It's easy to miss the magic of this life right now. On the days when the sink overflows with dirty dishes and I've hit the "wrinkle release" setting on the dryer more times than I care to admit. On the days we don't get out of our pajamas or dinner is just a frozen pizza. On the days we spend the afternoon snuggled up watching movies or, quite simply, doing nothing because we all need the rest.
Those aren't the days that get posted on social media. They're not the moments I text Grandma about. To me, they can feel downright ordinary.
There's so much pressure for moms to do all the things, from holding down fulfilling careers to maintaining Pinterest-worthy homes to always looking "Instagram-ready."
We should take our children on educational outings where we serve homemade, organic lunches with nary a hair out of place.
We should be constantly busy, hustling to get everything done.
But in all that hustle, something gets lost.
In overplanning our days, we aren't leaving room for the unexpected magic to sneak in and surprise us.
The days when we do nothing might not be the days I remember forever, but sometimes they're the ones my daughter brings up long after they've ended. "Remember when we made the grilled cheese?" she asks. "Remember when we read the books? Remember when we snuggled in the blanket?"
In her mind, even the most mundane days were ones we spent together—and that makes them innately important.
Because even amidst all the plain, all the nothing, sometimes I get these glimpses of the most extraordinary beauty.
It might be my daughter, caught up in a make-believe tea party under our dining table (guests including her favorite Winnie the Pooh bear and a herd of plastic horses).
It might be our reflections in the mirror at the end of the day, as my suddenly-oh-so-big 3-year-old brushes her teeth ("By myself!") and I stand nearby, my pregnant belly swollen with her soon-to-be brother or sister.
It might be later that night, as I lay down my pregnant body just in time for the baby inside me to spring to life with a flurry of kicks and wiggles.
So before I get caught up in the things I'm not doing—living in a pristine home, cooking gourmet meals every night, being as "perfect" as I sometimes feel I should be—I take a moment to realize that even on these days of nothing, I'm doing truly important work.
These moments are not exceptional. But they are exceptionally beautiful.
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