Those Were the Best Days of My Life, if Only I'd Known it Then
I had this moment last summer. I was 6 months pregnant and cooking dinner. I was wearing a long flowing dress and my bare feet were cool on the tiles in our kitchen. I could see my kids outside the windows while I washed the dishes, the baby was kicking in my belly and the older two were playing so nicely on the swing set. I felt like a country music song. I’m so glad I noticed.
I wasn't always like this.
I rarely catch myself feeling superbly content because I either have an overwhelming list of things on my neverending mom to do list or I'm reflecting on the days gone by where I didn't have a single moment for myself because I was too busy doing a million things for everyone else.
In my home, I'm a stay at home mom. I used to work full time up until I had kids and then I switched to part time. Somewhere in the midst of our chaotic life it made sense for me to give up the part time and now I'm home full time which hasn't always been the most fulfilling if I'm completely honest. Sometimes I go days without talking to another adult, including my husband, who works long hours. Other days I'm so wrapped up in my children that I realize that the only meaningful exchanges I've had are about my children. Sometimes now I feel like there is no "me" only "them."
Even when I'm sick, I trudge on with no sick days and the same workload as before. They all still want to be around me, laundry builds, meals must be prepared, children must be bathed. Life goes on sick or not.
Sometimes I miss the old me - the one who got sick days and whose entire day didn’t revolve around keeping the household and raising three children. She had some pretty great times.
But this new "mom me" is really happy, if only I took the time to notice. I NEED to pay attention.
Before I stayed home full time, I was going to work and I ran into an old friend and I pulled out pictures of my children who were babies at the time to show her. Her children were long grown so she was delighting in the cute baby pictures. She flipped through my little album and told me she used to stay home when her kids were young. She said, "Those were the best days of my life, if only I'd known it then."
I try to savor not just those delicious moments when I am happy but even when I'm not. Everything changes so quickly, they'll be a time when I look back and say how wonderful it was, and I don't want to miss it.
Being happy in whatever stage you're in is the key whether it's working full time, part time or staying home. The moments will slip away so hold them close while you can.
So that’s why when I catch myself in a moment of being completely old fashionedly domestic, I pause and smile. It sure is beautiful…. And I’m so glad I noticed.