Life is busy as a mom–that is one thing I know for certain. Lately, somehow, I feel like I am often just going through the motions of tasks trying to get onto the next thing in an effort to get it all done by the end of the day. As I’ve talked often with other moms, I know that I am not alone. Then this past weekend I had a good “aha” moment that helped me realize I need to get into a different mode.
I was listening to a conference with my church when the speaker referenced some thoughts on parenting from Anna Quindlen, who, when reflecting on her years with young children, said: “…The biggest mistake I made is the one that most of us make while doing this. I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of the three of them, sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages 6, 4 and 1. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less.”
To me that was said just perfectly. And even though I’ve heard the advice before to treasure the moment with my kids, I think this picture she drew for me just really sent it home. My own kids are about the ages she described hers, and I can see myself too often thinking about the tasks and not treasuring those moments. I do have the opportunity right now to hear their cute voices, see their sweet smiles and watch them as they sleep so soundly. I am not unrealistic that I still need to do dishes, fold clothes and feed my family, but I think I can do that while still living in each moment more with my kids. I now have hanging on my fridge a message to myself to live in the moment. Truthfully, those dishes and unfolded clothes can sit a little longer anyway!