Staying Present This Holiday Season

I remember it all so clearly. I was lying in a clean, sterile room with people around me telling me to just relax and that everything would be fine. That it would all be okay. My husband was knelt down beside me and I remember we were in the midst of a prayer and hurried “I love you’s” when I heard the sound that would change my life. A baby’s cry. Then a collective sound of “awwww” by all the nurses and doctors in the room as they placed my baby, my newborn son, on my chest for the very first time.

I remember him being so tiny and soft and I foolishly thought that this time would last forever. But, of course, it didn’t. First he started to crawl and then he was picking himself up, falling down and learning how to walk. I remember asking time to just please slow down. To let him be little for just a while longer. But time didn’t listen and now that sweet little boy is a little over a year old. 

“Time flies” and “cherish the moment” have been phrases that I’ve always heard. It wasn’t until I became a mother and lost my grandmother that I really understood the power of those words and just how fast time really flies.  

It was also at this time that I realized how much I was distracted by the “to dos” and the technology of life that I wasn’t really focusing on and relishing each moment that came my way.  I admit that I looked at my cell phone way too much and spent far too much time worrying about what to do next-especially when I was in grad school- that I wasn’t in the moment and really connecting with those around me. 

I don’t want this to be a regret of mine. As my son grows up, I don’t want to miss out on the beautiful moments that are happening around me like watching him fall asleep after finishing a bottle or seeing the excitement spread over his face when he discovers a new toy or brushes his teeth-his favorite thing! I also don’t want to miss out on the mundane moments, the moments when the temptation to check my phone is the greatest like during the 45 minutes it takes to feed him sometimes and on the solitary walks to the grocery store.

Aside from that, I also don’t want to miss a connection with someone because I was worried about what would be for dinner that night or the pile of laundry that is waiting for me at home. I want to be better about looking someone in the eye, asking questions, and really listening to what they have to say.

If anything, this year and especially this season has taught me that life is so, so precious. It rushes by without warning and can be taken in a moment. I don’t want to look back and think, “I wish I hadn’t... worried about making my house perfect, cared so much about what people think, etc.” 

During the holiday season, things feel busied and rushed. Especially now that we are closer to family and actively trying to make new friends and a community here in Northern Virgina. We have presents to buy, parties to go to, cookie exchanges to attend, and family gatherings to drive to, but if you struggle with the busyness of it all like I do then this is a challenge to you too. Take time to figure out how to stay more connected. For me, this holiday season-or just more often-I'm going to leave my cell phone in my car when I'm going out with my friends or I'm just not taking it out of my purse. I want to focus on what I'm doing with my friends instead of checking the time, looking for a text, or seeing if anyone has called. I also instituted a house rule that my loved ones have to give each other a hug and a kiss every time they go. Life is never too busy to give a quick hug or say, "I love you" before you rush out the door. We also have a date night on Sundays. Z and I grab a glass of wine and talk about our week's schedules, fiances, us, and Sawyer. It gives us a time to relax and make sure those important details are touched upon.

These are some of the things that I'm doing and I hope you don't think this sounds preachy because I do NOT have it all together. There are countless times throughout a day that I fail to live up to the Mom, wife, and person that I want to be. But I would love to hear from you and learn what you do to cherish those around you and how to you stay present during life's little moments. I need all the tips and advice I can get! 


birdie to be said…
That first picture is so lovely! Happy Friday! Xo
That first picture is beautiful! Happy Friday!!!
Heather said…
Great post! I also struggle with staying present and being in the moment, but I've slowly gotten better over time. I think it's so important to not let life's stresses and to-do lists stop us from enjoying the important things!
Annie said…
Such a necessary reminder this time of year! Thank you!
It's really so hard to just put the phone down and ignore it, especially when you're a SAHM and the chance of a call or text on that phone might be your only adult interaction all day... But I feel like such a better mom and wife when I spend less time on the computer or on my phones, and more time tending to my family or our home. The last two years with Owen have gone by so fast, and I don't want to feel like I spent his sweet little years focused on some screen either.

Lauren said…
great post! and beautifully written. My phone is all too often found in my hands...I've been working hard to keep my mind on Elyse and being in the moment--but it's such a temptation. Thanks for the reminder that my husband and my baby need me--not me stuck in my phone!
So true! I didn't have a smart phone when C and B were babies and admittedly, there have been times when I am scrolling through it while nursing W and wondering 'what I did' with the other two, then realize in horror that I was connecting with THEM during that time, not facebook. I try so hard to limit it and be aware! Kev and I also do date-in nights. No tv, no phone, no computer, just us and usually wine ;) Lets please hang out soon!!

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