This mom reminds us why we can’t overlook the ‘moments we’re living’
As parents, we’re constantly caught in between longing for days gone by and anticipation for the future. We get nostalgic about the smell of an infant’s head, we can’t wait for the next milestone — the list goes on. One mom perfectly sums up the bittersweet feelings that encompass motherhood, and how it’s so damn hard to live in the moment — but why it’s important that we do.
Casey Huff, mom and writer behind Etched In Home, shared her conflicting feelings in a heartfelt post written — when else — while reflecting on things in the middle of the night, after her child woke up.
“It’s 11:57 p.m. My head hits the pillow and your cries hit the monitor. It’s a different night, but the same old song and dance.”
“I both long for the nights when the whole of your body fit cradled in just one of my arms, and look forward to the nights when you will sleep all the way through, giving me permission to take my own sleep in one big, dreamy lump sum,” she writes.
She writes about how much she misses the days of tiny onesies pureed foods, but can’t wait to run outside and enjoy things like family movie nights. Because as moms, we’ve always got one foot in the past — missing those sweet babies of ours, who were content to spend hours in our arms. We’ve also always got our eyes to the future — anticipating more restful nights and the next milestone that turns our babies into independent individuals.
“I long for the cling of your newborn fingers, yet I look forward to the days when you don’t need me quite so much for every little thing,” she writes. “This motherhood thing; it’s a complicated web of longing for the past, living in the present, and praying for the future. And if I’m being honest, sometimes I can’t seem to balance the three.”
If that isn’t the truest thing about motherhood, I don’t know what is. Sometimes I look at my daughter and I see the same tiny little peanut they placed into the crook of my arm in the hospital. Other times, I see the beautiful, confident woman she’ll become someday. It’s a constant flux of grief, love, happiness, anxiety, and pride.
It’s so very, very hard to press pause sometimes and just “live in the moment.” And Huff gets it.
“In my reminiscing for what was, and anticipation of what will be, I forget to recognize the now; overshooting it by the five minutes that it’ll take to finish ‘this’ task, or the two weeks that it’ll take for you to get through ‘that’ difficult phase. I don’t want to lose this moment.”
Between our hearts and our brains and everything we think, feel, and balance on a daily basis — it’s okay for some moments to get lost in the shuffle. But Huff’s post is a gentle, important reminder that we also need to take time to breathe and be present. Both for ourselves and our kids.
“Everyone is always telling parents to ‘enjoy every moment’ without acknowledging what a challenge that can be,” Huff tells Scary Mommy. She says she wanted to share the post because motherhood is complicated, and “tugs at every heartstring.”
In her post, she acknowledeges that while she didn’t want to get out of bed to answer the midnight wakeup call, she did — because of course she did. It’s what we do. Sometimes, there’s magic in those moments alone.
“So yes, my heart is probably always going to long, and my mind is always going to look forward, but I’m also going to give it my all to not overlook these moments we’re living. And tonight, I think I’ll stay here with you for just a while longer.”