From the moment our children are born, other people make it challenging to stay in the present moment—they start asking questions that look forward instead of at the now we are in.
Can you believe how big she’s getting, where did your newborn go? Oh my goodness, he’ll be walking any day now! Are you thinking about preschool? What will you do when they’re both in school? What will you do when your baby goes to college?
While these questions may come with good intentions, they’re not helpful at all. We moms need to be allowed to be fully in each and every now and to enjoy our children in whatever season we’re in.
Whether it’s well-meaning family or caring friends, it’s OK for us to gently push back. To bring them to where we are and shift their focus, instead of letting them shift ours.
Don’t let anyone rush you.
I can remember the fight within myself when I was faced with these nudges to look ahead. To see who my children were becoming instead of who they were right then. To see what might be unfolding, instead of what was in my current reality. With my firstborn, who is now flourishing in her first year out of college, I have to be honest and admit that I let these nudges affect my perspective and make me sad. For a while.
I got sucked into thinking about the next milestone during her first year, to when she’d sleep, talk, walk. I’m not really sure when I recognized what was happening, how I was giving others the power to make me feel rushed or to look ahead or back as opposed to remaining present. But I do remember how I began to respond once I did.
To the inquirers, I would smile and say, “I’m choosing to focus on who she (or he) is right now.” Or I’d explain, “I’m not thinking ahead to that—I’m going to immerse where we are right now.”
And then I would silently reassure myself that, although it did feel like time was moving too fast, I was able to make it feel slower simply by being really present.
Don’t let anyone rush you. It feels like we need to regularly remind ourselves of this. To help ourselves stay grounded in the present when the world and those around us may be pulling us forward or getting a little too lost in reflection.
As challenging as this might be when our children are very little, it gets extra challenging during the tween and teen years as we get closer to that milestone that will take our children away from the nest for large amounts of time. While we’re processing so many emotions, it’s easier to be influenced by others, wondering where the time went and how our babies got so grown.
Don’t let anyone rush you.
As I embrace one child in college and one in her first year out, I’m staying even more mindful of living in the moment. This doesn’t mean we don’t reminisce because there is so much joy in reflecting on treasured memories. It also doesn’t mean that we don’t dream about the future because this can be exciting, too! And if we happen to be worried about what’s to come, then thinking about it and talking about it can ease our minds.
What it does mean is that I’m trying to revel in more of the precious nuances of each day.
The sunlight shining into my kitchen as I sip hot and very delicious coffee, taking a walk or spontaneously going out for late-night cookies with my daughter, pausing during the day to connect and chat with my husband, sharing in my son’s excitement over getting a little brother in his fraternity (a new friend he really connected with).
Each day offers us many opportunities to sink into some of these simple moments—moments that can deeply fill our souls and have a pause effect on time. They are also moments that can pass by barely noticed if we let them, and the choice is ours.
I choose to not let anyone rush me.