Post by Sisters From Another Mister/Nicole
How easy it is to say No.
Even when we think we are not actually saying no, we kinda sorta are.
For instance …
Not right now. Just a second.
I will be right there. In a moment.
Give me a minute. Maybe later.
Sound familiar to you? All variations of I just don’t have the time. or shall I call it what it is, simply saying – no.
It is funny, because all the current catch phrases lean more to the ‘Live in the Moment’, and ‘Be Intentional.’
Even that huge company that you know so well says, ‘Just do it.’ And yet, my days are long. My apparent busy’ness endless. My to do list could go on forever and seems as though it will never have the magical words that say The End to bring the chores to a close. And yet while I fuss and fret about all that needs to be accomplished, time is not standing still. Every night I put my children to bed and by morning they appear to have grown up while they sleep.
I cannot help but gaze upon them and wonder where the time went …
And then in my next thought …
What was I so busy doing that I seemed to have missed it?
One minute they were just so little. It seems like only yesterday the very first time that my oldest held her baby sister. The sweet lady at the adoption agency, so aptly named Joy, walked out of a door and placed a teeny yellow bundle into her arms as she sat there on the carpet, just four years old herself. I remember her sweet expression as she looked in wonder at the face of this baby she had willed into our family. Now here they are before me, at 15 and 11, no longer babies, young women almost on the threshold of life. Making plans, getting busy, looking to their futures as I am left wondering about their past. With life, parenting, homeschooling, fundraising, and a passion for writing that I try and squeeze into my days (or those very long nights) it would seem that I am always busy. The busy, the seemingly unproductive busy – the cleaning, tidying, mopping, picking up, it allows no respite. And brings no reward. Somedays the vacuum cleaner itself is a permanent attachment, much like my babies were when they were, well, babies … I have to smile to myself here, that surely as they bury me with the whole ashes to ashes, dust to dust, I will reach beyond the grave and screech, ‘Dust, what dust … how can there be dust?’
Sad, but true. You know the expression, stop and smell the flowers? I truly believe it was written for parents. To slow down, enjoy this moment. Breathe, inhale its wonder, exhale with a sense of peace. Let me be in this very second, and the next as minutes string together forming moments in time. Memories to keep close, held so very carefully by our sometimes fragile hearts. I know that I cannot pause life, it just doesn’t work that way. I have the power, oh yes, power to make the decision to be more present in each new day that lies before me. Stretching out as a bright and shiny new gift, waiting for me to plan it and mold it at will. I cannot turn back time, or even stop the clock – but I can be here, present … if only I allow it.
Yes, if I allow it, the ability is mine, it is within my grasp. Turn off my phone, shut down my screen, and be there face to face with my children. A craft, a book, even snuggled on the couch watching a movie – is together time. All children really want from a parent is you. Your time, your attention, your love and understanding that what they do matters, that what they share with you counts, that you are there. All there and accounted for in that moment. Before we know it, their wants will shift. There will be others who meet their needs and their journeys will take a different path.
They will make their own lives.
All that we have shown them, lived with them, taught as Moms or Dads, parents and families is what they will take with them to their future. They will create their own families, where they will make their own stories, their own traditions and they will be in charge of their future. Our time with them, our lives that we share together will be the blueprint of what they create for themselves. We are showing them the right way, or maybe the wrong way to shape a life, a family and future. All of our actions, our words … our being present is what will manifest itself down the road in their lives because so many of our life lessons are learned within the walls where we grow up. What are we teaching, what are we instilling for value and worth?
So I look at this precious season with my family.
I look at time anew … counting the hours which seem to move in haste.
Waking in the morning in the light of dawn and taking a second to watch their sleeping faces, like angels in their sweet slumber.
Taking time out of each day to simply be. Relax, enjoy their laughter, I sigh at their sweet giggles and gentle banter.
Making dinner and enjoying each minute spent at the table, side by side.
Tucking them in night, kissing their heads as they fall asleep.
Enjoying the quiet hush of the night, my girls safely tucked in their beds.
Slow it down, because you cannot stop it moving forward.
You cannot go back in time.
But you are blessed to be in the here and now.
How do you balance your life, or do you feel too busy to live in the present sometimes too?
This is an original Post for World Moms Blog by Post by Sisters From Another Mister/Nicole in Florida, USA.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the “busyness” of life and miss what’s really important. I feel super blessed cos I learnt this when I was pregnant with my second (and final) child. My gynae told me that in all his years he’d NEVER had a woman complain that the pregnancy was moving along TOO FAST! 🙂
My son is 20 years old and my daughter will be 17 in May. Maybe because I took the time to be with them when they were small, they’re now making the time to be with me and include me in THEIR lives. I’m very grateful for this. 🙂
I was beginning to write a comment earlier, but listened to what you said and put my phone down and pushed my daughter on the swing. Thank you for that moment!
I have been in such a busy whirlwind lately this post so speaks to me!
Busy is an understatement! As I type this, it is 8pm and I am on a train, on my way back to NYC from a business trip that I took to New Hampshire. The last time I saw my kids was yesterday morning at 4:30 am when I kissed their sleeping heads as I headed out the door on this trip… And they’ll (hopefully) be fast asleep by the time I walk in the door tonight, which is a good thing, since I have a call (for work), and to pack lunches for tomorrow once I do. :(. With this busy schedule, however, I have forced myself to slow down. After my daughter was born, I actually cut down my work schedule, so now I don’t work Fridays. This has given me extra time alone with my daughter (something I never really had with my son). And with that time we go to ballet class and the park enjoying each other until it’s time to pick up my son from school so he can join in the fun. I cherish every moment of my “mommy Fridays” :-). Thanks for the reminder Nicole!
I HATE being late but this morning we were late for school because my three girls climbed into bed with me and we had extra special cuddle time. I will remember that 15 minutes long after I forget the frown on the teachers face as I dropped the girls off.
As a working mom, I’m guilty of not spending enough time with my daughter. And when I’m with her, I’m not fully with her as I may be busy snapping photos of her or on my social media. This is a great and sobering reminder to just be with them in the moment, in the present and make it count. It’s a lifestyle that I have to change if I wanna sow and speak into my young daughter’s life.
Dear, dear Nicola. Your beautiful, plaintive writing brings me to tears. I am sure it is a gift the Lord has blessed you with, but you have enlarged it no end. I love your writings. I hope this goes, as I am not too techy. Just grateful for sweet kids like you who remind me how quickly life is over! Love you. Grandma Joan
Loved your post Nicole. As a working mom, I always feel busy, but I am making a harder effort to live in the moments. Thanks for the reminder!
What a beautiful article! I sometimes also think that I am not always present for the children. However, I believe not all moments are there to be cherished. For example, if the children have a temper tanrtrums, it’s good to think that they will be older and the tantrums will stop! I wish I could have told myself when I had my first baby that I will be able to have a real conversation with her.It would have helped immensly, and telling me to be in the moment wouldn’t because that moment was too hard to bear. And the moments where she was quiet or smiling at me, yes they were cute, but I was looking forward to her walking and talking, and now it’s so much more fun!I’ve had two babies ever since and while I’m enjoying them now, I am also looking forward to to the moment when they will be older, because I see that the older they get the easier it gets…But that’s just me, and I really enjoyed your beautiful style and your deep thoughts!
Loved the article and so true, really got to me this morning – beautiful words , we miss so many moments and get so frustrated about things that in the end will be forgotten in a day. Those early years though will be gone so fast.
Thank you for REMINDING US to hold on to precious moments.
Lovely post, Nicole and I absolutely agree.
One of the best things I was told, was to listen properly to my boys: to stop even my thoughts and focus completely on what they have to share. Using this simple trick has ensured that I have shared some really magical moments in their lives.