You know all the million and one blogs and articles that urge mothers to just “slow down”? Enjoy the kids and smell the sweet breezes of the gentle-blowing air that lifts the precious locks of your offspring as they frolic in the fields?
With that Alabama song that goes something like “rush and rush until life’s no fun” running in my head, I’m here to say:
Can we just stop it already?
Because sometimes, it really is impossible to “slow down.”
There was a time in my life when I lived by “slowing down,” and I will never forget it — I was alone with my newborn daughter all day, working nights as a nurse so I could be with her as much as possible and pretty much not doing anything else.
And I was absolutely miserable.
I would watch the cars whiz by our apartment window, not discounting how lucky I was to be able to snuggle with my baby girl and loving her more than life itself, but I also felt a little left out of life itself. I was doing all the slowing down, but none of the living.
Somewhere along the line, between baby #2, baby #3, or heck, even baby #4 — who is set to arrive tomorrow, in fact — life stopped being slow. My oldest started school and my life became all about school drop-offs and pick-ups; grocery shopping became a chore to fit into the week instead of my only outing of the week, and every day seemed a rush to get my work done on time.
There was no “slowing down” in sight.
And you know what?
Shockingly enough, I was happier for it.
Maybe it has something to do with my personality and the fact that I thrive off being able to check things off my list, but I think there’s something more to it — no one really likes the feeling of not being productive and living a full and active life. One of the hardest parts about being home with young children is that exact feeling — knowing that you are going to bed at the end of the night without accomplishing one more thing than you did that morning.
Sometimes, that’s totally fine. Baby snuggles and whole days of wearing jammies and drinking hot chocolate are absolutely necessary once in a while.
But that’s the key — it’s a once-in-a-while “slowing down” thing.
Not a whole season of slowing down.
For me, motherhood has been hard, because I hear people telling me to just stop and enjoy it, slow down and cherish it. But the people telling me that? Aren’t exactly living life in the slow lane themselves. It’s hard to enjoy slowing down if there’s nothing to slow down from in the first place, know what I mean?
I am a better mother, woman, wife, and employee when I can live a full and busy life. Because it’s not the “slowing down” that is necessarily important in our day-to-day. It’s more about being present and enjoying the day-to-day.
No matter how fast-paced those days seem to go.
Image via j&j brusie photography