My husband and I recently returned from our first vacation, just the two of us, for FUN, since we became parents.
And something amazing happened.
We didn’t miss our kids.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I didn’t just admit to you that we don’t love our children. That’s not what I said.
I said I didn’t MISS my kids.
I never had the recurring thought of, “Oh man, I miss ______. I really wish they were here!” Or, “Gah! I miss ________. I really wish I was home with them!”
Nope. Not even one time.
Instead? My thoughts were: “Man alive, I am so grateful for this time with just Blake and me!” and “Wow! I feel so blessed to have this quality time to focus on being husband and wife, instead of mom and dad!”
Enjoy the Present
In other words? I enjoyed the moment I was in. I was ACTUALLY able to be present. There in Mexico with my husband both in body AND in spirit.
That has not always been the case. There have been several retreats I’ve earned, or work trips I’ve attended, that I’ve thought, “I wish I were home with my kids right now.” Where I wasn’t present. I wasn’t in the moment. I was living with guilt. And regret.
The ‘Aha’ Moment
So what changed this time?
I had a huge aha moment a few weeks ago, where I realized…just because my mother-in-law is taking care of my kids right now, doesn’t all of a sudden take away my role as their mom. I am still their mom. Because motherhood is a relationship, not a job title.
She’s feeding them, but that doesn’t make her their mom. She’s their amazing grandma! I am still their mom.
She’s playing with them, but that doesn’t make her their mom. She’s their amazing grandma! I am still their mom.
She’s changing bums, and waking up early, and driving to and from preschool, and cleaning up messes, but that doesn’t make her their mom. She’s their amazing grandma! I am still their mom.
I am their mom. No one can ever take that away from me. So? I don’t need to feel guilty to take the time to be my husband’s wife. Because that’s also a relationship. And it also deserves love, time, and care, just like my children do.
The Gift of Being Present
I remember reading in the book Baby Wise and learning that to truly help our kiddos feel loved, safe, and secure, our marriage, and relationship with our spouse, plays a HUGE part in our kiddos growth and development, and feelings of safety, security, and ability to thrive.
When my babies need some TLC, I drop everything to make time to help him or her.
I am working on giving my marriage, and myself, the same respect.
And when we got home? I was READY to be home. I didn’t find myself wishing, “Man, now that I AM back home with my kids, I wish I was back in Mexico with just Blake and me!” Nope. That didn’t happen either. Because I was able to be present. And truly give myself the gift of grace to live my best life TODAY. Because really? That’s all I’ve been guaranteed.
I’m going to live in today. Physically and mentally. I’m going to take advantage.
“Yesterday’s the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.” – Bil Keane
It’s time to be present.