Monday, May 19, 2014

Being Present


Perhaps you've noticed my blog absence over the last few weeks. I had a few posts go up that I had already written and I kept up with Logan's Friday portraits, but I've been trying to just live life lately. April was one of the most difficult and stressful months I've had in quite a while; with financial hardships, lots of work, Logan's allergies and toddler germs.. I told myself to just take a break. May has been treating us much better so far so I want to enjoy it. I don't want to be attached to my phone or the computer, I didn't want to feel obligated to write something on the blog because I haven't in a few days, I didn't want the work waiting for me in the dining room to take away from me being present with my family.

I have always had a hard time leaving things unfinished or putting things off in general; if I have something that needs to get done, I do it. This month I've really had to change my way of thinking in that the world is not going to end if I don't blog or clean or list items on Etsy immediately.
As simple as that might be for most people, it's not for me. I always have tasks looming in my mind.. I stare at every dust/dirt/food particle that needs to be cleaned.. I think about things I should be writing about on this blog.. I apologize to the vintage items sitting on my dining room table that need to be listed then packed away. As a person struggling daily with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, putting those thoughts away is extremely difficult. Typically, I'd obsess over the thoughts and the tasks until they were done.. but now I am thinking about them, moving on from them, then taking them on when I need to.
It's been very healing and empowering.

There has been many times where I feel guilty for checking my email while Logan is awake or photographing items for Etsy
, I had to remind myself that those things were not as important as spending time with Logan. I mean, I do spend a lot of time with her.. I am always with her, but in those moments where she's reading a book to herself or building with her blocks and I'm looking at Instagram or mopping the floors because they look a little dingy or diving deep into Etsy listings, I know I'd much rather watch her play and problem solve and just be present. Even if she's not directly interacting with me, it's important for me to make these memories with her and to enjoy what's happening in the moments they are happening in.

This generation is an odd one. I have mentioned before that I feel, as mothers, we're finally doing things right; we're raising our children, we're breastfeeding (or in my case, trying), we are choosing health over convenience, we are open books.. but I think this generation of moms also has a down side: we've grown an electronic limb (our phones and tablets). I see moms at the park (anywhere really) and they're on their phone; not watching their children play, not interacting with their children.. it's pretty disheartening. I don't want to be that mom. I want to put everything else to the side and enjoy these precious days... there aren't many. It blows my mind that Logan is almost eighteen months, that she is really a toddler.. a child! Those baby days are long gone for her and I don't want to feel like I missed out on the toddler days because I was worried about getting something else done.
Have you seen that sign on Pinterest that says, "Good moms have sticky floors, messy kitchens, laundry piles, dirty ovens, and messy kids"? Well, I have to sort of disagree with that, because I'm a very clean person and just because my floors aren't sticky and my child is not filthy in no way means I am a bad mom.. but, I get the message. Every day with this girl is a gift and it's up to me to set all of the things on my to do list aside and just enjoy her, be present with her, and be the mom I want to be and be the mom I want her to remember.

Even little things like putting off a much needed trip to the grocery store for a play date is something that will impact our day in a positive way. There is always going to be things that need to get done; there will always be work and laundry and dishes, but there won't always be these precious days with my daughter. Telling myself it's okay to be present and it's okay to enjoy these moments is only going to make sweet long lasting memories. I wont remember the work or the laundry or the dishes, I will remember days like today when Logan rode a pony for the first time and I had a meaningful conversation with my best girlfriend as we walked around a gorgeous farm with our little ones.

So relax and enjoy... it's what I'm doing and it's pretty nice.

xo
-Ali

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