As my feet pound the treadmill, with each step I think of something else I need to do. I add items to my mental task list and then consider when, how I will accomplish each thing. Being a working mother, I constantly look for ways to squeeze more productivity out of each moment.
I dream of a shower mounted laptop so I could write lesson plans (blog) while soaping my hair. I imagine a way to sort photos and organize scrapbooking materials while running. If only I rode the subway, or had a driver, I would accomplish so much more during my 40 minute commute to work.
There are so many times during the day when I think about what else I could/ should/ would be doing. How I could more efficiently be spending my time. This robs me of the ability to be fully present at any time. This is a terrible way to live.
Last night as my husband and I attempted to multi-task our marriage, discussing financial issues and careless decision making while carrying out bath time routines, it occurred to me that I was missing out on the one thing that TRULY mattered. The reason that we both work and try to make responsible financial decisions is our family, our children. We want to provide only the best things for our children. I saw with new clarity that the best thing for the kids is to have Mommy and Daddy be fully present and focused only on them, even if it is only for a small period of the day.
I made a decision that was slightly unpopular with my partner, I told him to table the discussion until after the kids were in bed. While it is slightly true that the topic of said tabled discussion was MY careless spending and I was happy NOT to be talking about it, I was honoring my maternal instincts, doing what I felt was right.
I sat on the floor and began to brush Barbie's hair. I helped my daughter put her babies to bed until a mountain of blankets on the floor in her closet. I read books with my middle monkey and talked about his upcoming field trip to the retirement home for Trick-or-Treating.
meanwhile in a room across the way, my husband and oldest son bonded over Nintendo DS and Super Mario Brothers. They chatted about new levels and cheat codes that can be found on-line. They talked about his extremely loose tooth and weighed out the benefits of pulling vs. waiting.
I enjoyed my 30 minute time chunk more than a pint of Ben & Jerrry's. I savored each second and soaked it in. If you could save time in a bottle, these would be the moments I'd choose.
I wish I could say that after the kids were tucked snugly in their beds that my husband and I had a meaningful and heartfelt discussion where both parties honored the rules of give and take. I wish I could say that I listened thoughtfully to his talking points and responded with open and honest feedback. I wish I could say that, but I can't.
What I can say, is that after the kids went to bed, I had a mental meltdown, the result of which was the contents of my overstuffed pocket book strewn across the living room floor in an attempt to showcase how unorganized I am. I felt, during this tirade that he needed to see some proof, as if proof isn't all around him. On the overflowing dresser in our bedroom, in my disgusting and dirty car, all over my desk in the office, stacks of photos tipped and scattered, textbooks resting on the dining room table.
Of course, my messiness is folly for whole different post. I'll end today saying this, if I only did one thing right, which is most likely the case, I spent 30 uninterrupted minutes with the loves of my life, and for now, that will have to be good enough.