The other night, I was woken by my big girl climbing into our bed and making herself comfy between hubby and me. As she snuggled against me and fell asleep, I gazed at her little face and my heart melted. I wished I could capture that moment, bottle it up and keep it forever. The warmth of her little body against me, that beautiful relaxed sleepy face, the way she was holding on to my hand. That beautiful feeling of completeness, of knowing that everything we needed in that moment was right there.
If only I could bottle the moments like that – to be able to keep them forever, to look back on them and remember them with perfect clarity. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to turn back the pages of time once in a while and relive those beautiful moments? Some of them are more beautiful in hindsight – seen more clearly now that the fog of sleep deprivation has lifted. Moments that have disappeared for ever – that now live on only in my memory, becoming more hazy as time goes on.
These are the moments that I would love to relive, if only I could:
- Those beautiful kicks and wriggles inside of me in the days before my babies were born.
- That rush of joy on hearing that first cry as my babies came into the world.
- The feeling of little hands patting me whilst sitting and feeding.
- That wonderful feeling of joy and pride when we first ventured out with a newborn.
- Sitting in a rocking chair and rocking my little one to sleep at bedtime.
- Cuddle-naps on my bed as we cuddled up and fell asleep together.
- The way Jessica used to push herself up into a sitting position (from lying on her front).
- Those first wobbly steps when my little ones walked for the first time.
- The first time their eyes lit up at the sight of a Christmas tree.
- The moment they said “ma-ma” for the first time.
- Hearing Sophie’s adorable little lion roar.
- Summer afternoons in the garden, watching them splashing about in the paddling pool.
There are so many every day moments that I take for granted; so many moments that I know one day I will look back on and wish I could relive. These are the moments that I need to try and savour now, because one day they will have passed me by:
- The feeling of a small hand holding mine.
- The way they give me a big squeeze and say “I love you Mummy.”
- The times that they want me to sit and play with them.
- The squeals whilst being pushed on a swing in the park “higher, higher, Mummy!”
- Sitting and reading a story together at bedtime.
- The way the girls chase each other around the house and shriek with laughter.
- The spontaneous cuddles.
- Being told that “you’re the best Mummy in the world!”
Tiredness and the everyday challenges of parenthood make it hard to appreciate those moments. Sometimes, when I feel I am running on empty, it feels like all I can do is just get through the moment and hope that tomorrow will be a better day. There are times when the to-do list is overwhelming and life is hectic and it feels like there is just not enough time to stop and enjoy the moment.
I know one thing though. No matter how much the to-do list clamours for my attention, the decision to stop and embrace the moment, is one I never regret. In these moments, I am the mummy I was meant to be. In these moments, everything falls into place for a while and feels right. If only I could bottle them…