Slowing Down


The other morning I was sitting in the living room pumping while both boys were still asleep in their cribs and Bryan was on the couch drinking coffee, telling me about work. While he chattered away about fire sprinklers and alarms my mind was on the 408 different things I had to do. It was kind of like watching a movie without the sound. His mouth was moving but there were not words. Instead I was thinking about the laundry that had to be washed, dried and folded. The children that would soon be up with dirty diapers, rumbling bellies and endless tiny voiced demands. The meals that needed planning, food that needed to be bought and cooked. The appointments waiting to be made, the doctors visited, the bills paid. The endless dishes piled up waiting to be washed and put away. A run that needed to be taken, photos that needed editing, emails returned. My body sat in that chair, my eyes on my husband, my mind a million miles away. And then it all came back to me.

This was my husband. My dear, sweet, rambling husband and it didn’t matter if what he was talking about was boring to me or didn’t “matter” as much as those 408 other things, it mattered to him and thus it was important. It dawned on me in that moment that I was rushing through life, flying by the seat of my pants to get everything done. But none of it mattered.

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My sons don’t care about the dirty dishes or undone laundry, they care about the bedtime stories we read together, the trips to the park we take, the afternoon adventure walks and time spent exploring together. They’re small but perceptive and can tell when my mind is elsewhere. And that’s not fair to them. My husband doesn’t care if I showered or meal planned, he cares that I’m attentive when he’s telling me something that’s important to him, that I’m present in our life.

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I think about all the nights I’ve spent draped uncomfortably over the side of the pack n play, my arm falling asleep and my legs tingling, thinking to myself “dear sweet child, please just close those big beautiful eyes and SLEEP already” or when I’m really exhausted “just go the f*ck to sleep”. And it stings. I realize that in my effort to get it all done I’ve been unwittingly wishing away the most important moments of my life.

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There will be a day, far too soon, where I’ll give anything to relive the nights I get to watch my son fall asleep, his eyes staring at my face because to him I am home. The hours I was held captive by my son’s small, warm body curled up in my arms, asleep on my chest. Even the times we go for walks and Jackson wants to explore in a neighbor’s yard and I ask him to come back and he responds with utter defiance “NO!” and stomps his little foot with such seriousness. Even those times, I’ll miss.

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So instead of wishing away the things that I thought were keeping me from getting things done, I’m trying to focus on soaking up every moment even if it means the house stays dirty and we live in a little more chaos. Because at the end of the day it’s those little things that matter most and make life worth living in the first place.

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