Tonight, for the first time in a very, very long time, I stopped.
I stopped trying to solve every problem running circles around my exhausted mom brain.
I stopped stressing over the dishes piled high by the sink, all the messes left still messing.
I stopped worrying. Stopped thinking. Stopped doing.
For a few stolen minutes, while life kept right on whizzing by all around, I simply stopped.
And it was like a light bulb flickered to life somewhere deep within the neglected corners my weary soul.
We have permission to do one thing at a time, sweet friends. Just one thing, in one moment.
Do we ever stop to fully understand what a gift that truly is?
“I’m just so busy,” you’re probably fretting, a silent plea for absolution, understanding. We’re modern mothers, after all; we balance work, family, love, friends. We have it all as long as we keep doing it all.
But what beauty do we miss because we’re too darn busy to see it?
How quickly do we stumble into that rabbit hole of doing that leaves us reeling in exhaustion? How many nights to we swallow a gnawing feeling of dread because we’ve got to do it all again in just a few short hours? How often do we worry the slightest breeze will knock the whole precarious balance of control right off its wobbly axis?
If you’re anything like me? ALL. THE. TIME.
I’m not sure why, but somewhere along the line, motherhood became a metaphor for a mastery of management. We’re supposed to drive the kids to and from school. Get them to practice, lessons, dance recitals, playdates. Find time to make date night (not to mention love) happen on the regular and with ease. Volunteer for that committee, show up to the meeting. Vacuum, mop, dust, fold. Do that self-care. Organize the closet. Declutter those counters and cabinets. Call your mother. Keep in touch with the in-laws. Have lunch with your girlfriends.
It’s so incredibly, overwhelmingly, astonishingly BUSY.
But guess what? It doesn’t have to be.
Sometimes, all it takes is a breath—a real, deep, cleansing breath—to understand just how simple, how beautiful this thing called life really is.
Tonight, I took that breath. I scooped up the baby who’s not much of a baby anymore, and breathed her in.
I tucked her against my chest as she lazily nursed before bed. Normally I’d try to multitask—check emails, scroll newsfeeds, you know how it goes—but this time, I didn’t.
Instead, I stroked her silky-soft pink cheeks.
Instead, I traced the perfect curve of her delicate ears.
Instead, I brushed silky wisps of cornsilk hair from her smooth brow.
I stopped everything else, blocked out all the noise and the stress and the drama and the worry, and I stole a precious moment from the ironclad grip of time.
We don’t have to do all the things all the time. Honestly? We really shouldn’t.
Because we might miss the simplicity of motherhood—the exquisite beauty of this wonderful life—while we’re too busy chasing it to notice.
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