bed. I had to pack their daycare bags, put in laundry, get my clothes ready for tomorrow morning and I still wanted to try to write a little. “Just go to sleep!” I thought to myself.
Just then Ms. J let out a sigh and wiggled in closer to my body. She startled my mind out of its rambling anxiety and I realized that I missing a truly beautiful moment.
This isn’t new. I do this all the time. I rush through my life as though it’s simply a to do list and my job is merely to check off each completed task. While playing with my kids, I’m mentally planning out the week’s meals. During story time, I’m running through what needs to be packed in the kids daycare bags. Now, while I should have been rocking my beautiful little girl to sleep I was pleading with her in my mind to just close her eyes and sleep so that I could go downstairs and what? Put in laundry, pack diapers, sit on my laptop????
So I told myself to forget about my to do list for a while. I tried to be in the moment. I felt Ms. J’s little body, warm and sticky with sleepy baby sweat, cuddled up in my arms. I listened to her breathing as it slowed and steadied. I looked in her eyes as she fought the sleep and physically felt my love for her. As I settled into the moment I forgot about everything but her. I remembered the long nights I spent with her as a newborn in middle of the night darkness, doing exactly this. I felt her weight in my arms and it dawned on me that she’s not a baby anymore.
My time with both Mr. T and Ms. J is not infinite. I can continue to treat my life as a destination, somewhere I am trying to reach by completing each of these mundane tasks of life, but I am bound to miss out. The chores of a working mother don’t go away. There will always be more dishes, another load of laundry, a floor to be swept and the list never ends. There will not, however, always be another day to my babies childhood. I can not continue to mentally miss these beautiful moments because I am so worried about all the duties that have unofficially been assigned to me. I need to remember that life is a journey and I need to cherish every single moment I have with my beautiful family. They are what bring me unimaginable joy.
With that said, I am heading to bed and I have left some clothes unfolded in the basket. Instead, I rocked my princess to sleep. She wrapped her little hands around my neck in affection and appreciation. My heart swelled as I enjoyed a moment of pure bliss. The pile of clothes that got left behind would never have done that for me.