Calling all type-a personalities, the overachievers, the mom-guilt feelers when you can't get it all done, and all of the overworked, overtired and just over-it-sometimes parents.
This is for you.
Actually, this is for me too.
I learned something recently that you might find helpful too. Maybe it will make you a better parent, or a less guilty feeling mom when you take a little time for yourself. Maybe it's what you need to read today, when all of the must-dos are fiercely competing with the need-to-dos and the should-dos, while your list of can'ts, and won'ts and maybe-laters start getting longer by the minute. (Wait, you don't have that second list?)
Here's the lesson: It's okay to not be there all of the time for your kiddos and it's okay to take a backseat when you need to.
I know. That's a hard one. Do you feel the control slipping away? Me too.
Last weekend, I suffered a clumsy, mild, twist-of-the ankle injury where I was rushed to an urgent care and provided orders to sit still, elevate and ice the leg, and most of all, stay off of it. Yeah, right. I wondered if the doctor knew that I had a full-time job, acres of property to tend to, a nearly three-year-old daughter, chickens, cats, a dog, and although the idea of being sedentary sounded nice, it was never going to happen.
I woke the next morning, with no alarm set to a different set of sounds that I've become used to. Most mornings, our daughter's calls for me bring me out of bed to her room, to welcome the day together. We schlep her favorite pillow and her stuffed animal of the moment into the living room, where we snuggle and start our day. At some point, my husband wakes up and joins us. I treasure those early mornings, just our daughter and me.
But the morning after my klutz-induced injury, I woke to our daughter and my husband, their voices warming the winter morning from the kitchen. There's no way I could ever encompass all of the feels I got from their conversation, so I won't try.
Elsie, what do you want for breakfast?
Let's make waffles then. First, the flour!
Yes, we're going to make them from scratch just like Mommy does.
See. ALL. THE. FEELS. I stayed in bed a little longer than I would have. I wanted to carve out space in my memory for this conversation to live. I wanted to give them a little bit more of this special daddy-daughter time. I wanted to stay absent, giving our daughter time to create a special memory with her dad. The early Sunday morning kitchen conversations about breakfast and about the day and about everything and nothing should be cemented in all of us.
I thought, had I forced myself out of bed to take my regular place on the sofa with her, I'd have stolen this sweet moment away from the two of them. I'd also perhaps never known that my husband and daughter noticed how I take the time to do the special things sometimes, like making waffles from scratch.
Whether it be traveling for work, or needing a night out with the girls once in awhile, let's take a backseat sometimes so our husbands (or wives or whoever is our partner in this crazy adventure called parenting), so they can take a ride in the front seat.
Thankfully, it's not forever. The next morning I was back to the morning-snuggles with our little girl . I was back in the place that felt comfortable and normal, but had a renewed appreciation for allowing the memories to be created while I ride in the passenger seat once in awhile.
P.S. How sweet is that picture? The accidental candid photos are always my absolute sweetest favorites <3