A few days before I gave birth I got an email from one of our readers, Amy. She wanted to give me a piece of advice from mother to an about-to-be mother, advice someone gave her. It was simple, be present. When you’re in the delivery room about to welcome your child into the world, be present because it’s going to flash by and it’s the one moment in life that you actually experience a miracle.
As one of my girlfriend’s went into labor a few nights ago I shared that message with her. I said it’s going to be painful, you’re going to be tired, you’ll want to give up, but embrace it, breath it out and take stock in the moment as it happens of what you’re doing. It really is magical.
As I approach the first birthday of my little girl and look back on the whirlwind of a year we’ve had, the one thing that got me through the really dark bits and the helped me cherish the good ones was being present. Reminding myself that when I’m with my girl to really show up.
Having a child is not only the greatest gift, it’s the most unforgiving marker of time. There’s nothing that I’ve ever experienced that has shown me how fleeting life is. How quickly it passes. Seeing her change from month to month is a constant reminder that if you don’t take the time to shut off all of the noise (and there’s a lot of it these days) you’re going to miss so much.
The idea of being present doesn’t only apply to being a mother. I’ve tried to apply it to many other parts of my life, especially because now I have less that zero time for anything, so savoring moments has become so much more of a focus. One of Pauleanna’s recent articles (here) touched on this point and reminded me that when out with friends or my Mr to also be present with them. Put away my phone and actually be there.
When you’re present and alive in the moment, songs have more meaning, food tastes better, colours are brighter and you never miss the tiny little miracles of life.
So, although it’s taken me a year, thank you, Amy. Your advice is a gift that keeps on giving.