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Slow Down, Mama

20 August 2013


Husband took this picture (from a less than flattering angle – I actually deleted and re-attached it several times) Saturday.

This looks like me and the baby sleeping in the chair. It looks like us enjoying a nice little weekend nap.

But this is actually me being schooled.

We’ve been very busy lately. Stretched. Stressed. Tense. It’s been difficult.

Sometime Friday, I decided to reinstitute the Saturday Sabbath in my life. Sabbaths are really hard for me, but it’s necessary. (I committed to a year of Sabbaths in 2011, and wrote a few things about it here.)

I steeled my soul in preparation of the following day. I would not clean. I would not weed. I would not write for anyone but myself, would not open Photoshop or my work email, and I would not – under any circumstances – do laundry.

(Okay, that last one didn’t really require steeling. That one made me happy.)

Early Saturday afternoon, the baby was sleeping and I was at the kitchen table, laptop open, with my work email and Photoshop splitting the screen.

Things need to get done, after all. And by tomorrow morning. What am I supposed to do? Fail? No. No way. I’ll Sabbath on Monday. 

The baby woke up, but 45 minutes is pretty good, so I resigned myself to a little break.

But the baby woke up cranky, which is not like him. Normally he fusses, I pick him up, and he’s ready to go. This time he just fussed and whined and cried.

“Let’s go outside.”

He likes being outside. It calms him.

We went out in the front yard. I sat in the grass. He didn’t want anything to do with the grass. Also not like him. He squirmed and twisted and climbed up my shoulder. I held him there for a moment and realized … he was sleeping.


I waited. Waited.

Yup. He was totally out. But I couldn’t sit cross-legged in the middle of the front yard with a sleeping baby for very long. I got up, and he stirred awake. By the time I got inside, he’d already passed out again.

Okay. I can do this for a bit.

I sat down in the corner chair and hugged him, snuggled him, kissed him.

And then, as he just kept sleeping, I started to think about things I had to do, work I had to finish, words I had to write. I got antsy.

But every time I tried to get up, he whined and it only took twice before I started to tell myself to just put him back in the crib and if he doesn’t stay asleep he’s not really tired, when he – no joke – sat up, looked at me, looked out the window, and crashed back – totally asleep – on my shoulder.

Something about that look, or the timing of it, or his beautiful face – slightly gaping mouth – on my shoulder just said, “Slow down, Mama.” Something about his weight on my chest was just the anchor I needed.

He officially hit eight months old on Saturday, and I remembered that he won’t fit in my lap like this for much longer. I thought about some friends who are getting ready to send their son off to college this week, for the first time, and I knew if she were there she’d tell me to sit down.

So I stayed in the chair.

I took deep breaths, and I kissed plump cheeks. I watched the setting sun paint the front door, and I listened to the neighbors laugh from their porch across the street. I enjoyed the breeze that slid through the room, and I closed my eyes and said Thank You for a baby who sometimes knows exactly what I need.

Do you take a day off to just rest every week? What do you do? Has anyone ever had to remind you?

Crystal hosts a bunch of totes adorbs (yes I did) bloggers who share the not-so-pretty behind the scenes stories on some of their cute pictures. Clicky for more stories by better writers.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. bianca permalink
    20 August 2013 8:10 AM


  2. 20 August 2013 6:31 PM

    Your picture is adorable! Those moments are special and go way too fast! The laundry and stuff will always be there. Moments of taking it easy when the babies are little and enjoying life move too fast. Enjoy your sabbath days! 🙂

  3. 21 August 2013 1:36 PM

    It’s important to take a day of rest. It is one fo the commandments. I started doing this 5 years ago and it’s really helped me. I do
    Sunday or Saturday if that doesn’t work out. God knows what our bodies need. We need to restore our body and soul. You are a wise lady. Love you. Mom (Bonnie)

  4. 21 August 2013 3:36 PM

    I don’t do a day of rest, but I do consciously slow down on the weekends and I try to limit internet time then. I love how you got the message to “slow down, mama”. Keep moving forward and making imperfect progress!

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