small mothering momentsIf there’s something I’m kind of rubbish at, it’s managing to not burn the bottom of the first round of pancakes I plop into the frypan.. Well that and taking time to notice the small stuff. I’m not sure which is more of an issue but I suspect it’s probably the second one. Yes, I may ruin a couple of delicious buckwheat and cinnamon creations BUT that shouldn’t impact my life too horribly. Not taking the time to notice the small stuff? That’ll come back and smack you in the face when you least realise it.

I’m someone who gets caught up in my own head quite regularly. It’s a noisy old place, the inside of my skull and there’s usually a whole bunch of stuff on the boil. Blog ideas, emails I know I need to return, an ever growing and changing shopping list (seriously, that thing is an untameable BEAST), a pile of ‘To Do’s’, plus the requisite space reserved for daydreams and general musings about life, and, more often than not, food.Accompanying that busy head is my sometime insatiable need to always be ‘doing’ something, usually doing ‘somethings’. I’m the person who can often be found on the couch with both iPhone and iPad switched on and a magazine just off to the side, should my connection crash and I’m left with 30 seconds of empty space. I read emails or scan the paper while waiting for my coffee. Check Facebook when I’m standing in line at the local IGA. I’m utterly hopeless at doing one thing a time, and really allowing it to absorb my focus. It’s something that I’ve only become properly aware of since becoming a mother and more importantly, realising how my intense desire to ‘do’ impacts my ability to be a present mother.

It occurred to me the other night that lack of presence is directly linked to missing the small stuff. It was while we were putting my son to bed. All jammied up, he decided he wanted to sit and read with his daddy, instead of his mummy. Instead of hopping up, heading downstairs and starting the post dinner clean up (or *cough* grabbing a mini Lindt bunny and collapsing on the couch in front of MKR), I stayed sitting on the floor, watching the two of them read together. Watching my son it hit me like a ton of bricks just how much he’d changed. When did the chubbiness of his cheeks suddenly shift into older, more defined cheekbones? How long has he been making that facial expression while thinking? Has he always followed along with his finger when reading ‘When The World Is Ready For Bed?’ I really, truly watched him and I don’t know what stunned me more, the realisation of his newly minted status as a ‘proper little boy’ or the fact that I almost hadn’t noticed the subtle shifts in the way my own son looked and acted. I’d missed some of the small stuff.

Coming downstairs after safely snuggling his little body into bed, I pointed out to my husband just how much our boy was growing up and how quickly it was happening. “I know,’ he said. ‘It’s like you don’t even realise till it hits you.” It seems it’s not only the insatiable ‘do-er’ who misses the small stuff but quite possibly every parent, at some stage. While I was making a conscious effort before, I’ve certainly been given a bit of a kick forward towards noticing the small stuff. Remembering it. Recording some of it in my ‘Gratitude Journal’ of an evening or just chatting about it with my husband when we’re sitting down to dinner at night.

I know that I’ll never be the type to be able to sit quietly for an extended period and just observe the world around me (my parents seem to be able to do this and I find it seriously amazing). I think I’ll always have a mind that’s on the busier side of average. Being able to be present for my son (and soon to be daughter) and noticing the small stuff before it slips away, possibly for good, is the best reason I can think of though for consciously working on calming it slightly, if not fully, and making a real effort to observe and enjoy the small stuff.

In the spirit of sharing, here’s the small stuff I’ve been watching and noticing lately…

  • How he’s suddenly learnt to jump! With both feet off the ground!
  • How his hair has gone from white blonde to dark blonde and back again, thanks to the recent sunny weather we’ve had
  • How he cuddles his teddies and strokes their backs while he’s doing it
  • The way he washes his cars and trucks in the bath at night, always using the same washcloth and wanting to use the same body wash (so that he can get them really clean)
  • How his eyes still flutter like they did when he was a freshly baked newborn, just before falling asleep

I’d love to hear about the small stuff you’ve noticed in your life (with or without kids) lately. Feel free to SHARE in the comments or #smallstuff on Instagram/Twitter/Facebook.

Linking up with Jess over at ‘Essentially Jess’ for IBOT

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12 Comments on The Small Stuff

  1. Aroha @ Colours of Sunset
    April 22, 2014 at 3:59 pm (5 years ago)

    I can’t even tell you what little things I’ve noticed recently because I’ve been paying no attention 🙁 I can’t remember the last time – before the 5 minutes between reading your post and writing this comment – that I actually stopped to just watch my son. He is so grown up, and he’s a gorgeous soul. It is just going way too fast. He’s an only child, and while he handles that well, it makes me wonder if he is lonely. I’m definitely going to start paying more attention. Thanks for the reminder. -Aroha (for #teamIBOT)

    • Not Just A Mummy
      April 22, 2014 at 4:50 pm (5 years ago)

      Thanks for stopping by Aroha! Sounds as if your little guy is growing into a beautiful young man. I seriously have to remind myself daily to stop and observe. It’s so easy for it to fall by the wayside (hence today’s post. Lol) so worth it when you do catch those little sparks though!

  2. Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me
    April 22, 2014 at 7:46 pm (5 years ago)

    I missed how big my 6 year old is, how cheeky and bossy my 2.5 year old is and how great my 4yo is at speaking. Things change so quickly. Such a great post. For those with bad memories like me, lots of video footage helps! Emily via IBOT 🙂

    • Not Just A Mummy
      April 22, 2014 at 7:59 pm (5 years ago)

      Thanks Emily! He he your 2.5 year old sounds a little like mine, toddler going on teenager. God help me when he starts taking in full sentences as he’s already trying to rule with an iron fist 😉 I often find these days that going back through all my iPhone photos is one of the best ways to connect the dot on the day that’s passed. Thank god for technology!

  3. Louisa
    April 22, 2014 at 8:06 pm (5 years ago)

    This is also my biggest challenge so I completely relate to this. After all, it’s all the small things that really matters. Every day my almost five year old writes me a letter or a drawing saying she loves me. It’s so easy to be complacent about them because she does them every day but they are so precious as they are like little love notes to me. I have started collecting them so that I can look back on them when she has outgrown this cute phase. It is these little simple moments that shape our lives after all

    • Not Just A Mummy
      April 22, 2014 at 8:14 pm (5 years ago)

      That is the most gorgeous thing Louisa! What an amazing little girl. You are so right about how quickly complacency seeps in. It’s almost like the first time something happens, you register it and coo over it for days but when it becomes more regular, it starts to slip by unnoticed. Love the idea of storing up the physical evidence for the future. Sure we’ll all need those little reminders when teenage hood hits 🙂

  4. Zanni Louise
    April 22, 2014 at 8:52 pm (5 years ago)

    I love and cherish those small things. I keep a book for all that stuff…though of course I barely have time to write in it! x

    • Not Just A Mummy
      April 22, 2014 at 9:05 pm (5 years ago)

      If only we could somehow extract our thoughts straight onto the page zanni! I’m a bit like that with my gratitude journal.. I try and write in it every night but I can be a bit lax which is silly as I see how much benefit I get from it!

  5. Bec @ The Plumbette
    April 23, 2014 at 10:42 am (5 years ago)

    Ive noticed how my 13 month old is speaking a lot more words nd she is getting more confident on her feet so she will be walking anytime soon. My nearly four year old says the funniest things and I love her facial expressions when she talks. There is so much to be grateful for and are notice while our little ones grow up. Such a beautiful post. 🙂

    • Not Just A Mummy
      April 23, 2014 at 3:08 pm (5 years ago)

      Thanks Bec! I’ve heard that four year olds are a rather hilarious bunch. I’m quite excited about my son reaching the age where he can strong a proper sentence together as I reckon he’ll come up with some absolute crackers! It’s so nice to write down the amazing things our kids are doing.. Such a simple act but often the last thing on our ‘to do’ list!

  6. Grace
    April 24, 2014 at 2:18 pm (5 years ago)

    I love watching my boys having more complexed conversations with each other. That’s when I really see how much they’re growing up.
    It’s true what your husband says, you don’t realise it until it hits you.

  7. EssentiallyJess
    April 24, 2014 at 2:25 pm (5 years ago)

    You could have been writing this post about me. I am always busy. Either doing something, or thinking about something I should be doing, or want to be doing. So little time is spent enjoying the moment. I really must get better at it.


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