This is the busiest time of the year, right? So I'm crazy for telling you to stop, breathe, and enjoy the moment. But I'm not. As a matter of fact, even though I have things to do, I felt compelled to sit down and tap this out for you. Because if I don't tell you, will anyone?
Last week, I was like you... make lists and checking them twice. Finishing Christmas shopping, wrapping gifts, editing photo sessions, preparing for a vacation with two legs on opposite sides of the country. Forgetting. Forgetting what Christmas is all about. I was being swallowed up by Christmas. I was bickering and I was not spending enough time with my son and my husband.
And then God, in his infinite wisdom, sent me a sign that said, "SLOW DOWN." What might that sign be, you ask? Caleb and I both got sick. The most convenient way of slowing down? Definitely not. But it gave me a chance to pause. It gave me a chance to think about what I was giving importance to this season. And I wasn't giving importance to the right things.
But getting sick made me stop. It made me spend time with Caleb. Real, quality time that I had been neglecting. As much as it pains me to say it, I had been letting him run amok and then freaking out because I had to pick up after him a thousand times a day and correct his behavior BECAUSE I WASN'T PAYING ATTENTION TO HIM.
So I napped with him. We sat on the couch and colored together (relax, they were Ultra Washable markers). I watched Frozen with him and we made commentary on the movie together (yes, Frozen fever is currently happening in my house). I sat and ate lunch with him and talked to him through the meal.
And while he still had a few moments of toddler rambunctiousness (if that's even a word), overall, his behavior was so much better, even though he was sick. And I realized, I've been a terrible mom lately. I've been so busy and I allowed the busyness of the season to catch up with me.
Last night, after nearly coughing up my lung, I decided to take a steamy bath, and while I was sitting in there, I realized that getting sick had been my biggest blessing in disguise this Christmas season. So I prayed, and I gave thanks, and this morning I woke up with a renewed sense of thankfulness and joy. Joy to last me through Christmas and far beyond. Because really, while we pile all these unnecessary things on ourselves, we are forgetting the meaning of Christmas. And whether that meaning for you is the birth of a Savior, or the closeness of family and loved ones, I'm pretty sure it's not about being busy. And let's be real - I still have a to-do list. But I'm a lot less stressed about getting it done. Because at the end of the day, it always gets done - because you're pretty amazing.
So in the next few days, mama, take a break. Enjoy your kids. Make a mess with them. Take a bubble bath. Snuggle up on the couch with your significant other. Watch your favorite Christmas movie - together, without thinking of the 75,000 things on your to-do list. There will be time to check things off your list tomorrow. And if the gifts don't get wrapped? Tell them Santa ran out of wrapping paper. ;)
I have this devotional that I try to read daily. I've been working on making this a habit for the last few months. I bought it on a whim a couple of months ago, because I felt like my soul needed some serious nourishing. After a lifetime (literally) in Catholic schools, just attending weekly mass wasn't really feeding my soul the way I needed it to.
Anyway, yesterday's verse was Psalm 46:10 "Be still, and know that I am God."
As I reflected on that, I thought about how busy we always are - or make ourselves. It seems our generation is in the business of busy-ness. We schedule ourselves to within an inch of our lives, and that makes it very difficult to just be still. Between work, appointments, playdates, lunch dates, birthdays, family dinners, and on and on and on, we never have time to just stop and think.
The last few weeks have been brutal for me. I have had photo sessions, trips (more than one), mommy and me, runs, playdates, and I've been trying to squeeze the most out of every moment. I took a trip to Disney with my little guy, a girlfriend, and her daughter and we returned on Thursday afternoon. Friday morning I woke up with a stomach virus. Friday afternoon I get a call that my grandmother, who is 99 and lives with my aunt in Orlando, is in the hospital and isn't doing too hot. So Eddie and I made the decision to pack up and take off first thing Saturday morning. Still reeling from a stomach virus, that drive was probably the worst I have ever suffered (including the return trip from my bachelorette party, hungover and miserable). I had a party I was supposed to shoot and I had to find a replacement photographer for, we missed Caleb's first swim class, and we had to cancel on dinner plans we had made. To add insult to injury, Eddie caught the same bug while we were up there. Needless to say, it has not been the most pleasant few days for us. And because I felt like I was burned out, I was snappy, cranky, and pretty downright bitchy.
Yesterday, I was still feeling pretty crummy, so I decided to take it easy. Our garage is being worked on, so even doing laundry was out of the question. And for a little while yesterday morning, I just sat in bed and played with Caleb. It was the best I had felt in a long time (mentally, anyway). I wasn't thinking about all the things I had to do or all the tasks I had to accomplish. I knew there would be plenty of time for that. And after reading that passage in my devotional yesterday, I knew that I had given my mind and my body exactly the break they needed. And after reading it last night, I jotted a few notes for today's post, turned off the light, and snuggled up against Eddie. We were still, and it was so peaceful (until my arm fell asleep under me).
Next time you feel like you are burning out, you probably are. Just take a moment and be still. I promise, you'll be a lot better for it.
P.S. My grandma is doing better - she was moved to a rehab hospital yesterday, so if you could just send a prayer or two her way this week, I would really appreciate it.
And if you're wondering which devotional I'm using, you can find it here.
About this Mom
A Miami wife and mom documenting her days with her toddler and all that comes along with it.