I was a good mom today.
I say that with no small amount of satisfaction, because many days, I’m not.
I don’t listen well. I don’t play often. I’m not amazed enough.
Simply put, I’m not wholly present. I’m always splintered. I eat lunch with Connor AND check my e-mail. I play Legos AND fold the laundry. I feed the baby AND read a magazine. I quiz Natalie on her spelling AND browse through Twitter.
Multi-tasking is a valued skill when it comes to producing a newscast or editing a newspaper.
It is not a gift when it comes to being a mom.
But today, I had very little on my To Do List. That gave me some breathing room. Instead of measuring my day by accomplishments – laundry folded, dinner made, thank you cards written, lunches packed – I wanted to focus on just being with my kids. I wanted to remember that my most important role each day is being their mom.
So this morning, I watched “Sesame Street” with Connor and Teyla. (The number of the day was 20. Twenty! I’ve never seen the Count go that high before.) I introduced Teyla to the joy that is dancing to Michael Buble. (“Sway” was her favorite. Mine too.) I sat at the table and finally played Legos with Connor, something he's requested every day for the last four days. (Although, truthfully, he didn’t really want me to touch anything. “No, not that one, Mom, I’m playing with that one,” was his constant refrain. So I mostly just watched. But I watched with undivided attention.)
After school, I took the kids to the park. It was sunny and brisk. The wind made our noses pink and our hands tingly. Afterwards, we came home and had hot chocolate (our first of the season) and apples and pretzels and marshmallows. I gave the baby a bath and I sat on the fuzzy matt next to the tub and enjoyed her splashing.
And just now, I put Teyla to bed without nursing her to sleep. (Night three of Sleep Training Boot Camp in the Love Well household.) It wasn’t the most pleasant part of my day, but I feel good about the fact that I’m not just leaving her alone in her room to figure this whole sleep thing out. I stayed with her, comforted her, reassured her. I did what a good Mom does.
That is, I was there.
So often, that’s the crucial piece of the puzzle. I need to remember that. And then live it.
Kelly can also be found blogging at Love Well.