We live in such a fast-paced, competitive, information-overload world. Everywhere we look, there is a wealth of knowledge on every subject you can imagine. Pressure for self-improvement in everything with subtle messages to be “the best.” And that’s not just in the working world. It’s in the parenting world, too: as a new parent, a seasoned parent, a working mom, or a stay-at-home mom. It’s easy to feel distracted by the hundreds of ways to “be a better parent,” but what these distractions really do is keep us from appreciating these short years of tender moments with our kids.
The Pressure of Perfect Parenting
Look, I get it. I really do. I think every mom intends to be the “perfect” mom, from Pinterest ideas for school parties and books on getting your baby to sleep to articles on ways to help your child resist peer pressure. There is always something to learn about doing all the things and doing them well.
Even the stuff meant to be helpful can sometimes bog us down from what we really care about. Even good stuff can unknowingly distract us enough from receiving joy and life from the things that actually fill us up. Things like time with friends and family. And especially those precious, tender moments with our babies. Sometimes you just have to stop in the middle of it all and re-focus on what truly matters: your kids. But how?
For just a few moments, try this:
- Put down the phone or tablet.
- Forget about your long list of to-dos.
- Turn off the TV.
- Forget about watching the news.
- Or your DVR lineup.
- Stop scrolling through Instagram.
- And take out the headphones.
- Put the phone on silent.
- Texts can wait.
- Shut down the 500 things running around in your brain.
Instead, focus on these little tiny beings that once grew inside of YOU. They are so little. They are so young. And it can be taken for granted without even realizing it is happening.
This time is so precious.
Take time to rock her and let the laundry sit. Newborns are only new for so long. But the laundry will be around forever.
Take time to tickle his belly and forget about the dishes. One day you can have a spotless kitchen.
Take time to rub your face against her soft skin. Her skin won’t always be so smooth.
Take time to listen to his sweet voice. He won’t always sound that way.
Look at their little chubby hands and feet. One day they won’t be little.
Think about the stuffed animal they like to sleep with. One day they will be embarrassed by it.
Savor your baby—what a miracle. Savor your son. Isn’t he so handsome? Savor your daughter. What a beauty you have in our arms.
This time goes by SO fast. It’s such a busy time, but it’s also very temporary.
Because they grow and change by the day, their hair thickens, and their voices deepen. Their dependence on you changes to dependence on their peers. The need for your approval stops being as important.
But for now, you are still it. You are everything to them. You are beautiful, wise, and important, and they love you. They love being with you, talking with you, being held by you.
So take time to savor them. Every inch of them. Because this time is short and precious.
And these moments are so very tender.