We were very slow on Block Island, we kind of just lazed around and let life happen around us. We had long breakfasts, let the kids play outside and get dirty, took our time getting to the beach and stayed until the sun was going down, took outdoor showers, listened to lots of music outside, had little dance parties, went to dinner, cooked some nights, drank some wine, and went to bed early. It was such a simple week and it was perfect. We didn’t use electronics at all which I thought would be horrifying but with no wifi and only a couple of movies on our ipad, there really was no distraction and it ended up being a blessing. Life was so simple there and it just felt good. Yes, it was vacation, but it was so nice and I think it changed me a bit. I’ve slowed down considerably and I feel like everyone in our home is happier because of it.
(from this point on I jump all over the place so stay with me…)
I am by nature a go-getter, I’m very competitive, not with others so much, but more with myself. I know what I can do, I set goals and expectations and do whatever it takes to get there. What I’ve realized however, is although I know I can do it, and I know I can put in the effort to get there, I’m forgetting about something very important, we. So all these goals and expectations are achievable in a world where there is only me, but that’s not in fact my world because God gave me a beautiful family and they take precedence, always.
I look back at this summer with a little bit of sadness because I think I was struggling with that pull of career vs. motherhood and accepting what my day-to-day reality was vs. pouring myself into my growing business. I wasn’t able to run to Loft and check out new finds, I wasn’t able to accept certain partnerships I really wanted because they would have taken up too much time, I wasn’t able to take as many photos for instagram and this led me to, a. frustration and worse, b. resentment. I resented people who could go to work and have that separate space and sometimes I resented my situation of being home with my kids which prevented me from doing that. I am downright ashamed to write these words because looking back is 20/20, but my end goal here is to always give you the good with the bad and here’s your bad. Get this, Brian Sr. stopped calling me during the day because he said I was always flustered when he called and it got to the point where he knew that if he called me at 2 PM on a Wednesday, I would be frustrated because the kids were begging for my attention/I was late on a deadline/the house was a mess and I felt like I was drowning. I was short, angry and basically a bitch. Even worse, Grace started asking me if I was happy. Totally innocent question but that sweet little 3 year old could sense I wasn’t some days, and so she asked me. Horrifying, right?
It was so easy for me to lose track and sight of what’s important, perspective, and that is most definitely a flaw of mine. But I think I’m on the other side now. At the end of the day, I know that what is important is what is at home and you’ve got to be happy for them to be happy. As my mom always says, you are the heart of your home, and boy is that true.
And I will say, I brought a lot of this on myself by not seeing when and how much help I needed with the kids, or feeling guilty about putting them in camp, having them with a babysitter, etc… that’s a whole mom guilt thing that I’ll save for another post.
Back to slowing down (I told you this would be all over the place). It’s almost like someone slipped me a xanax in my coffee when we got back from vacation. I got back to going to bed early and waking up early before my kids. I drank my coffee a little slower, cut wayyy back on how much time I was spending on my phone, sat down to eat breakfast with the kids, utilized my team (Kate + Kelly, the saints who put up with me behind the scenes) more efficiently, took our time going to the pool, hung out with my mom a lot more, sat on the couch with Brian + Grace during quiet time and dozed off while they watched a show (and sometimes we all even fell asleep together which NEVER happens), I made dinner for us, we ate as a family. It was how I should have been living all summer but I had been doing the exact opposite. Work was there when I could get to it but I didn’t let it get the best of me.
Now, I want to address the moms who are working full time and might be reading this blog post thinking, this girl is a joke. She’s basically telling us to quit our jobs and sit on the couch with our kids and enjoy a snooze on a Wednesday afternoon. Let me clarify. It’s not about the exact actions I’m referring to but more about the mindset. Maybe it’s waking up extra early so you can have a cup of coffee alone and watch the sun come up, maybe it’s making an effort to eat as a family at night and take a little extra time at the table. Make bath time a little more fun and read books before bed without thinking of your 1000 long to-do list. The mess will be there, the chores will eventually get done, but your three-year old will soon turn five and be off to kindergarten. Simplify if you can with services like insta-cart and Amazon so you can get some of that time back.
I just don’t want any of us to look back when we’re old and gray and say, “damn it, why did I care so much about that promotion, that big sponsorship, when what was really important were those little eyes looking up at me begging for my time. I’m crying right now because I know those little eyes, and I’m saddened that they weren’t met with my own eager ones ready to love on and play with. Slow down, cherish your time.