Being Present in ToddlerhoodCasey Mullins
For the first time in a long time my life feels somewhat peaceful.
There are no travel plans in my near future, no huge undertakings anywhere and nowhere I need to be except home.
I packed a suitcase back in February and basically haven’t unpacked it since. I have loved everything I’ve been able to do but whenever I was home I always felt this unrest over where I needed to be or what I needed to be doing to get there. It was tiring and exhausting and I wondered if maybe perhaps something was wrong with me. I like doing domestic stuff. I like grocery shopping, doing laundry and making dinner. I’ve started a garden and I’ve planted flowers. I like it when my home is clean and organized but lately it has been neither. When so many things need to get done I get overwhelmed and shut down.
I’ve gotten really good at saying no over the last year, I could still do better but couldn’t we all? I’ve also realized I simply can’t do it all, trying to would be the death of me. I once saw a triangle with the words ‘happy family’ ‘sanity’ ‘clean house’ written at each corner, below the triangle read ‘PICK TWO.’ Some people need a clean house to feel sane, others need their own sanity for happy kids. Some people can have all three, which either makes them liars or me an underachiever.
Now that I’m back home with no immediate plans to go anywhere soon I can really take a look at my to-do list, prioritize it, and start working on it. At the top of that list? Enjoy Vivi’s toddlerhood.
Rather than using an episode of Mickey Mouse as a distraction so I can get laundry done, I sit with her and watch it.
Rather than working while she’s awake, I wait until she’s asleep to have my computer open.
We take walks every afternoon, she screams at all the smashed worms and I follow behind making sure she doesn’t eat dirt or throw rocks at passing cars. We’re not doing anything monumental, but I’m working on giving her the space to be her strange little self while establishing boundaries (like worm eating and rock throwing.) I’ve started making dinner every night, and working on being way more French in my parenting than the fast paced get-everything-done-all-at-once parent I had drifted into.
I did a damn fine job of enjoying Vivi as a newborn and baby, I want to be able to look back at her toddler years and be able to say the same thing.
Find more of Casey’s writing on her blog moosh in indy or her Babble Voices site Shutterlovely. She’s also available on twitter, facebook, flickr and Instagram. If you can’t find her any of those places? Check the couch, she’s probably taking a nap.