“What was your favorite part of the day?” I asked as I tucked you into bed tonight.

It’s the same question I ask every night before you fall asleep, and like usual you dove right into recalling the day’s events.

Jumping on the trampoline.

Finishing a puzzle all by yourself.

Drawing on the front sidewalk. 

As you rattled off the highlights of your day, I realized I hadn’t participated in any of them. Not one. 

Sure, I had sat outside while you jumped and high-fived you when you proudly showed me your puzzle and handed you the bucket of chalk—but beyond that, I had mostly just been a distracted onlooker as I cleaned the kitchen, paid the bills, and checked my emails.

I was physically with you all day, but I was in my own little world the entire time. It breaks my heart to think how often our days are like that.

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The thing is, little one, mama is busy. In fact, all mommies and daddies are.

There’s always something to be done, and never, ever enough time to do it all. We run ragged all day and justify our busyness because nearly everything we do is for you. For our kids. 

We’re busy driving you to sports practices and band concerts and doctor’s appointments. 

We’re busy washing your laundry and packing your lunches. 

We’re busy working jobs so we can earn money to put food on your plates.

We’re just so busy.

It’s not that we don’t want to live in the moment with you, it’s that we’re constantly torn in a million different directions and trying really, really hard to keep up. 

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But something has to change, because no matter how important our to-do list is, the truth is that being so darn busy all the time gets in the way of spending real, quality time with you—and that’s the one thing we can’t get back.

Parenting is a busy calling, honey, and I can’t ignore all of my responsibilities in the name of making memories with you. But I’m also realizing just how often I prioritize the wrong things.

How many times have I told you, “I’ll be right there,” only to get distracted by emails and never quite make it?

How many family movie nights have I missed because I was in the kitchen cleaning up the dinner dishes instead of cuddling under the blankets with you?

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How many times have I rushed you and your siblings out the door because we were late to yet another thing, instead of listening to the funny jokes you were telling as you put your shoes on?

How many moments have I lost to rushing and busyness? I can’t stand the thought of losing an entire lifetime.

I want to cherish as many moments with you as I can, while I can.

I want to play that game. 

Take that walk. 

Listen to that story. 

Go on that trip. 

Let the dishes sit in the sink while we laugh in the next room.

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I want to say no to busy so I can say yes to the things that matter more. Yes to making memories with you. 

Every morning, you wake up a little older. You’re growing right before my eyes and there’s not a single thing I can do to slow you down. 

You’ve already turned from a baby into a toddler into a bigger kid. Before I know it you’ll be a teenager, and then an adult who sometimes comes to visit. It’s a bittersweet succession, and I want all of us to look back on this season with full hearts—not regret over wasted time. 

The only parts of childhood that last forever are the memories. I don’t want to be too busy to make them with you.

Casey Huff

Casey is a middle school teacher turned stay-at-home-mama to three littles. It's her mission as a writer to shine light on the journey of a young wife and mom; the good, the bad, and always the real. When she's not writing, Casey is likely to be yelling COME DOWN FROM THERE! or DON'T LICK YOUR BROTHER!, and procrastinating on the housework.  To read more, go hang out with Casey at: Facebook: Bouncing Forward Instagram: @bouncing_forward