Today for Mom-Monday, I’m sharing an excerpt from Finding Mommy Bliss, along with a couple of notes I’ve gotten from moms who are reading the book…
From Chapter 4 of Finding Mommy Bliss:
Don’t Rush the Journey (or, Just sit tight, hold on, and enjoy the ride!)
Be here now. Be someplace else later. Is that so complicated? ~David Bader
One day, our kids will move out and we’ll have all the quiet we want. There will be no screaming in the back seat, no nights with everyone calling us to their rooms, no arguing teenagers, no driving everyone around… and I bet it will be way more quiet than we want it to be. At a time when there is so much joy to be found, it’s ironic that so many of us (myself included) have lived many days looking forward to the next phase of parenting, when we think things will be easier.
I remember when Katie was a toddler, Luke was a baby, and Mike was travelling a lot. I remember sometimes being overwhelmed with the constant feedings, diaper changes, nursing and crying—and just looking forward to when my kids would be older.
Yet, just the other day, I caught myself saying to Mike, as we struggled with a decision whether or not to let Katie go to a certain friend’s house, “It was easier when they were little!”
The grass is always greener on the other side, isn’t it?
Consider this poem:
It was spring, but it was summer I wanted,
The warm days, and the great outdoors.
It was summer, but it was fall I wanted,
The colorful leaves, and the cool, dry air.
It was fall, but it was winter I wanted,
The beautiful snow, and the joy of the holiday season.
It was winter, but it was spring I wanted,
The warmth and the blossoming of nature.
I was a child, but it was adulthood I wanted,
The freedom and respect.
I was 20, but it was 30 I wanted,
To be mature, and sophisticated.
I was middle-aged, but it was 20 I wanted,
The youth and the free spirit.
I was retired, but it was middle age I wanted,
The presence of mind without limitations.
My life was over, and I never got what I wanted.
Jason Lehman, 14 years old (such wisdom for a 14 year old!)
So often as moms, we forget to pay attention to the moment right in front of us. We spend so much time looking toward the future—planning, unintentionally rushing the journey, awaiting the next phase of parenting—that we miss the Bliss along the way.
But when we set out to enjoy the journey and slow down long enough to open a sliver of time in our days for bliss to find its way through… it will.
I saw this so clearly one night when Katie was about to go into middle school. Mike was out at a dinner meeting for work and Luke had just fallen asleep. I was tucking Katie into bed, thinking about all the things I had to get done before the next day. (We’d been at her play practice that night and had gotten home later than usual.)
When I turned to leave her room, she said, “Mommy, will you stay in my room for a while?”
“Not tonight,” I said instantly, “It’s late. And you need to get to sleep.” I gave her another kiss on the forehead.
She reached her arms around my neck and hugged me. “Please?”
I wavered, thinking about the dishes, the laundry, and the emails I needed to catch up on.
“Please?” she asked again.
“All right,” I said, sighing and giving in, “but just for a minute.”
I sat down on her bed.
She reached out and held my hand. We didn’t talk much. She was tired and so was I.
Instead, we listened to the hum of her ceiling fan and the bubbling of her fish tank.
“Goodnight, Mommy,” she said, yawning.
As I sat there, it hit me how fast she was growing up. And I realized that she might not be asking me to stay in her room with her at night much longer.
I wished I hadn’t told her no so quickly.
And I savored the moment, realizing that someday—someday probably too soon—these times together would be memories, and not something she asks me to do regularly.
One minute turned into two.
Then two turned into three.
I didn’t want to leave.
I watched her eyes close and listened to the sound of her breathing as she fell asleep.
And I was more thankful than ever for that moment…
the moment I almost missed.
Parent Practice – Don’t Miss the Moments: Has there been a moment you’ve almost missed lately? Or maybe one you did miss? Stay in your kids’ rooms longer tonight when you tuck them in. Take that extra five minutes, or thirty, to sit with them, talk, or just be there as they fall asleep.
And a couple notes from readers about Finding Mommy Bliss:
Good Morning Genny,
I have been enjoying reading Finding Mommy Bliss today before school and daycare. I feel like you take my thoughts and put them into words so well. I just dropped Christopher at the bus stop and was thinking that sometimes I wish we could go back in time for a few minutes and cuddle our little kids. He is now about 6 feet tall and looks like such a young man; the funny thing is I see him after school sometimes when he’s focusing on watching a cartoon… and I think, “Wow, he is still a kid.”
I am going to stop rushing around so much and try to savor what’s left of his childhood. I’m retiring from childcare after 7 1/2 years because I feel way too scattered and want to put my family first. (Now I could use “Finding Wife Bliss” too!)
I actually just wanted to say thank you and tell you I appreciate reading your book (Snippet).
Have a good day,
I am sitting out back enjoying your book! Great job. It is benefiting me even though my kids are young adults. :) When the kids come over for dinner this afternoon, I am going to make sure that they all know how special they are to me, just by my hello and warm hug! I have already put your advice into action and I know it made a significant impact on my (adult) kids. Good stuff! It is never too late to impact our kids’ lives and have mommy bliss!
Whether your kids are young or older, you can get your copy of Finding Mommy Bliss in the app store by downloading the new reading app Snippet for free! Finding Mommy Bliss is in the Snippet library for $1.99.
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