It seems that with each major life change, I change right along with it. When I got married I had to incorporate someone else’s opinions and feelings into my life. Still, my husband is so loving and patient that quite a bit of my “it’s all about me” attitude was able to endure. When I had Parker, my little world was flipped on its head, and it was clearly not about me any longer. There is so much change that first year that it can be quite trying at times, but I emerged as a mother. Having a second child did not flip my life on its head again– we had already adapted to family life. This time it seems to be digging deeper into my core– challenging me to truly live what I believe.
Prior to all of these life events, I would not have thought any change was necessary– after all, I was a pretty decent person. There is something about the gift of motherhood that refocuses your life, however, and now I find myself considering things that I would not have given a second thought to before. There are so many things always trying to distract us from what is important. However, I’m determined to keep asking myself everyday if I’m really spending my time on what I value. In life there can be second chances. If you’re lucky, a friend will forgive you even after you’ve hurt them. Maybe you’ll get a second chance to win the game. When it comes to time though, there are no second chances. I have yet to see time move backwards or slow down. It just keeps moving right along, and either you grab onto those moments and make them count or the moments pass you by.
This has become so painfully obvious to me now that I’m a mom. People always say “they grow up so fast,” but really, they do. Right now I’m home on maternity leave and getting to savor my kids everyday, and I still feel like time is slipping away from me. So even when it’s the end of the day, and I’m tired, I’m trying to still be as fully present and engaged as possible with my kids. I can’t get this time back, so I want to make the most of it. I’m challenging myself to incorporate more fun learning experiences into our time together, from the library, to growing plants, to learning about bugs. Basically I want to make sure that I’m pouring all my love, energy and creativity into caring for my children. I’m not always going to get it right, but I’m going to keep working toward this goal because it’s so incredibly important.
It’s all too easy to take the gifts in our lives for granted, but I’ve seen how lives can change in an instant– the life altering injury, the cancer that comes out of nowhere, the sudden heart attack. I can’t put the important things in my life on the back burner thinking I’ll get to them when we have more money or more time because I might just miss my chance. So I need to hold my husband every day and tell him how much he means to me. I need to thank my parents for the unconditional love they’ve always offered me. When I get a chance to spend time with extended family that I don’t get to see often, I have to take it because I may not get another chance. I want to do all the little things that make a big difference.