I was going to share a completely different post, but after last night I decided this would make more sense.
It was another busy, busy week full of work, daycare, tantrums, late bedtimes, and middle-of-the-night wake ups and to say we’re all a little exhausted is an understatement. But it was also full of being present, setting down my phone, lots of pre-dinner walks and after-dinner playground visits, family movie cuddles, and giggles until we were all crying. We had so many great nights this week I couldn’t help but think about how fast Adeline is growing up and changing and how badly I wish I could freeze time!
But, we all know that’s not possible, so my next best option is to continue to be as present as possible. That’s always easier said than done, but this week I really tried to be intentional about my morning and evening time spent with Adam and Adeline. And you know what? It made a big, big difference. We took our mornings slower, ate breakfast at home as a family a few times instead of rushing off to catch school’s breakfast, and as soon 5 o’clock hit and I could wrap up my work, I powered down my computer, set aside my phone and told Adeline, “let’s have some fun!” (Normally I pick her up between 3:30 and 4, so between then and 5 she usually sits and watches a movie with me while I finish up my work). This week I made a much bigger effort to just BE with Adeline, and spend the remaining daylight hours doing things she wanted to do. Maybe it’s because I was gone all last week, but I just really felt like we needed to spend some serious time together distraction-free. We played, and played, and played, and I’m entering the weekend feeling not a single bit of mom-guilt – a nice change! I actually think this week I should win a cool-mom award, if we’re being honest.
It’s so easy these days to get wrapped up in Instagram, or blogs. I was telling some fellow mamas the other day how easy it can be to miss the little moments when you’re too busy mentally planning your next Instagram post. Everything revolves around likes and comments and followers it seems and sometimes you just have to say, “forget it.” I think there comes a time where you have to relinquish the idea that your Instagram feed will never be as perfect as someone else’s, or as big as that other blogger’s, or get as many likes as your friend. I think there also comes a time where you need to remember why you’re sharing your posts in the first place. I’ve made it a new personal mission to regain my authenticity, and share whatever the heck I want, whenever I the heck I want to share it. There are literally no rules to Instagram, and yet we self impose dozens of rules all the time.
I felt so free this week, and so refreshed after adopting this mindset. I’m remembering to only post things that bring me joy -moments or memories I want to remember or share with friends, family, and like-minded first time moms. I’m trying to not dwell on the number of likes or comments, but rather how happy my photos make me. I also am only letting myself post early in the morning or late at night. This not only keeps me from spending way too much time on Instagram throughout the day, but it blocks out falling down the rabbit holes of comparison, and simply just consuming tons of stuff about other people’s lives that I frankly don’t need to see 24/7. There’s this invisible pressure to keep up with everyone – 1,000’s of people you literally don’t even know in real life. And post right then, or every day, or twice a day, because heaven forbid you might lose a follower if you don’t! And guys, that’s so stupid! Don’t let Instagram dictate how you live your life! My Instagram feed will never be a business. I will never promote my cute kid in order to make a buck. My Instagram feed is a scrapbook of some of my most favorite moments, a personal photo album, and a source for Timehop to pull yearly memories that make me cry every dang time.
Last night, I expected Adeline’s bedtime to last the usual 30-45 minutes. Teeth brushing, putting on jammies, reading approximately 5-10 books, laying her in her crib, getting her back out of her crib because she was super sad and then made me super sad, then finally putting her back in her crib for a good night sleep. That’s usually how the rodeo goes. But last night she insisted on reading, I kid you not, what felt like 20 books. I swear we emptied her entire bookcase. But then out of nowhere, she curled up and fell asleep on me. Passed. Out. Hard. An hour later, I walked out of her room with tears in my eyes because I felt like I could rock her all night long, and I know here will come a time when she doesn’t need her Mommy to just hold her. She may be one part of my world, but I am her whole world and now that she’s quickly approaching 2 I am realizing just how insanely fast time flies. Nothing in the world makes me as happy as she does, and nothing in the world makes my heart want to leap out of my chest like she does. (Except maybe my husband, he’s still my #1, duh.)
Point being, our impromptu snuggle-fest last night was a big fat reminder that it can wait. It can all wait. Instagram can wait. Blogging can wait. The dishes can wait. Running that late night errand can wait. That workout can wait. That TV show can wait. It. Can. All. Wait.
But what can’t wait, is spending uninterrupted and distraction free time with your littles.
I constantly wonder what the future is for my blog and Instagram. At what point do I shut it down because I want more privacy for Adeline? At what point do I stop posting pictures of her? At what point will I no longer have the time or energy to write? At what point will I stop caring all together? Those are questions I think about often, but just don’t know the answers to. I think for now, I’m enjoying life as-is. Blogging when it feels right, posting on Instagram when it feels right, and not stressing too much about the time that passes in between. So if a few extra days pass between posts, know that I’m busy. Busy living life, and soaking up these toddler years like a sponge. I love this little space of mine dearly, but I love my little pig-tailed stinker a heck of a lot more and she deserves the greatest amount of my attention.
It can wait, you guys. There are more important things than social media, and what everyone else in the world is doing. And those things are happening right in front of you if put down your phone.