I woke up this morning with one thought on my mind – “JUICE!” I opened the fridge hoping that we had enough produce to make everyone a big glass of juice and was so happy to see that we did.
2/3 packed bag of chopped kale
2/3 bag baby carrots
3 Gala apples
2 large cucumbers
2 inches ginger root
This recipe makes about three servings.
Practically perfect… until Henry pushed his glass over into my lap! I consider it a small miracle that I had my legs crossed so the juice ended up entirely on me and not on our linen chairs. Lesson learned – no cups without lids for little Henry!
This post is sponsored by Musselman’s new BIG CUP applesauce.
I remember the moment so clearly. It was a warm night in July, and the Husband and I were just settling down on the couch to watch TV. The baby monitor crackled to life, and I heard Henry call out. I peeked at the monitor and say that he was sitting up in bed, babbling sleepily. Any other night, I would’ve let him put himself back to sleep, but I felt pulled to his room. In the darkness, I picked him up, cuddled him against me, and sat down in the rocking chair.
My baby boy groggily looked up at me, gave me a quick smile, and closed his eyes peacefully. I remember rocking back and forth, back and forth, smelling the top of his little head and feeling the weight of his 22-pound body in my arms. In just over a year, 6.5 pounds to 22! It’s hard to describe the intense love – a strong emotional and physical reaction – that I felt for my son at that moment. I felt so happy that I had come into his room to cuddle him; he’d been getting squirmier and squirmier lately, and cuddling his momma for long stretches – especially during daylight hours! – no longer held quite the same appeal. And then cliché popped into my head: The days are long, but the years are short.
Like many new moms, I was incredibly anxious during Henry’s first year. I’m sure this was apparent on the blog! I’d hold him in my arms and worry. Is he eating enough? Sleeping enough? Is he hitting developmental milestones? I Googled a lot. I even tracked his poops via a iPhone app! I think about to how incredibly emotionally wrapped up I was in breastfeeding and pumping, and it makes me feel a bit… sad. Hell, I had to schedule an emergency therapy appointment just to be okay with stopping breastfeeding. Don’t get me wrong – keeping a newborn happy is challenging (and that says nothing about parenting babies with health issues!). It is worth noting, of course, that most of this worry came from a deep, intense place of love. But I look back on his first year and remember feeling a disproportionate amount of stress, and 90% of it was self-created.
Back then, I thought that being a new mother meant worry. And that’s not even counting the worry I felt from all other aspects of life. How’s work going? Did I finish that proposal? Oh, I need to call so-and-so back. When is my next deadline? Is the house clean? How strong is my marriage? Am I seeing my friends enough? Worry. Worry. Worry.
So, on that night in July, I added up all this worry and realized one thing: it had accomplished nothing! I had spent hours – maybe days! – with my mind far, far away. At that moment, with the seriously intoxicating smell of baby hair in my nose (it’s a real thing!), I decided that I needed to get a grip. Life is fleeting. Nothing made me more aware of that fact more than having a child. You blink your eyes and POOF! Your baby is a toddler. It happens way faster than you could’ve ever imagined. While there’s room in life for analyzing and planning, I think it’s so important to corral those thoughts to the right times. And don’t even get me started on the time that I’ve ‘lost’ mindlessly browsing on my phone.
Over the past half a year, I’ve been attempting what can only be described as a personality tweak. I’m slowly but surely taking myself from an always-plan-ahead person to a here-and-now person. My goal isn’t to morph into Super Zen Caitlin – I just don’t think I have that in me!
My goal is simply to be 50% more mindful – to take at least half of the moments that I’m mentally and emotionally somewhere else and focus instead of what’s actually happening.
‘Mindfulness’ is definitely a buzz word, but the practice of being more mindful in my daily life has had serious and profound effects. It’s not only made me a happier person, but I believe it’s made me a more engaged and present parent. I’ve sprinkled talk of some of my changes and new habits throughout random blog posts, but I thought it was time to compile them all in one list.
Hi, I'm Caitlin. Welcome to my corner of the blogworld. I run several small businesses, after my toddler, road races and triathlons, and when being chased by zombies. Thanks for stopping by.
Lookin’ for something?
I’m not a Registered Dietitian (RD). For specific medical counseling, please contact a Registered Dietitian or your doctor. My blog posts are based on my own personal knowledge, experience, and opinions.