Ayva loves to snuggle. On the rare occasions that she catches me with both hands free, she cuddles up to me and pulls my arms around her tightly. On days when I have a gazillion hours of work left to do, and I’m on a deadline, that cuddle can feel like a distraction. My mind starts trying to figure out how I can get loose and back to work without hurting my baby girl’s feelings, and I feel like a bad mom for not being in the moment.
The other day, I asked Ayva why she liked to cuddle so much. She kissed my flabby biceps, snuggled up closer and said, “Because your arms are so soft and extra squishy. This is my favorite place.”
That’s right. While I’m trying to multi-task a hug with my baby girl while scrolling down a social media timeline, my mind in two places at once, Ayva is exactly where she wants to be. She’s in her absolute favorite place with her absolute favorite person, and I’m focused on…the internet? A blog? A job? Other people’s issues?
That right there was a game changer.
It’s not fair for everyone else to get the extra squishy pieces of me. The energetic, upbeat, positive, present Brandi. The one that has time to sit and listen and offer advice and guidance to folks. When I’m out with people, I’m aware of not being rude by putting my cell phone away during conversations, giving folks eye contact, and making sure I’m being a good friend. Meanwhile, when I get home, my family gets what’s left.
For the most important people in the world to me.
Later that evening, after I’d questioned Ayva about her love of cuddles, I officially recommitted myself to my family. Because I’m dramatic, I wrote a declaration of my intentions, and listed out what that recommitment would entail. I shared it with my husband, and just a few days later, I already feel the effects on myself, and on the energy in our home.
What are you giving your family? Do they get the stiff armed, busy mom type love that’s all you have left after you’ve taken care of everyone else, or do they get the extra squishy mom who is relaxed and present and always down for an extended cuddle session? Just remember that your job can’t hug you, and your friends (both IRL and online) have their own families and issues to tend to. Family is our biggest blessing, and treating them as such, with big ole snuggly, extra squishy hugs and attention, is the best way to show our gratitude for that gift.