The Case For Blinking
“Don’t blink or you’ll miss it!”
If I had a dollar for every time a well-intentioned person told me the above statement in regards to raising my kids, I would be rich enough to always get the extra guac at Chipotle. One particular instance I remember occurred when my first-born was a months-old baby. I was simply trying to get in and out of the Dollar Tree for holiday tins that I could put baked goods in. As a new mom, I was still getting the hang of venturing out at all, so my goal was to get inside, get the tins and leave.
As if sensing my urgency, baby Joey began a beautiful and hearty rendition of his favorite melody: “Losing My Little Baby Mind,” by Joey Burns. I knew I needed the tins, so I simply tried to rock and shush him until I could get through the line. Being close to Christmas, the lines were, of course, a lot longer than my patience. I noticed a sweet older couple out of the corner of my eye and prayed the crying baby would tug at their hearts and make them feel like letting me go in front of them.
They did, however, bless me with that magical phrase: “Don’t blink or you’ll miss it!”
I understand the sentiment behind this. Truly, I do. But today I’m here to make a case for blinking. Yes, you heard me right. What is blinking? Blinking is looking away for a moment and then realizing that in that super short instance, time has passed you by. This can be most especially true when it comes to parenting. Our kids seem to grow and change by the second, and, before we know it, they’ve gone from tiny infants in our arms to young adults set upon leaving us.
I spent so many years trying not to blink while raising my kids, that I felt overwhelmed by mom guilt. If I wanted to take a girl’s night, I’d look at my kids’ tear-stained faces and wonder if I was the worst mom ever. How selfish could I be? I was blinking and blinking a lot. I felt such guilt at each birthday or new school year – I saw how fast time was flying and worried I’d never be able to keep my eyes open long enough to see it all.
And that’s when it hit me that I never could. I had to blink. I needed to blink.
Time is not something we can hold onto no matter how hard we try. It’s very nature demands that it keep moving forward. We can try to impede time or keep our eyes open long enough to not miss a second of it, but eventually, we’ll miss something. We must sleep. We must go to work. We must have girls nights (yes, I said must). We simply must blink.
Stop worrying that you’re going to miss something and simply start embracing each moment with your children. If you need a blink break then take it! Time will go forward with or without our permission, and we only waste its precious moments by spending them on guilt or fear.
Mom, don’t feel guilty because you had to lock yourself in your room this week to eat a piece of chocolate in the closet. Who hasn’t? Don’t fear the reactions of others when you decide to take a long weekend with your husband or a friend. Good for you! Chances are, when you take some time outs for yourself, you’ll be a far better mom in the long-run – less prone to exhaustion or end-of-rope moments.
By all means, live in the moment! But know that you guilting yourself into never leaving your child or basing your entire life and existence upon them will not cause time to go any slower. Time goes on and blinking is a part of it. At the end of the day, we can rest easy knowing we lived a life of love, minus the taxing weight of mom guilt.
So go ahead and blink today! You are a great mom! Don’t let anything or anyone tell you any different!