Putting the Pause Button on Life
They say that time gets faster as you get older. Well. You know what's also true? Time gets faster as your kids get older. I find myself asking for the pause button on life all too often. My newborn didn't stay a squishy newborn for long. Then she was a baby. Then somehow turned into a kid. One day I woke up and I had a kid who communicates what she wants (and doesn't want), puts her shoes on by herself, and refuses to let us pick out her clothes. Here are a few things that work for me when I feel like time is going by just way too quickly.
This might seem like an obvious one. But it's a hard one for me. As a photographer, I want to photograph everything. Every little moment forever and ever. Sometimes I get wrapped up in it and I forget to really be present. Yes. Photography will always have it's place, but it's important to remember to just be.
Oddly, this is easier than I thought...when I remember. Put the phone down! Shut the laptop off. Unplug. The email will be there in an hour. You don't need to respond to that text right away. I started thinking about what my daughter sees. Does she see a momma who engages with her? Or does she see my face buried in my phone? Turn it off, even if you can only commit to doing it for an hour a night, disconnect and be present (ah em...above point).
Focus on people
In 15 years, I can promise you, no one is going to say, "Man, I wish I worked more." We're probably all going to say, "I wish I had more time with my kids." Well guess what? You DO have the time with your kids. Whether you're a parent who stays home with their kiddos full time or a parent who works 10 hours a day outside the home or somewhere in between, you have the time. It's how you use it that matters. Use the time you do have and spend it with the people who matter most. Do you want to build a fort before you watch Frozen with your 6 year old for the 17th time today? Do you practice walking with your 14 month old before dinner? Do you play hoops or play catch with your 12 year old after dinner? You get the picture. Focus on the people. They matter the most.
Find pleasure in the little things
My little brother is so insanely good at this. Almost to the point that it's annoying. I am so insanely bad at this. It wasn't until I became a mom that I really, truly tried to embrace this. It doesn't come naturally for me. But I work at it. Every day. Oddly enough, it's the little things that I end up enjoying the most. It's in the everyday...the little things...that real life is lived. And ultimately, isn't that what matters most?
When all else fails...breathe. Inhale. Exhale. Do it slowly. And for as long as you need. Take a deep breath and just be.