Her arms are wrapped around my neck and I inhale deeply, wishing I could memorize the feel of chubby limbs pressed against me, that perfect feeling of her weight against me as she relaxes into sleep.
Is there anything more perfect than holding your baby in your arms?
It may sound a little crazy, but I admit that I love seeing parents hold their little ones in their arms—there’s something so incredibly special to see that perfect love and trust that only a child to a parent can give. There are no smartphones vying for attention, no screens clamoring to distract, no notifications that could ever possibly be more important. There’s just one complete and total connection when arms are wrapped tightly in a perfect hug.
I admit that I’m as guilty as any other connected working mom out there. My phone is never very far away and the little buzz of another email arriving in my inbox never ceases to get my fingers itching to check it. I’ve rocked babies to sleep while browsing my Facebook feed and snapped pictures of my kids, only to immediately turn my back on them to post their smiling faces.
It’s so hard sometimes to balance the benefits that technology has provided me as a mother, from a babysitter never farther than a text away to bill payments on-the-go to a career that has enabled me more flexibility to be home with the babies I work so hard for, with the constant lure of a connection that will only always be fleeting and false.
But I’m working on it.
Simple steps, like actually shutting down that darn phone so I’m not tempted to check it, focusing on one task at a time instead of always, always trying to multi-task, especially in front of my children (think about it: how does it make you feel when someone’s on their phone in front of you?), and carving out intentional screen-free time in our house.
And the benefits are there, just waiting, warm and welcoming like a hug:
Laughter in our home instead of the busy background noise of competing screens, conversations over crumbs and going-cold coffee at our breakfast table, moments spent cheek-to-cheek with the littlest ones who sometimes just need me—all of me and my attention—in their lives.
I am struck lately, on the presence of the biggest nemesis in my life, that sneaky little thief of time and how she is taking my babies, one-by-one, away from me. My babies are growing and (quite literally!) won’t always fit in my arms, but yet I know that I need to find a way to always hold them close to me in some way.
That might mean different things as they grow and as we both change as mother and child, but for now, holding my babies close is actually quite simple.
It’s about shutting down and connecting.
It’s about snuggling down and giggling.
It’s about kissing little cheeks and smiling.
It’s about spending time together without any other distractions.
It’s about rocking my babies, holding them close, and taking any and every chance I can to pull them close to me in a hug.
Because when the arms of my baby are wrapped around me in the world’s most perfect hug and I inhale deeply, breathing in that perfect little baby smell I realize that I already have the only connection I really need in my life.
No Wi-Fi even required.
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