It is probably ironic that I am starting this blog post as I lie in bed with my daughter in my arms. The reason I pulled her out of her own bed and into mine was so I could have some cuddles with her and here I am with my phone in my hands and my baby under my chin. But I feel impressed to write at this very moment and may not even finish it until tomorrow anyway. But sometimes when I have these impressions I have to write straight away so the message is clear in my mind and the feelings are raw.
One of the greatest lessons I have learnt since becoming a mother is the importance of prioritising. A saying I learnt in high school was inspired by a talk by Dallin H. Oaks and it goes:
“Good, better, best,
Never let it rest,
Until your good is better and your better is best.”
It has stuck with me throughout the last 10 or so years (oh my gosh, I’m that old already!?) but has really hit home since Aston was born. I’ve always felt the need to be the best mum to Aston but this also comes back to the revelation I received in the temple when we were deciding whether or not I should go back to work:
What’s best for Aston?
That revelation is not only applicable to my work/daycare decision, but also for any decision pertaining to the wellbeing of our family and Aston. I am constantly asking myself “what is best for Aston?” Do you really need to go out at that time of the day just for food? (A recurring question I battle internally haha #FatGirlProblems) or is it best to stay home so Aston can get her nap in? Do you really need to go out at that time of night or is it best for Aston to go to bed at her normal bed time? Do you really need to keep cleaning or is it best to leave the mess and spend time with Aston?
I’ve had to learn to prioritise my time. What can be left for the moment? I constantly feel that something needs to be done around the house. Laundry. Dishes. Vacuuming. Laundry. Laundry. Always laundry. Picking up toys. Putting away books. Stuff. In the last 10 months I have learnt to think “is that important right now? Or does your family need you?” Every night once Aston is asleep I clean the living room, vacuum the house, fold laundry blah blah blah. Tonight when I got home from the gym Bryton had already tidied the house but I could tell it needed a vacuum. But I decided, no. I want to spend some time talking to my husband and then after my shower I’m going to get my baby out of her cot so I can have cuddles with her in bed. This may seem a small thing, but to me it’s a bigger deal than you may think. Making small sacrifices for the benefit of your family increases your love for them and their love for you. It also shows the love our Heavenly Father has for us as His children.
With Aston starting kohanga in two weeks I have really made an effort to make the most of our time together before our new routine kicks in. This means prioritising my time and putting aside things that can wait – the non-essentials. Yeah, my laundry may pile up a bit and my house might be a constant mess, but taking Aston out for a walk or to the library or to visit her Granny Nana is more important than any of that. Sometimes I don’t get to leave the house until after lunch time but it is more important to have a well-rested child while I am out than one who is tired and grizzly all day. I have discovered that nap time is priority. For Aston to enjoy her day she does need at least one nap. Most days she can go without a second nap but she does need her morning one at least. So I almost always need to schedule my day around her nap.
Anyway, I really want to treasure this short time I have with my little (or not-so-little) baby. The last 11 months have already gone by so quickly. I look at her in her cot and realise she’s just so big now! It was only a year ago that she was in my tummy pushing her big butt into my ribs and now she’s wanting to walk everywhere and making my house a pig sty. You know those mums who are like “oh, but the mess is all worth it!” They are so right. I tidy the living room every time she naps only to have her mess it up again and it doesn’t even bother me (I know, who am I!?) But I always think to myself, I’m never going to get this time back with my baby. Never. It will never be just the 2 of us like this again. She’s growing every single day and if I keep fussing over what needs to be done around the house I’m going to miss those precious moments with her, and I don’t want that to happen.