In honor of Mother’s Day, we, two mothers who often find ourselves running (literally!) from work to home, from kids’ schools to kids’ soccer practices, and from our offices to our errands, wanted to press “pause” and share with you our most precious mommying moments. These make us stop and forget about the dirty dishes, the unfolded laundry, and the to-do list that’s a mile long. These remind us of why we endured endless hours of labor, weeks of sleep deprivation, and years of dirty diapers (and in some cases, hundreds of shots, blood draws, and ultrasounds to achieve motherhood). So, while our words may never make it into a Hallmark card, here are our Mother’s Day thoughts.
Work out, take care of patients, family time, sleep. Repeat. This pretty much sums up my day-to-day routine. It can get pretty repetitive. And although routines are soothing (it’s nice to know what’s coming next!), they can also get monotonous. You can lose sight of the little things. However, the little things amidst the regularity of my days have come to be my most special mom moments.
It’s funny. As a mom, these cherished daily moments sprinkled throughout your day of “regular” activities change as your children age. From rocking your baby to sleep to watching your toddler tackle that art of talking to pushing your kids on the swing after dinner, the precious moments change. They transform as your family transforms. And while you will never forget the firsts, sometimes the lasts become just as important. As the mother of an almost seven-year-old boy and 11-year-old girl, now my most precious moments are bedtime.
And although for many years this was probably my most dreaded time of the day (putting a toddler to sleep can be terrible!), now bedtime is our time to lay together, share stories about our day, and talk about what we hope for tomorrow. My favorite moment of late was one night, when my kids were lying side by side (they have their own rooms and own beds but most nights like to share the same room!). I laid next to them and asked what was so funny. They made me pinky promise and then proceeded to tell me their crushes (P.S. my daughter has one, and my son has four)! Their giggling voices still make me smile. As a mother, I hope they always feel safe enough in my presence to share their most intimate moments. I hope our nights are always free from judgment, shame, or holding secrets back.
Life moves fast—especially in New York City. We are always running, doing, going. Standing still is rarely an option (or safe; someone is likely to push past you!). And for as long as I can remember, moving forward at a fast pace was who I was and how I functioned. However, despite the efficiency of this pace, this notion of constant movement can breed anxiety and stress—not just for you, but for your little ones.
It wasn’t until a forced time out from work this past summer that I realized just how toxic my “need for speed life” was for my daughters. My constant telling them “let’s go,” “you’re on the clock,” and “move it” did not fall on deaf years. They were listening. I heard this when my older daughter began to use an impatient tone with her younger sister and her friends. She exhibited anxiety, a need to keep on task, and a fear of being late. She seemed, like me, to always be stressed about the next event. Even at the young age of five, she was anxious about fitting it all in. I felt awful. I thought long and hard about how to slow her down, make her less conscious of the clock, and relish relaxation. I soon realized that, to change her, I had to change me. Her actions were not innate but learned—from me. To help her, I had to slow down and take a deep breath.
This summer, I did just that. I stopped, and I tried to take it all in. And although I was not perfect, I took time to watch the sunset, play tag, and color silly pictures. I didn’t rush dinner, and I didn’t stress over how long they took to brush their teeth. I simply enjoyed them and our time together.
We have chosen to share the good and not the bad not because we don’t have endless trying mom moments; trust us, we have many! We by no means want people to think that we’re perfect. We simply want to encourage others to hold on to the good and to let go of the bad, to remember the special and let go of the sordid. The bad doesn’t mean you’re a bad mother; it means you’re normal! Holding on to the bad will put you in a bad place. Try and take a moment to remember the good, the special, and your most precious Mom moments.
Happy Mother’s Day!
Jaime and Sheeva