This last Saturday, a group of us loaded up into my sister’s car and headed off to one of the most beautiful places in Washington I’ve ever seen. Colchuck Lake is located just right outside of Leavenworth and this hike was GORGEOUS. If you haven’t done it, you need to add this one to your list.
Typically after a hike, I like to write about the details, the elevation gain, and the view, but as I settle back into regular life after this day away, I continually feel tugged in a different direction.I want you to know that it wasn’t that long ago that I too, was stuck at home with a nursing baby and a couple of other little ones. This was also during the time when my husband was working 50-60 hour weeks. When I post pictures of grand adventures on Instagram, I almost feel guilty inside, like I’m portraying that this is really what Motherhood with 3 little kids looks like. The truth is, while those times away with friends are so special to me, most of my life isn’t spent hiking mountains and seeing amazing sights.
In reality, most of my life is spent potty training our two year old, talking with our 4 year old and homeschooling our 6 year old. And when I’m not out in the wild, seeing something that almost takes my breath away, I’m home, just like you, trying to find the magic in ordinary days.If I was to sit down with another Mama, who has a handful of little ones at home and try to give her some of my best advice for caring for herself during this time, I would NOT tell her to find ways to get out by herself as much as possible. Instead, I would encourage her to train herself to see those Heaven On Earth moments. The kind of moment where in the midst of all the craziness, something magical happens and you want life to pause and just stay like that for awhile, temporarily perfect.
When all my kids dance together and the music is loud, for just a moment our house fills with laughter and I want them like that forever….that’s a Heaven On Earth moment. And when they snuggle in with you, while you read and you smell their heads and their heads smell better than anything in the world, that’s a Heaven On Earth moment.
I would encourage you as a Mom of little ones, that yes, you DO need time away to re-fuel, but sometimes those times are few and far between and during the in-between times, we need to train ourselves to have joy in the ordinary. In the present, in the NOW. Not only in the times when we get away.
Moments like these give me strength for the laundry, dishes, planning the week and parenting. I want to appreciate the beauty not only in the big things, like seeing an alpine lake, but in the small things too. I want it all to be counted as important…. The times away with friends and also the times at home with my babies, potty training and making lunch. Is it all important? Yes, it certainly is.
Having 3 babies in 4 years didn’t leave me with much alone time for many years, and now that I’m starting to have moments for myself again, I don’t want to act like I’ve forgotten what it feels like to be anchored at home. Starting our ladies hiking group with my sister has been life giving in so many ways, but that’s only because the timing was right. For a long time, the timing wasn’t right. I couldn’t even pee by myself, let alone think about being gone hiking all day without my kids.
If the timing isn’t right for you to get out much right now, open your eyes to the sweet, simple things in your life and remember that those are the most important things after all. Your season might be more draining right now, but just think, you’re laying a foundation. You’re giving and giving and giving, to build someone strong. That foundation will never be laid again so, pour out freely and don’t miss any spots. That feeling of exhaustion is normal, but just remember, the days of replenishing are in your future.
“The true way to live is to enjoy every moment as it passes, and surely it is in the everyday things around us that the beauty of life lies.”― Laura Ingalls Wilder