Being present isn’t easy. And being a present mom and wife is even more difficult. Never mind being present for myself.
It’s a lot to take on.
Presence in one’s self is a full-time job. Throw in a maniac toddler that gets into everything (I found him climbing back into the house this morning from the back yard. In the rain.) and a five-year old that craves interaction at all hours of the day.
Being present for them is an even greater challenge. To feel like I am truly focused, I put my phone away, try my best to turn my brain off and just be there with them, as they need me, almost in a capacity similar to theirs. We play, we draw with chalk on the sidewalk. Read books, colour, draw and play with Lego.
I love it, but I’d be lying if I said I enjoyed every minute of it. I most certainly don’t.
Which reminds me of a story. Bear with me on this one.
One year ago, give or take a couple of days, I made a choice that took me on the path to self-publishing Letters to the Mountain. I can’t say I knew anything about publishing, never mind self-publishing. I still don’t, not as much as I would have liked. Other than knowing it’s an achievable process. And I am prouder of myself than I ever knew possible.
Rewind to the evening last July that I asked Brad to come home early to watch the kids so I could take an important phone call. I was still on maternity leave so I used it as an excuse and made an event out of it. When I left the house, I was unsure of where I was going.
I ended up at Pioneer Memorial Park near Newport Village in Port Moody. I had walked through this park before, but never stopped to appreciate it.
There’s a first time for everything.
I set up my notebook and pen at a picnic table and took my call.
And changed my path.
It was the first thing I had done that cemented the future I was choosing for myself as a writer.
Pioneer Memorial Park
I wouldn’t change it, and I don’t regret it (see my opinion on regret at #14 here). I recognize that the steps I have taken, starting with this one, were for me. And no one else.
Some of my choices have hurt others. As happens in life.
But it was never my intention.
Just as it’s not my intention to lose myself on Instagram or stand by while Maverick body slams his big brother and steals Archer’s glasses right off his face, receiving a nice solid kick to knock him over before he will stop.
These things just happen.
My Garden Plot
At the Beach
Life continues around us regardless of what we’re doing. But I have found that making choices to be there for myself, for my husband and for my kids makes me feel better at the end of the day.
We (the kids and I) had a horrible day on Monday, but it stands out in my mind that I took the time to draw a house and our family in chalk with Archer while Maverick slept. To be that present mom that read books and played with Lego instead of watching TV. I left Brad to put Archer to bed so I could water the garden and take a yoga class at our rec centre.
It all weaves together to create a balance that contributes to my happiness.
Combined, it makes me present.
Balancing on the edge of it all,