Since making the transition from a career-minded woman to being a stay at home mom, I have found myself attempting to reconcile and validate how I spend my time. Each day, for better or worse, is a little bit like the movie Groundhog Day. You know, the film about how every day is the same. Trivial and the same. Further to trying to validate my time, I have tried to stay connected to the outside world – cabin fever has set in more than a time or two! When trying to get my daughter to sleep, for example, I often find myself checking Facebook, reading online news, or pinning on Pinterest.
While there is nothing inherently wrong with trying to feel validated or staying connected, I often wonder if I am missing something. Why can’t I just be present in the moment? As I was lying next to my 10-month old daughter tonight, trying to help her get to sleep for thousandth time (slight exaggeration for emphasis purposes), I found myself feeling resentful. But then my emotional angst halted when I had the epiphany that someday I will tell my daughter stories about how I had to make her feel secure when entering dreamland by lying near her for hours on end. And when I thought about these stories, I realized how short-lived this Groundhog Day existence truly is. I also considered what type of a character I want to be in this story, realizing that I want to remember the details of these intimate and special moments.
Ultimately, I decided I want to be present. Present in the small, mundane moments. Moments that if viewed correctly, can be deeply profound (if I let them).
So tonight as my daughter finally drifted into dreamland, I was taken by how her breath changed when she entered a deeper sleep, inhaling and exhaling faster. I noticed that when her face became completely relaxed, her bottom lip becomes like the shape of a W because her teeth aren’t big enough to push her lips out. I smiled when her tiny hand, once clenching the fold in the bed sheet, slowly slid to her side, opening palm up as if ready to catch dreams. I appreciated that her little foot was partially sticking out the bottom of her blanket, catching a glimpse of her teeny toes. I silently giggled as I noticed that her legs have dropped to either side of her body, making the shape of frogs’ legs. And after some time (when I think she’s asleep), I attempt to leave, only to have her roll over and grab the collar of my shirt and nuzzle her head into my neck. Tiredly I sigh, but when I breath in, my nose is tickled by her strawberry blond hair that’s getting longer with age, and I’m reminded of that delicious “baby” smell. Then I think, “What’s another 15-20 minutes of just being present?”
Today I am glad that I was present. I hope to be again tomorrow.