Does anyone else ever feel like they are living at a pace that they just cannot maintain? Sometimes I feel like I chase my tail from morning until night. I collapse into bed feeling like “where did today go?”
I’ve become more and more aware of this rapid pace that I have somehow allowed to become my normal. Sure, I take time to stop and enjoy my kids and be present in conversations with co-workers and friends, but in general I feel rushed all the time.
A few weeks ago I was talking to my Mom on the phone before going into a store. The kids were getting restless and I thought I could finish up the conversation as I got the kids out and headed inside. I balanced the phone and my purse as I unbuckled my toddler and got him out of the car. I am always very careful to get him out safely, but I was distracted by the conversation with my mom. As I closed the door he suddenly reached for something in the car and the door slammed right on his hand. His little fingers were caught in the door and he let out a painful scream. For a second I didn’t even realize what had happened. Thankfully, his fingers were only badly bruised and no fingers were broken by the heavy SUV door.
All it took was a moment. A moment of distraction on my part and my child was hurt. It could have been much worse. I feel like I am a very attentive Mom, and it’s painful to admit that sometimes that just isn’t true. So many times I’m paying more attention to my phone than my kids, or I am rushing around doing chores and not being truly present. I look up and have no idea how long one of my kids has been following me around asking me a question.
My life is full and blessed. I love that I have three children to clean up after and cook for. I’m thankful for dirty laundry, a full-time job I love, and too many activities to count. All of that means that I am lucky enough to have the children I prayed for. It means that I get to be a working mom. The busyness means that our family is able to afford sports programs for our kids, and that we all have the opportunity to pursue our interests. Not for one minute do I take it for granted.
However, I can choose my level of focus and the way I prioritize my day. I can choose to stop and smell the roses more often. I know all too well that this stage of life is fleeting. Soon the pace will slow and I will long for the constant buzz of a busy home.
I’ve made a commitment to myself to lower my level of distraction in my life. This has to start with putting down the phone more often. Setting aside a few times each day to check in on social media will eliminate the mindless scrolling that often takes me away from my family. I can do the same with evening chores. There are only so many hours in a day. By planning ahead and thinking through what has to be done and what can wait, I will be able to free up more focused time to spend with my family.
Starting today I am going to give myself permission to let the laundry sit for one more night so I can read one more bedtime story and sing one more bedtime song. I’m going to finish my conversation with my mom and let the shopping wait another minute or two. I’m going to sit with no phone in my hand and just breathe in my kids. I am going to live in the moment because you just never know how many more you’ll get.