I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get tired of all the ‘embrace the moment now, as your child’s growing so fast and you’ll never get to hold them again’ soppy social media posts going around. When I saw Regan Long’s ‘Instead I held you’ viral post I couldn’t help but sighhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
between you and me, I get annoyed by them
I know, I know, they make you emoji cry as you share them in your Mums group WhatsApp channel, but are they really achieving their intended purpose? Or is it just another case of Mum guilt delivered in a pretty bow?
I spend a lot of time with Austin, I love holding him, cuddling him, playing with him, feeding him, kissing him, snuggling him, reading to him, playing with him… oh did I mention spending time with him….. I don’t need some soppy, sentimental viral post to remind me to prioritize Austin.
Do you want to know why? Because the only time I remember these messages is when I finally give myself permission to do something good for me. You see, being a Mum, also means facing and disregarding the social pressure to always be present with our babies. I don’t need a reminder to instead hold my little one, as though all the other love and care I’ve shown for the day wasn’t enough.
Here is my version of these posts
but instead I…
Today my patience has not only run thin but run out. I’m premenstrual, have had a big week and been up every morning at 5am. I would love some time for myself, yet I feel your little body falling asleep in my arms
But instead I held you delicately rocked you into your bed, tip toed out and enjoyed a long baby free soak in the bath. Mummy needed some me time and I felt so much better as a result.
I was going to get the dishwasher unloaded and the overflowing pile in the sink washed
But instead I held you strapped you in your Bumbo seat, put you on the kitchen bench and talked my way through every step of the cleanup. This was a must as Mummy would have gone insane with all the mess. Not only do we have a clean kitchen, I did all my ‘speech’ developmental activities with you… ‘can you say sink? Ssssssss-iiiiiiiiiiii-nnnnnnnnnnnnk! That’s it Siiiiiiinnnnnnnnnkkkkkkkk!
I was going to get the mountain of clothes folded that have been sitting in the dryer, re-fluffed one too many times. And I was going to rewash the laundry that sat wet overnight
But instead I held you outsourced it and got Ronnie to do it. I hate washing, so I guess I did hold you!
I was going to grab my two-minute shower and if I was lucky, I was going to blow-dry my hair and maybe throw on a little make-up
But instead I held you plonked you on the floor with your favorite toy and talked to you as I took a 5 minute shower, I then proceeded to calm and snuggle you when you got a fright from the blow dryer and then between putting on my primer and foundation on chased your quick crawling self before deciding lip gloss and a tinted sunblock was the equivalent of (air quotes) “make-up”.
I was going to answer some work emails and respond to a few missed calls that have needed to be returned over the past 72 hours
But instead I held you I waited until your afternoon nap and did them then. Why would I even look at my phone or laptop while you’re awake? You’re already obsessed with technology and I don’t need to encourage that beast.
I was going to vacuum up the crunched homemade baby friendly organic super food granola (mini wheats suck) that you accidentally spread through the kitchen, living room and stairwell, and likewise clean up some of the toys that are strewn in every room but the playroom
But instead I held you made it a fun game and we giggled together while cleaning.
I was going to get dinner in the crock pot and go through the pile of mail that has been sitting on the counter top since Monday
But instead I held you cooked with you showing you all the different vegetables we get to eat. Oh, and for the mail, I quickly opened each one, saw they were all junk and threw them in the bin. Not sure why I didn’t open them when they first arrived.
I was going to carry you upstairs and lay you down as I was certain you needed sleep. Maybe you would have been more comfortable in your bed?
But instead I held you did exactly that. I love how well you sleep and how happy you are when you wake up after your midday nap AND I was right, you were more comfortable in your bed. #winning
You see, your little legs are already bunched up on the chair as it seems like it was just yesterday your tiny roes were still resting upon my stomach
And I smile because I love seeing you grow and explore the world
Your tiny breaths and sweet hands fell so perfectly around me, yet soon you will prefer to stretch out in your own toddler bed
And although I will miss those moments, I look forward to seeing who you become and the joys of your next stage of development
It turns out that my plans for this time weren’t going to accomplish what I have right here in my arms sometimes happen and other times don’t. I’m ok with it as I know living life with you means being flexible – that’s the great thing, I get to live my life WITH you, not just FOR you!
I found my calm and the peach and the satisfaction right here, right now, because of one simple choice
Instead I held you consciously CHOSE what to do