In a culture that highly values productivity, busyness and results, it’s really hard for many of us to scale back and let it go some days. I absolutely love to feel productive and, in general, I enjoy life more when I’m active and creative. But I also think that many of us forget about the importance and restorative quality of just being.
You’re awake in the middle of the night with your baby for the third time. As you’re feeding her, and scrolling through Facebook or Instagram, what are you thinking when you see that picture of your friend’s baby sleeping peacefully in his crib? Or that video of your other friend’s 10 month old baby walking already?
As a new parent I am working out what this means for myself and my family. As a citizen I am working out what role I want to have in the future of our country. It can be hard to find a balance between parenting very needy children and staying politically engaged, but I feel strongly that I need to do both.
The other day, your dad and I were reflecting on how much our life has changed since you were born six-and-a-half years ago. And the change feels bigger than the typical, “you have a baby and everything is different” type of change. You see, you were born with a beautifully strong personality and, from day one, you communicated very clearly with us about what was OK with you and what wasn’t going to work. We tried not to listen at first, because we figured we knew best, and because we were led astray by cultural messages imploring us not to listen to you or to our instincts about what you needed.
These days I find myself straddling the line and wavering between acceptance of the never-ending to do list and resistance to it. It feels like my husband and I could spend all day hacking away at the responsibilities and still not feel accomplished or done by the end of the day. And then, of course, there are the big kids who are home with us all the time and who want and need our engagement. And we truly want to be with them too, spending time doing the things that bring them and us joy.