I was recently putting Asher to bed thinking about how wonderful it felt to have him melt into me while sleeping. I mean, we were basically glued together by snot and spit, and it was wonderful. It also made me think about how much I missed and probably took those moments for granted with the bigger boys. It feels like a decade ago. Well, it has been a decade! I was thinking about how awesome it would be to bottle up each of those precious moments we have. Capture everything from the smells, sounds, feels and emotions. The feeling of the chubby legs folded over my lap while his warm drooling cheek lays on my shoulder. The smell of baby wipes, Shea butter soap and bag balm (the best alternative for butt cream EVER- seriously, I had someone hug me after a suggestion to try it). All of those senses molded into one bottle that can be opened at a moment’s notice. Maybe when he goes to kindergarten, or graduates high school. Or, gulp, gets married. You know, like in the BFG by Roald Dahl. The BFG had the ability to capture everyone’s dreams and can then use them as needed. How awesome would it be to capture those moments in life that we want to cherish forever? And then when you need a reminder or are feeling emotional, you can open it up and live it all over again. Not just visually or by hearing it, but by feeling it.
As a mom, it’s hard to always remember to embrace every moment. Outside of working away from home, there are so many things that are consuming time when I get home. Dinner, homework, baths, school clothes, laundry, just to name a few. Notice I didn’t even mention cleaning. I suppose that falls in there as well. Everyone always says to embrace the moment, time passes so fast, <insert Hallmark line here>. But, on the flip side, there is this underlying expectation that standards need to be met in order to be a successful mom and feel like you’ve accomplished something. People can see your clean house, taste your good food and evaluate the completed homework. No one may see that you rocked the baby for an extra 20 minutes just to smell their recently washed hair, or told the kiddos a crazy, homemade bed time story before bed. We count everything in minutes of a day. It’s 30 minute to make dinner, 1 hour for homework, 8 hours of work, etc. We don’t necessarily count moments of the day. It’s easy to say that the kids have to go to bed now because I have an hour worth of laundry to fold. But really, what’s an extra 20 minutes to cuddle? You can’t bottle that up, but you sure can the laundry! And I don’t know about you, but I would love to bottle up that laundry and send it away! While I’m not saying live in squalor, I do believe instead of doing things we feel pressured to do, adjust the schedule with things we know will have a greater impact on how we feel about time and those moments that often pass us by.
The point of my bottled up soapbox is that until we can feel less pressure (real or not) about how we’re conducting ourselves as moms, we will not change. I’m so guilty of that. I see magazines that show me how a perfect house looks. How to “really clean” in only 30 minutes a week. Or how to make a healthy meal in only 10 minutes a day. There is a fix for everything, but limited time or resources to implement it. So, instead of saying “oh well” and not stressing over what I had planned on making for dinner, I’m making my 30 minute meal feeling guilty for the extra 20 minutes I could be using elsewhere. I’m sure not everyone feels the pressure from those types of articles. Heck, maybe I’m a glutton for punishment? I too get sucked into the depths of Pinterest on occasion looking for a better solution to dinner ideas, cleaning, school and whatever the stress of the moment is. I’m working on caring less about how things are structured and what others may think about how my house looks or what we’re having for dinner. But, it’s not easy when, based on conversations I’ve had with folks who like to “keep it real”, it appears most people are masquerading about the home front because it’s too embarrassing or too disappointing to admit they had cereal for dinner or had to rewash the items in the washer 3 times before remembering to put it in the dryer. When I hear that, I feel better knowing I’m not the only one. But then wonder too, how many other moms feel that pressure and we’re all too ashamed to say anything? So, while you ponder that, I am going to cuddle my baby!