As we ring in the new year, many of us are cooking up big dreams and goals. Maybe we want to run a marathon, start journaling again, go on more date nights, or take better care of our mental health. (But if I can be totally honest here: As a busy mom, my resolutions often have to do with trying to get in more than two showers a week and making sure my kids spend under two hours a day on screens. Fat chance on both of those!)
Still, very often, our New Year’s resolutions are pretty ambitious, and there is nothing wrong with goals like that. But often, we forget that our biggest aspirations should probably be to try to enjoy what’s right in front of us — our children. Especially when they are little.
One mom and blogger reminds us about this fact in a gorgeous post she penned on Facebook this past New Year’s Eve.
Brook Hall is the voice behind Stay Home Mama, and is the mom of two young sons, ages 5 and 6 years old. The busy homeschooling mom tells Babble that she wrote her post after she had rocked her 5-year-old to sleep for the first time in a long while, and realized that her days of doing things like that were numbered.
“I realized that I cannot take simple things like rocking my boys for granted,” Hall shares with Babble.
The mom realized in that moment that she wanted to savor those special moments with her kids while they lasted — before they flew by right before her very eyes. So, she sat down the next night to write her post, which ended up being a kind of New Year’s resolution for herself.
“Last night, after he got up to go potty, I carried my 5YO back to bed and decided to rock him,” wrote Brook. “When I stopped rocking, he sat up and kissed my cheek, then pushed on me to keep rocking.”
As she was rocking her son, she noticed how perfectly he fit in her lap (“like a glove”). Then, she realized something that all parents know, but which breaks our hearts anytime we truly consider it — that everything about parenting our children is fleeting at the same time that it is beautiful.
“[A]s a Mom, I know that when something fits one of my kids perfectly, they are about to outgrow it,” wrote Hall. “My youngest baby is about to outgrow my lap. I rocked and rocked, and cried and cried.”
Total gut punch, huh? Why does raising kids have to be so amazing and yet so heart-wrenching all at once?
Knowing how precious and ephemeral it all was, Hall says she took the opportunity to rock her 6-year old after this. He almost didn’t fit in her lap, but she rocked him anyway, holding on to that closeness and sweetness that the moment brought them both.
“Last night I learned, even despite my oldest’s size, they haven’t outgrown me yet,” Hall notes. “But they will. When I rock them for the very last time, I won’t even know it.”
That’s when it struck Hall that making an extra effort to enjoy these moments of closeness — these last shreds of babyhood with her sons — was going to be her New Year’s resolution for 2018.
And boy oh boy, holding and rocking our kids — and showering them with a little extra TLC? That sounds like the perfect resolution to me.
“In 2018 I will rock my boys every day, until they ask me to stop,” says Hall. “I don’t want to try to squeeze them into my lap on the last day of 2018 and realize it is too late. I don’t want this precious year to be a waste.”
Hall admits that this won’t always be easy, remarking that sometimes doing this will mean sacrificing her moments of alone time at the end of the day, or letting her to-do list slide here and there. But it will all be worth it. Because these years with our kids? We don’t get them back.
Hall’s post has been getting a really warm reception on her Facebook page. Pleasantly surprised by the reaction, she tells Babble that she hopes her post inspires other parents to put these special moments with their kids in the forefront this year whenever possible.
“I didn’t expect that so many people would relate to it,” she tells Babble. “The reactions have been really sweet and I hope I have inspired people to take advantage of the time that their sweet kids still fit in their laps, and to remember to let them sit there as often as possible.”
Our children have simple needs and desires, when you think about it. They want to be touched, loved, cuddled, and appreciated. They want our presence and undivided attention. But sometimes, our busy chaotic lives as parents makes it easy to forget that, and we end up focusing way too much on the surface aspects of our lives — like whether we have paid the bills or zipped through our to-do lists.
Hall’s post reminds us what really matters in our lives with our kids — and it’s a reminder I think we could use all year long. I know that I, for one, am making it my goal to spend as much time as humanly possible covering my kids with kisses and cuddling them as much as they will let me. Life is too short not to.