Last week, after having the honor of attending the celebration and funeral for a beloved wife, mom, grandma, and friend, my thoughts turned to what made her such an amazing mother and if those same words could be said about me. I thought about the stories that were shared about her and the traditions she loved. I thought about all the many moments that composed her life that were full of grace and compassion and love, fierce love.
I thought about the moments that compose my life. The sweet ones, the happy ones, and even the not-so-good ones. The times that I kept my cool, the times that I didn’t. I thought about the moments to come and what I wish for them. How I wish I could be more creative and consistent with family traditions. How I wish I hugged my children more; put my phone down more to take the moment to look in their eyes so they could see the fierce love I have for them. How I hope and pray they know that I love them through my words and actions.
And then I felt overwhelmed. How can I change and do those good things more? I have bad habits. I have selfish tendencies. I have inner struggles between wanting to give my children all my attention versus teaching them to be independent. I feel conflicted with my schedule and finding balance between my physical and emotional needs versus my children’s. I struggle to know how to discipline my children to correct negative behavior while still letting them know I love them.
And in a flash, I felt incapable of change. I dismissed all the good I’ve done in the past and feared the mistakes I will surely make in the future. I felt defeated.
As I experienced these emotions, I remembered the vulnerability of laboring women. I remembered how I breathe through the contractions with them; how I remind them that all the contractions that have come and gone are over; how I encourage them not to worry about the contractions to come. And it dawned on me, the same could be said to all the little moments in life we experience every day. All the moments that have already gone by, for good or bad, are over. All the moments that are to come will come, whether we worry about them or not. All we can do is breathe through each moment. Live it, experience it, and do our best. As my son whined today about having a headache and not having the right spoon he wanted, I had a choice in that moment of how to be his mom. I chose to calmly tell him I was sorry he didn’t feel well and that he could choose a different spoon. I thought, “This was a good moment.” Breathe in, soak it in, and move on. That moment has already come and gone and I don’t know what future moments are in store but I’m choosing now to not stress or worry about how to “be” then. I choose now to take each moment one at a time.
Birth Boot Camp Certified Doula (BBCD)