Embracing the Moments I Have

Posted on | January 17, 2013 | 10 Comments

When I first became a mom, I had visions of grandeur: there would be epic vacations, tea parties, forts in the living room.  We would play freeze tag in the front yard and hide and seek in the back.  We would snuggle up at night and read book after book after book.  I would spend my time cuddling, kissing boo boos, teaching the proper way to pedal a bike, tie a shoe, or read words.  I would know every scratch and scrape and bruise that dared show its face on the perfect canvas of my son’s small body.

And for the first 8 weeks of my son’s life, it was… sort of like that.  I mean, I was there for everything, at least physically… though the sleep deprivation sort of stole my brain from my body.  I learned his faces: his smiles, his cries, the way he would dart his eyes just slightly to the side when something startled him.  I learned that I loved spending my days snuggled close to him as he slept but also that I craved my days cozied up to a computer.

After eight weeks, the routine shifted and with the shifting came a new understanding that my entire concept of motherhood was skewed towards being a stay at home mom.  Because that’s what I had growing up.  Because that’s what the movies show.  Because that’s what television tells me is the most freaking fun ever. (Yes, I get it… it’s not all fun and games. But the parts that become rosy and bright in your mind are the lazy summer afternoons and dammit, working moms and kids of working parents? They don’t get lazy summer afternoons.  Ever.)

The older J gets, the more I crave those moments I thought I’d have… the games and pretend play, the trips to the park… the TIME. Lately, by the time I get off work our routine is more: pick up from daycare, fight all the way home about why the IPad is not in the car and why J can not unbuckle his car seat during the trip, haul it into the house where I spend the next hour fending off every question imaginable from the world’s neediest toddler (“Can you get my juice? Where’s my dinner? Can I watch television? Watch me do this. Can you get my juice? Can you get my juice? Can you get my juice?”).  Then it’s time for bath and by the time we fight our way through that, it’s time to put on pajamas and think about bedtime.

What happened to the moments I dreamed about? What became of the motherhood in my head? The rosy, sweet, blowing away wishes on dandelions times that I pictured so vividly in my head? When did they become replaced with the rushing, bustling, mundane existence of getting up, getting dressed, getting paid, and getting to sleep?  As working parents, it’s so easy to lose that time… to lose those moments when the world stops, even for a second, and sighs with the delight of being held in the hands of a three year old.

I keep trying to find those moments.  I’m get up earlier, get home sooner, get engaged quicker at the end of the day.  But it’s so hard… it’s hard to find the shut off switch… the blinking red light that tells your work brain to disengage and tells your inner June Cleaver to forget about the after school cookies. We try so hard to be everything, don’t we? Best employee, best wife, best mom… we don’t want our children to miss out on those moments.

But lately, I’ve realized that by trying so hard to be more than present … I’m missing too much.

I’m missing the moments I HAVE by trying to create moments to remember… and that just doesn’t make sense at all.

Since this year is all about embracing, I’m going to start embracing the moments I’m given… the snuggles in front of the television, the “Will you play a game with me,” and even the “Can I have more juice”… even when I’m tired, even when I’m stressed.  Because not only does my son deserve that… I deserve that. The moments we have are, well, all we have.  So I’ve got to stop searching for more and be content with now.

Even if it means another damn cup of juice…


10 Responses to “Embracing the Moments I Have”

  1. Caitlin MidAtlantic
    January 17th, 2013 @ 9:46 am

    Those “perfect” mom moments do happen… but never when or where I expect them to! Toddlers are really difficult humans to predict… I think you’ll find more and more “perfect” moments as J gets a little older and a little less juice-needing!

  2. Law Momma
    January 17th, 2013 @ 11:41 am

    haha yes.. they do happen. I vividly remember several. They just aren’t as constant as those (see above) Downy commercials made it seem. 🙂

  3. Pauline Gaines
    January 17th, 2013 @ 9:52 am

    As a divorced mom of two kids, now 15 and almost 11, I relate to everything you said. Ten crazy post-divorce years have gone by in a blink and I’m often wistful for what those years could have been like if I had remained a SAHM. Mostly I’m wistful for the cushion of extra money I would have had, instead of the constant anxiety about paying for braces, tutoring, etc. But the truth is: I would have been bored being a SAHM. And I want my kids to see their mom working for many reasons, one of which is that I want my daughter to understand the importance of making her own money.

  4. Law Momma
    January 17th, 2013 @ 11:40 am

    Yes. I think it’s important that I work so that my son can have a broad view of what women can do. And also it saves my sanity. 🙂

  5. Kathleen Brown-Martin
    January 17th, 2013 @ 10:41 am

    ha, ha… this rang so true! I thought having babies was going to be like the Downy commercials and yes, June Cleaver, etc. But, it doesn’t happen that way. The kids rip the pearls off our neck and the pearls go flying on the floor… they never showed that on tv, did they? Hee, hee…

    I think what you said in your last paragraph is exactly how we need to embrace life. We have to enjoy the moments that happen because we can’t create them anymore. My girls are 18 and 21… I can’t imagine raising kids these days with iPads and cell phones etc. That would have been soooooo crazy. I never set enough limits as a mom. That would help. But, like you, divorce set my world into a tailspin and nothing was what it should have been.

    A friend is having a baby and my advice to parents-to-be is just love your child, spend time with them and don’t try to buy things that you think they need… They need nothing material. It’s all about just doing what is in the moment.

    Hang in there… it gets a little better! LOL!

  6. Law Momma
    January 17th, 2013 @ 11:39 am

    OMG the Downy Commercials!!! With the soft, cuddly blankets and warm smiles. WHO HAS TIME FOR SMILING WHEN I AM CHASING MY NAKED KID WRAPPED IN A FUR COVERED BLANKET!!!

  7. lawmhcgirl
    January 17th, 2013 @ 2:36 pm

    Love this. It is so true…..”what became of the motherhood in my head”. I used to think I was doing something wrong, but I know it is just not as rosy, for anyone, that I imagined it would be. Seize the moments that are there. Thanks LawMomma.

  8. MaconMom
    January 17th, 2013 @ 3:40 pm

    Lately I’ve been more envious than before of SAHM. I want those summer days! I want afterschool snack time, not rush home to get find something for him to eat.
    Envy… ugh.. dislike when I envy anything, but I do.
    Enjoying what I do get with the Monkey.

  9. MaconMom
    January 17th, 2013 @ 3:41 pm

    delete the appropriate words, add spaces, etc to that mess above! ha!!

  10. Law Momma
    January 17th, 2013 @ 3:47 pm

    LOL I’m with you… it’s hard to appreciate what we have when everything else seems SO much better!

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    Spilled Milk (and Other Atrocities) by Law Momma is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
    Based on a work at http://www.law-momma.com.
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