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Enjoying moments: stop and smell the roses

We are all really busy.  Who isn't?  I know many of us feel that there aren't enough hours in the day, minutes in the hour.  This is a painfully busy time for our family.  That's just the way it is.  We wouldn't change it, per se.  Whether we have one parents or two who work outside the home, whether we have one child or four, whether we live here or there, whether we bike or drive, parenthood makes our lives more full and - consequently - more busy.

Despite the schedule, I have been try-try-trying my darndest to enjoy those very simple moments with the kids.  After all, it really is all about the kids.  When one child had to potty at the supermarket, I was irritated that our schedule was being even further delayed.  In the potty stall, I started dancing to the overhead music and the kids followed in suit.  There was much laughter and plenty of smiles.  On the way home today, we saw a huge rainbow.  We stopped and looked and counted each layer of the rainbow, and we talked the rest of the way home about what it might be like if the end of the rainbow was in our yard.  Would we find a pot of gold?  What would we do with it?

I don't want to over-analyze or obsess about the decisions my family has made that has resulted in a very hectic lifestyle at times.  What I do want to do is hear more about those simple moments in your day that you love, the moments you share with the kids, the moments that you write about in their growing-up journals.  Share your moments with me.  I will find inspiration in them.

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those small moments are what make being a mother a joy! even when its crazy! i absolutley have been there when its harried and you are running through the store and trying to rush rush rush, however i am always aware that someday i will be alone in that store, and my children will be grown! i also know that someday i will be driving and the back seat will be empty! i wake up everyday and truly feel like each day is a gift, and i do nothing but enjoy my children, and make them feel loved and we are not big schedulers! i am big on dancing, playing, laughing and making forts! i pray when my boys look back on their childhood, they can say they had a silly mom and dad and it was a blast!!! you only get one childhood, and i can have a spic and span house when they are older....for now, i just want to savor these moments! :)

Night before last, I woke at 630am to my 4 year old crawling over me. I felt resentment rising, at the thought of missing my last half hour of sleep. when I'd only been in bed for 6 hours.

I opened my eyes to her gazing at her baby brother. She whispered, "He is sooo cute. We got the right brother."

It made my whole day.

Oh Lea, how sweet! Tears...

It's really easy to wallow in the struggle, and to start feeling like the victim. To feel like our kids and spouses are deliberately trying to make our lives harder. Some days I think I might scream if I have to clean up one more mess or make one more snack or referee one more fight. But when I can stop and flip the mental switch to try to see the positive rather than the negative, it makes a world of difference. It's an exercise that I've forced myself into for the last several months...

We had a rough summer and we were not happy. It was hot, my husband was working crazy hours, family in town, confrontations... As with most things, as time passed things improved. Boys went to school, husband's work schedule eased and after much reflection, I decided to make a very conscious effort to celebrate the little things rather than feel sorry for myself in our daily struggles. It inspired a blog that has given me reason to stop and recognize, to celebrate and savor and to reflect on the little moments.

I've realized that at this stage of our lives, it's not about big moves or major changes. It's about letting your kids make their own sandwiches, even if it means peanut butter all over the counter because it's worth it to see the proud accomplishment on their faces as they take the first bite. It's about overhearing the big brother telling the little brother that they are going to be best friends forever, "even when Mama and Papa are gone".

Tears from both Lea and Leah! I love this topic. Can't think of anything off the top of my head, just wanted to say it is very inspiring.

I have a friend that taught me about "happy moments," and the importance of naming them aloud. I try to do this as often as possible. I also work hard on just being in the moment, using some mindfulness skills. In it's simplest form, you run through each of your senses in a given moment and tune into them. So, I hear, I see, I feel, I smell, I taste......whatever. I find that if I can just focus on whatever is happening at that very moment, it makes all the other stuff wait its turn. There may be very little I can do about the number of things on my plate at any given time, but when it comes down to it, I only focus on the one in front of me even if it's that we're in the bathroom at the store, stuck in traffic somewhere, or playing in the park. Outside of that, play hooky now and then. Those beautiful days last week? Dinner went out the door in favor of romps in the park. Isn't that why stores do rotisserie chickens, after all?

I love that the OP said "potty stall!" I am at work and I say potty all the time and people laugh at me. I love other moms! :)

I've been trying to do this for the last few months. Example: bedtime can sometimes be..ahem...a challenge to get.the.girl.to.bed. Once she's in the bed, mind you, she's a champion sleeper if you don't mind waking at o'dark-thirty.

But, we had been spending most of the last hour after dinner reminding her to get into her pjs, brush her teeth, etc. We tried instead to focus on giving her periodic updates about how much time until lights out (she's 4 so she can't yet read a clock consistently) and to ENJOY playing with her as she danced around before putting her pjs on. In the end, she got to bed on time, and both her parents were not aggravated in trying to get her there.

I need to remind myself of this at least several times a week....

ha! debby and OP, one of our office mates wasn't at her desk this morning. when i suggested that maybe she went potty, i got a hearty laugh. wasn't trying to be funny.

one of my girls knows how much i love elephants. from the time she was a toddler she asks to play "mama and baby elephant" all the time. it used to be that we would both crawl around on hands and knees and she fit underneath me - like baby elephants walk beneath their mamas. the object of the game was for me to try to keep up with her crawling and keep her protected.

now that she's almost 5, she asked me at dinner last night how elephants sound. when i told her they make very low rumblings that you can feel more than hear, she immediately came up with her version of that. for nearly a day now she's been rumbling periodically at me and waiting for me to rumble back. sounds more like a tiger, but so so sweet!

These stories and comments are so sweet and inspiring- and right when I needed them too!

My 22 month old son is the cutest, sweetest boy, but has also reached the "no!" stage and started throwing tantrums as we all know how difficult that can be. He is learning to count and it always makes me smile to hear him say: "one, two, three, four, eight, nine, ten!!" in his little voice. He is so proud of himself that he has no idea he is missing "five, six, seven." I just let him beam and figure he will learn it another day. He has also taken to blurting out "no more monkeys jumping on the bed, 'doctor said!" from one of his favorite books for no reason...that also melts away the stress for a good while.

The other night as I was putting him bed, he took his stuffed dog toy that looks like our dog and said "good dog!" as he patted it on the head. He then turns to me, pats my head and says "good mama!" That one will stick with me for a long time!

Leah, what is your blog?
gg

I also try to take time to relish the small moments. One this summer: watching my two little ones digging in the sand at Manzanita. Yesterday, both curling up on my lap for a book.

The last one only lasted about 30 seconds, before one hit the other. But I am learning to remember and dwell on the good parts of the day, and not the negative.

GG, my blog is called The Sweetness of Doing Nothing and it can be found at http://legosinthelaundry.blogspot.com
...Leah

Ahhh, stories that make us smile and connect us...

Lying in bed with my 4yr old but struggling with my monkey mind (worrying too much about what others think). I told him what a great job he is doing at being 4 and how he is a really good teacher and will he teach me how to be more like him?? Without missing a beat, he looked up and said, "well, if you want to be like me you are going to have to learn not to listen!!!" HA! My own little zen master...

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