Today I didn’t hold you―not like I should

"How did I forget to take the time today to smell your head? To kiss your cheek another time. To look into your eyes and watch your mouth as you learn to curl it into a smile..."

mom-holding-baby

I'm not great at slowing down. I think I made it 3 days after you were born before trying to get out of the house and start planning activities. Things to do. Ways to be busy.

And the truth is I really like being busy. I love taking you and your sister outside, golfing, swimming, sunbathing, to see relatives and friends, out shopping... I like feeling productive. Having a clean house. Taking care of my plants. Decluttering. When I get spare moments, my first instinct is to use them to "get things done."

And while I'm getting things done, I set you down. In your car seat, in your swing, on the couch, in your crib. You're so mellow, it's easy to do. Just set you down. Just for a minute.

And then suddenly I feel like I'm always setting you down. Wait here little guy. I'll be right back. Hang on just a second. Mommy will get you in just a bit. After we get out of the store. After we get to the next place. After I water this plant. Clean this playroom. Help your sister. Vacuum the carpet. Switch out this laundry. After.

And then we've done the activities... the house is a little cleaner... I feel a little more productive than I did the day before... but after—when I pick you back up—you're already bigger. Your face is rounder. Your eyes are brighter. How did I not notice? When did that change? How did I forget to take the time today to smell your head? To kiss your cheek another time. To look into your eyes and watch your mouth as you learn to curl it into a smile...

Every day goes faster. I wrote this poem after Claire was born, and I still don't know if I'll ever truly learn how to make things balance. How to love you enough. To love your sister enough. Both at the same time. And myself. How to complete enough tasks to maintain my sanity. How to make promises I can keep. How to remember to be present before the present is only memory.


Melissa Statler, a former secondary school teacher, is a stay-at-home mother to two humans, two dogs, and countless houseplants. She and her husband live in rural Colorado, which serves as the ideal location for Melissa's free lance portrait photography business. Melissa is also the co-host of The Momversation Podcast, an open conversation about all things motherhood.

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