There were days when I felt like I couldn’t keep up. There were days when I felt like time escaped me. By the time my head finally hit the pillow, I found myself wondering where the day had gone.
It wasn’t because they were so young.
It wasn’t because my husband was traveling so much.
It was because I struggled to pause.
I wanted to get everything done. To check off the to-do list each day. To live in the clean house with folded laundry and the well-stocked fridge.
I wanted to feel like I was getting it done.
I wanted to know that I could handle it.
So I did. I folded laundry late at night and put it away first thing in the morning. I washed every dish, mopped every floor, and made it to the Farmer’s Market every Thursday. I never sacrificed a minute of playtime with my kids. I always put them first.
But lately, I’ve had a different approach. Lately, I’ve been slowing things down.
I’ve been worrying less about the laundry, the dishes, and even the groceries. I’ve been worrying less about the mundane tasks that always need doing.
Those will get done eventually.
Lately, I’ve been stalling for time.
I can honestly say that I’ve never taken my kids for granted. I’ve never passed up an opportunity to climb into my daughter’s imagination or play racecars with my son. I’ve wrapped them up and kept them safe every step of the way.
Pregnancy didn’t come easily to me. Staying pregnant was a full-time job. Fertility, it seems, was not my strength.
And so I set out to enjoy every moment.
But soon, I will have to send my daughter off to Kindergarten. Every day, she will leave me for over four hours. Every day, she will play with friends, learn from her teacher, and feel confident on her own.
Every day, I will miss her little voice and her stories that go on for hours. Every day, I will search for her little hand beside me, only to realize that it’s not there. Every day, I will wonder if the other kids are being nice, if she feels safe and secure, if she’s having fun, and if she’s happy.
More than anything, I just want her to be happy.
So for right now, I’m stalling for time.
I’m folding a little less, deliberately leaving my phone at home, attending fewer parties, and scheduling fewer classes. For right now, I’m focusing on long walks, chasing butterflies, and digging in the garden. For right now, we are just being a family.
For right now, the to-do list can wait and clothes can be ever so slightly wrinkled.
Because for right now, I just need to stall for time.
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Katie is a Child & Adolescent Psychotherapist/Parenting Expert in Los Angeles, CA. She has a five year old daughter, three year old son, and a rock and roll husband who makes her life complete. Katie has a parenting advice blog, Practical Parenting, and can be found on Twitter. She also writes for moonfrye.
Saturday 3rd of March 2012
This is so true! My son is starting Kindergarten in the fall and I'm having a baby this summer and I SOOO want to push the pause button once summer hits so I can enjoy every last moment!!
Monday 5th of March 2012
Ahhh! Congrats! And, yes, hit the pause!