Finding Time

November 15, 2011

The saying is true, “time flies”. It feels like just yesterday that I was here last. It feels like just a moment has passed since I had Landon, since I was a mother of two, since life with my children began.

Time and I have been on a collision course these past eight years. I try desperately to slow it down, it just forges ahead, or keeps speeding up. I blink, and another milestone has been hit, another birthday has passed, another stage has been reached.

Since we were last together, Jacob has turned 8, Elwood has turned 6, and Landon is almost 9 months old. Crawling and cruising have been reached, another soccer season has come to a close, and the winter edition of Rhythm of The Home is almost upon us.

So why the absence? That is a tough question, mainly because the answer still surprises me. In late August of this year, two events took place that changed my mind about time drastically. The first was my Aunt Missy was diagnosed with lung cancer, a tumor the size of a baseball. The second my sister in law’s brain tumor returned. Two vibrant women in my life who seemed to have just been delivered the worst of news. Time was once again marching on in a way I did not like. Both survived their surgeries, and both are doing amazing. Still, a reminder that time is certainly not infinite.

So I decided that if I could not stop time, I would dance with it in the most natural way possible.

When I had Jacob, I tried to cram everything into the time that we had. We did everything, saw everything, not a moment was ever missed. Every craft was made, every holiday perfectly prepared, every garment hand knit. It felt like perfection, but something was missing.

With Elwood I raced even harder, making two of everything, sewing, knitting, baking, dreaming planning, crafting. It was beautiful. My friends awed at all that we could “accomplish”, I patted myself on the back for all that I could do for my children. Still, something was missing.

Five years passed, those two boys have grown and expanded and become amazing young children. I am proud of them, and I know that they value their childhood. But as Landon’s time on this earth approached, I knew something was still missing.

Then in late August, I figured it out. Please understand that this feeling that I had deep inside, it was mine. It is not being put into words to project onto others. It was just what I knew was right for me. I was missing the time to just be.

So I grabbed the time that Landon and I had, and I held on tight. There were no handmade items at the boy’s birthday, Landon has no hand knits to speak of, there is no special quilt, or amazing holiday spectacular to show. There is, however, 9 months of napping with my children, quiet walks in the woods, and an autumn that we cherished so quietly, but together. I have not missed a moment, have not crammed a million things into every nap. I have just been here, and allowed myself to get lost in the experience.

I would not necessarily change anything about the way that I raised my older boys, but I had something to prove to myself that has simply melted away over time. I never wanted to get lost in mommy hood when I was young. That might sound harsh but it is the honest truth. I needed to show everyone, but mainly myself, that I could stay relevant, even as the title of Mother was added. It is the world we live in, the stereotypes that we allow to happen, or just my simple insecurity that drove it. I am thankful that Jacob and Elwood feel as though I was always there for them, but it came at the expense of spending half of every night creating what I thought that they needed.

As Landon has shown me, all that we need is time together.

So I arrive back in this space, back in my craft room, back at my knitting needles with a sense of peace for time. I love to craft, I love to do, and I will write about all of those things with joy here, but I have savored time, and I am so wildly grateful for the ability to do so. I think that what I am most grateful for is that this is a space where I can just be me, can share the things that I love with others who enjoy them, and I am leaving my need to be anything more than I am at the door.

{ 52 comments… read them below or add one }

Linda November 15, 2011 at 5:49 pm

So beautiful to read Heather, it's lovely to visit this wonderful space again, thank you.
Love
Linda

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margaret b. November 15, 2011 at 5:55 pm

Beautiful… So well said. Your words resonate deeply…

Blessings!

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kerry November 15, 2011 at 5:57 pm

You have been on my mind in these past two days especially. I'm not sure why. This post is beautiful and puts into words part of what I was feeling in my unplanned break from blogging not too long ago. Thank you Heather!

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Andrea November 15, 2011 at 5:57 pm

Heather, I love this post! How wonderful and honest and beautifully put. It's so hard not to get caught up in the externalities of life–the going and doing and making–and so easy to forget to sit back and enjoy the time now and then. All those other things are important and satisfying in their own way, but they tend to take over and throw life out of balance. Thanks for the reminder to just be.

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adkmama November 15, 2011 at 6:01 pm

Yay! My friend has returned! Such a beautiful post, you and your words have been missed.
Mmmmwaaaaa!

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Nina - Tabiboo November 15, 2011 at 6:05 pm

It's so lovely to hear from you Heather and I am so sorry for the awful news and tough times your loved ones have had, but am also ever so glad both are on the road to recovery.

I think sometimes time is all we need and it sounds like you grabbed it whilst you could (and can) and made the very most of it.

take care and enjoy every moment,

Nina xxxxxxx

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Dawn November 15, 2011 at 6:12 pm

I am sorry for the sad news about your loved ones. What you wrote today resonates so deeply with my own feelings. I have been in a similar frame of mind lately. Thank you for sharing this- and I was happy to see you back. ; )

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Laura November 15, 2011 at 6:35 pm

Good for you! Enjoy your time, the boys will love you all the more for it! Glad your Aunt and Sister in Law are fairing well~Laura

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earth mama 101 November 15, 2011 at 7:17 pm

Oh my…Heather I am SO happy for you that you let yourself experience that! It is so hard for many mothers to just stop drop and be when they have their littles. There is something that that space provides that no hand knit or crafty creation or any achievement will ever give anyone! I am glad to read your words…as I have been thinking lots and lots about you…hoping all was well.

:)Lisa

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Julia November 15, 2011 at 7:17 pm

I'm so glad you are back as I really enjoy reading your blog. I feel as though I took a similar journey earlier this year. Taking a long break from blogging and trying to be super-mum was very good for my soul. Just "being" with our children is really all they need, the other stuff is good when it happens.

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Pamela November 15, 2011 at 7:23 pm

This post brought me to tears. We lost my nephew over the summer, and I experienced a similar epiphany. All these moments are so much more precious. Many blessings to you and your family.

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Sarah Jane November 15, 2011 at 7:41 pm

Heather, I'm so glad your aunt and SIL are doing well. You're always an inspiration of staying true to yourself. Take care.

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anushka November 15, 2011 at 7:44 pm

your posts always make me tear up. i'm glad you're back and that all is well in your world. i'm sorry to hear about your family members' scary diagnoses. it is hard to even be a witness to such suffering let alone be the one going through it. it sounds like you have learned from them though which is a beautiful thing. it's so good that you've gained so much self awareness out of trying times. you also give others who visit here a chance to feel okay about not getting everything done that they would like to – all the hand knits, perfect birthday celebrations, homemade bread everyday etc. thank you.

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Daisy November 15, 2011 at 7:50 pm

Thank you for this. xxxx

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Angela November 15, 2011 at 9:15 pm

Gorgeous and wise post. I hear ya! Please send my best wishes to your dear aunt and sister-in-law.
Thank you for this beautiful post.
xoxo

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PlainandJoyfulLiving November 15, 2011 at 9:19 pm

You are so blessed Heather to have this wonderful time.
(I had not read your blog post before I emailed you….)

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Claudia November 15, 2011 at 11:03 pm

That is just what I needed right now. I always want to do so many things, I often forget "just to be". Thank you Heather.

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Francesca B. November 16, 2011 at 12:10 am

Beautiful post, Heather. i am glad you're back. I am very sorry to hear about your sister and aunt but let's keep positive….as for what you write, all the crafts are , after all….well, things. I see these beautiful blogs with mothers making the most astounding things for their kids. But….maybe even their kids need less. Sorry if I offend somebody, but even those beautiful toys and games and all the rest are "stuff"! Enjoy your time, it woin't be back. Crafts will.

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sherene November 16, 2011 at 12:12 am

Well said mama. I often feel I should post more pictures ( even print pictures) and then I remember- I'm too busy just being here to always be documenting it. And I feel I'm on a learning path, and how and what I learn will be passed onto my children-so what do I want them to learn, because they will be the mommy's someday. And I want them to enjoy it oh so much!
I'm glad you will still share with us what you will, because I enjoy it.

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molly November 16, 2011 at 12:17 am

You are one wise, wise woman, my friend. Thanks for speaking the truth, bold and clear.

Until you return, then, whenever that may be,

xo,
M

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lynn November 16, 2011 at 12:50 am

thanks for your thoughts-it was just what i needed to read right now.

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Maeghan November 16, 2011 at 2:26 am

Beautifully written. Welcome back and thank you for your kind words over at Green Acres today. Sending hugs to you!

hugs and AOE!
Maeghan

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shannon November 16, 2011 at 3:09 am

Heather – you are speaking my kind of language. I can easily slip into that place of – oh, I didn't do this or I didn't do that (i.e. make knitted items for my boys) but I too have been feeling a deep desire to shift, to slow down and to enjoy the space that simply IS with my boys. these early years, as you so know, are just zooming on by. and so happy to hear you have recognized this need and have enjoyed the simple moments with your little guys. thank you for sharing this part of your journey with us. us mom's NEED to hear this because I think so many of us LONG to slow down, but are split between that and keeping up with all the other mom's who seem to be able to do it all. hell, I didn't even make a cake for ashton's first birthday. i did make some gluten free cupcakes but kept it all SO simple. and i was relaxed, present and enjoyed every moment of his celebration. big hugs to you and your family and happy to see your post today.

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heirloomseasons November 16, 2011 at 4:57 am

The time to make, sew, knit, will always be there. The time to just be with our little ones is only here now. So glad you have found the time and peace, and so nice to hear from you. You have been in my thoughts. Sending love… Renee

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rhythmoftheyear November 16, 2011 at 11:31 am

Good for you Heather and thank you for your frankness. The surrendering that mothering asks of us can be so hard, certainly the world around us does not recognize it. It was with my children's emergence from early childhood around age seven that I felt myself begin to have the energy and the interest in the outer world again and now I miss those babes in arms and snuggles and cuddles and days that felt out of time. Enjoy the sweetness of being present with your littles and know that it is the greatest gift we can give to each other, to be present. It used to be it was the grandmothers who got to do all the knitting and the great aunts..one day that will be us,

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Lindsey November 16, 2011 at 2:28 pm

Your words about your desires to stay relevant when you became a mother resonated with me. I was so determined (and still am, I know) to be myself still. I thought it would be good role modeling for my children. This fall, in particular has been so very full of work and activities that the time you mention has not been savored in our lives and I'm feeling its toll right now. Your words have captured so much of what I have been feeling lately. Thank you for sharing them.

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Lynn November 16, 2011 at 2:29 pm

So beautifully put, Heather. I have decided that if the homemade watercolor chore charts, the wet-felted slippers and the (store-bought) exquisite European wooden figures bring me joy and sustenance, then great. But they're not what my boys need from me. What they need (even at 6.5 and 13.5) is my presence, plain and simple.

(I'm happy to hear that your loved ones are on the mend…)

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Adrie November 16, 2011 at 4:21 pm

Heather,
I'm so thrilled that you've been able to create so much space and time for yourself this year! As much as I've missed your voice here, I've been hoping you were "busy" doing just that. Hugs to you and yours.

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Anna November 16, 2011 at 4:36 pm

Heather, I am so happy to see your beautiful writing once again. I was worried that there were health concerns in your family — glad your relatives surgeries went well and will send positive thoughts your way. Ironically I spent my children's early lives much as you described — just being mom — getting done what I could, but mostly just being with them. It is only in recent years that I've tried to make and do and cram crafting time into my busy life. Opposite directions of ours and yet, I think they are both right for each of us. Good for you for letting go and learning to just be. I'm still working on the balance of that, crafting and working. Not doing the best job of it, but trying to find my footing. Much love to you! Anna

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AG Ambroult November 16, 2011 at 5:55 pm

welcome back, hether. You were missed, but it's so great to read your beautiful words once again. Everybody needs a change at some point. I've just come back from a bit of a break myself.

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AG Ambroult November 16, 2011 at 5:56 pm

…and apparently, I'm a little rust at typing. HEATHER!

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renee @ FIMBY November 17, 2011 at 1:17 am

This was my favorite post in my reader this week.

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renee @ FIMBY November 17, 2011 at 1:18 am

Ps. Missed you. But we see your time was better spent elsewhere (smile)

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kyndale November 17, 2011 at 3:58 am

So well put. We try hard, we do. Sometimes doing nothing and just being is what we need to do. There's always the ebb and flow of it all. I'm glad you were able to really enjoy your third one. I'm very sorry to hear about your loved ones. Thinking good thoughts for them. With Love, Kyndale

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Brooke November 17, 2011 at 4:22 am

I definitely needed these words of wisdom as I sit here nursing sweet babe number four :) Thanks for the reminder. I hope I will remember it tomorrow!
glad to hear your aunt and sis in law

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Missy November 18, 2011 at 4:04 am

Much love to you mama! Hope to catch up soon…

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BoCoMama November 18, 2011 at 4:08 am

It's like you can read my mind

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gretchen November 18, 2011 at 8:06 pm

love it. finding peace and listening to yourself, and letting go, and saying no (and yes to other things) are so important. happy thanksgiving!

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Denise November 19, 2011 at 1:18 am

so well said. you were missed.

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dominika November 19, 2011 at 6:51 pm

so good to "see" you back…so understanding your words and always reminding myself to pause and be there with all of ME to give, especially at this time of the year!

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growingwildfarm November 23, 2011 at 11:22 pm

yes!

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6512 and growing November 26, 2011 at 4:09 am

Such a lovely tribute to just being with motherhood. You will never regret that time. xo

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kate November 26, 2011 at 5:49 am

yes, my friend, yes. just right. and come and go as you please~ you'll be well aware of that inner rhythm of needing to just be, especially having given yourself the gift of falling into it….xo

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Jen November 27, 2011 at 8:36 pm

I applaud your courage and your bravery. I have recently gone through a similar transformation of thought. It was scary to me to think of how much time I had spent in trying to give everyone the next, the best experience. It wasn't time wasted, and I do still consider it awesome. As time marched on though, I came very close to a breakdown, and knew that I would never be the same. I had been trying so hard to keep up with what everyone thought of me too…almost like I had created my own monster. I'm glad you are well. I'm glad that even in the trials you have had strong women to look to and reflect from. May God bless you abundantly.

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lis November 28, 2011 at 2:55 am

very well said. i have my first baby right now, he is six months old today, and yes, time flies. i am doing that dance of trying to soak up every moment with him as well as make/do everything i think he needs. i get caught up in documenting the process instead of just being in it. and really, we both just need me to lay down and take a nap with him each day. that may be the best thing.
thanks for this post, you spoke to my heart

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Shivayamama November 30, 2011 at 4:40 pm

Thank you Lis. I love the nap times so much too, they are the most cherished part of my day :).

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Shivayamama November 30, 2011 at 4:48 pm

Thank you Jen, your comment touched me. I think that scary is a very good word for it, and I am right there with you about having no regrets or feeling of time wasted. I love the time that I took to create with my older boys, and to put so much effort into wanting them to have everything beautiful and handmade, but I think that they most likely would have been just as happy with my time, with me in every moment, and that is super special. Keeping up with what people percieve us to be is impossible, it is like running your head at full speed into a wall, and then getting right back and doing it again. I hope that you are well too, and that time is slowing down a bit for you. Thank you for taking the time to stop in and share your thoughts. It is much appreciated.

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Shivayamama November 30, 2011 at 4:50 pm

Thank you so much Denise, that means a ton.

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Lacey November 30, 2011 at 8:30 pm

Thank you! maybe it's 3, but I've been in the same place. with this third one it's so much more important for me to sit and tickle and smile and enjoy! She doesn't have much that I've made just for her, and maybe that's a sign of what's in store for her…but I'm at a new place when it comes to parenting/life. It's not about cramming it in, but making what does get in worth it. I'm certain I could pump out a few more projects, and create more from scratch but there is some benefit to taking those things a little less seriously. A 'wasted' morning at the library, or in the garden, or out for girl's time and coffee is a treat that I'm happy to afford the kids, and myself.

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Shivayamama December 9, 2011 at 2:08 am

Those \”wasted\” moments really are the best :)

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Shivayamama December 9, 2011 at 2:41 am

Thank you Gretchen. Letting go feels so very good right now. Happy Holidays!

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Sarah Warren June 16, 2015 at 9:59 pm

I stumbled across you blog today Heather, and as usual, you leave me in awe. I hope to see you again sometime soon.

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