Yesterday was the kind of day that makes me just feel all warm and squishy on the inside as a momma. And trust me, those days aren’t as common as you might think. I so enjoy being a momma, but it’s easy to get caught up in the doing and not so much the enjoying. And, motherhood has a way of taking you away from certain things, so if you aren’t careful, you can feel like you are missing out. One of my favorite mom’s to follow on IG wrote this post recently:
I am discovering that you can lay down the things you really really want and still find contentment within; the two do not have to be so connected. Desire should not equal dissatisfaction. Because life is meant to be fully experienced — not fought agains, run from, perfectly planned, or walked in half-heartedly. Be all in. – The Gray Gang
I’m learning lately that if I’m so dead-set on getting my life to look the way I want it, then I run the serious risk of missing out on enjoy the actual life that is going on right in front of me. Do you relate to that? Have you ever been so sure of what would make you happy, of what you “needed,” that you ended up making yourself miserable when you didn’t get it? In reality, I believe there are things to enjoy, to love and to refresh us every day, right in front of us. But if we are too busy looking for the things we want, do we miss the things we have?
It’s taken me some time, but I’m really settling into this whole momma business. Truthfully, I’ve been settled for quite some time. But “stay at home mom” doesn’t sound sexy. It’s not glamorous. It’s not something you post with pride on LinkedIn. So for awhile, I struggled to add in all these extra things to my life so I could say “I’m a stay at home mom, but I also do.…”
Trying to manufacture how my life should look was exhausting though, and honestly, it’s a joy stealer. Over the past year I’ve laid down a lot of my cares and concerns about how my life should look and my insecurities about how it might be judged. I’ve been all in, right here, right now. My life isn’t perfect and goodness knows there are days that are so mind numbingly boring/exhausting/frustrating as a stay at home mom. But don’t we all experience that on some level, no matter what we are doing? The problem isn’t what we are doing, but how we think about it.
Yesterday was one of those days where all of this came together for me. I had about one hour’s worth of errands to do, but it was a gloriously sunny day out and I just wanted to be out and about with my boys. I told them we were going on an adventure because, let’s face it, anytime you take a 4 year old and 18 month old out in public by yourself, it is an adventure.
We took our good old time that day, stopping to see what we wanted to see, stopping for snacks when we felt like snacking. Sure, it was work. Sure, I had to constantly wrangle them to stay safe and stop picking on each other, and hauled them in and out of car seats about 15 times, but we were living in the moment. We had fun.
My perfect version of “fun” has changed so much over the years. In the past, I’ve struggled with actually enjoying the amazing, perfectly arranged plans that I made, simply because I was so caught up in making sure everything met my incredibly high expectations. The end result is that I was always disappointed. Let me tell you, you do not want to be that girl. I don’t want to be that girl! And I certainly don’t want to pass that on to my kids.
So later that evening, when I was sitting out on our patio with Theo while he ate a snack, I decided to take him out on one more “adventure” before the day was over. I had one more errand to run and I wanted him to go with me. I didn’t want to worry about how quickly or efficiently I could accomplish my errand, I just wanted to enjoy some one-on-one time with my boy.
Theo went with me to the store to “help” me pick out a gift for a girlfriend. Truthfully, the task took easily 30 minutes longer because he kept disappearing under clothing racks. But what the heck, I went with it. I laughed at his silliness. He laughed back. He would randomly pick up accessories that he thought were “pretty” and, wouldn’t you know it, we ended up getting one of them because it was pretty dang cute.
As we were getting back in the car, he told me he was hungry. It was 8:30 PM and he goes to bed by 9. But I wasn’t ready to go back home either. So we made our way to his favorite hamburger spot, got out of the car once more, and headed in; a hamburger for him and fries for me. I don’t have any pictures from our little date, because I left my phone in the car. On purpose. I wanted to be there with him. I wanted to be all in.