In all honesty, in the past few years, I’ve often felt I’m just “getting through” my days, weeks. I have two girls under the age of three, still nurse the youngest every few hours at night, and often work over forty hours a week. I come home exhausted and simply try to get a few tasks accomplished (laundry, baths, etc.) before bed. I often say no to the little voice that begs to go outside simply because I’m tired. I spend more energy saying no than it would take to just get everyone ready to go out. I forget to enjoy my children. Other mothers will attempt to reassure my experience by admitting there are years that are a blur in their memories. It’s a badge they wear with pride. But the thought saddens me to no end. If I can’t remember the early years of my family, what was that time’s meaning? If I can’t remember it, if I can’t find meaning in it, why go through it? It can’t be solely for the end product. Some parents never have the opportunity to enjoy their grown children.
At the beginning of my yoga class, the instructor often asks us to set an intention for the day, whether it has something to do with our practice, or another part of our lives. I realized I needed more life in my years. So I set a mindful intention to find meaning and joy every day. I try to say “yes” more than “no” to requests to play outside, invitations to see friends, and opportunities to have alone time with my husband. I try to have courage to take my 2 and a half year old on outings (despite past meltdowns). I found a guilt-free way to see friends (a paid babysitter during sleeping hours). And despite my fear it would lead to even rougher nights… I moved our six month old from our bedroom to the one she was meant to share with her big sister. Instead of white knuckling my way through, I’m trying to keep my eyes open and enjoy the ride. In doing so, instead of getting through my day, I’m learning from my day, and finding meaning as I go.