As a mom and especially as a blogger, I’m always looking to capture the great picture. Whether the kids are hugging, reading books, or have genuine belly laugh, this Momma doesn’t want to miss a thing. But, if i’m sitting there observing through the lense of my camera, am I really present for the moment? On the other hand, I like to look back at photos of them when they were young. So, what’s better about those moments, to take pictures of them or be present in them?
Recently, I tested myself. It was just an average night and the kids needed a bath. My husband offered to do this bath this time around. Usually we tag team bath time. I get one kid done and out then he slides in for the other. But, I wasn’t going to turn down the offer so I let him take over bath time.
As I grabbed us a couple glasses of wine, I sat back in the hallway to observe. The kids were laughing and playing incredibly well together. There were no screams; no tears. There was only laughter. We had music on so my husband was naturally making them laugh even more with his dance moves.
My incling was to go grab my phone. I wanted a picture of this moment. Everyone was so happy. But, then I forced every nerve in my body to just stay sitting. I forced myself to stay in the moment and just be present.
As I observed the laughing, the playing, and the joy, I felt an overwhelming sense of warmth and happiness. My heart was so full. I so felt grateful for this life. It almost brought tears to my eyes.
Then, I realized why I’m constantly running to grab a camera. As Mom, it’s rare that I get to just be a silent observer to these moments. I’m usually elbow deep in toys, bedtime, or tub water. The camera helps to remind me how the outside observer would have seen that moment.
As I walked back to the bathroom to clean up, I stopped again. My kids were here. They were laughing. There’s water everywhere to show how much fun they had. I found something in my mind shift. I wasn’t annoyed that cleaning the bathroom was another chore. The kids enjoyed bath time. I enjoyed watching them enjoy bath time. It wasn’t a difficult chore, it was fun for all. I feel this because I was present in it.
So, I’m taking this as a lesson. I’m going to use the opportunity to just be present more. I’m going to let my mind and heart absorb each moment. Sure, I’ll still take pictures of my kids. But, the feeling that I allowed myself to feel when I just lived in the moment was far greater than any feeling a picture could bring.