Motherhood Mantras: It’s Just a Small Moment

This post is part of a series called “Motherhood Mantras.” To read more about the series, and the full list of writers, click here.

I push my glasses up with the back of one hand as I breathe my hair out of my eyes. I’m sighing my way through this night. Swaying in place, I find my new, although quickly becoming familiar, rhythm.

The light of the moon slivers through sheer curtains. Outside’s darkness is mirrored within our home.

Kayli is curled onto my shoulder, my hands curving around her small frame. Sweet sleep is within fingertip’s reach. Her cheek presses deeper against me, her lips purse, and loosen around her pacifier.

I tense through my shoulders and arms and hands and heart.

She, of course, feels this and instantly wakes, arches her back, cranes her neck, widens her mouth. The pacifier falls to the floor, its tiny tumble a lone echo before her cries fill the space around me, making it small, tight, suffocating.

A single tear slides down my cheek, meeting Kayli’s own version of the same.

It’s just a small moment.

Two year old Chloe slides into my lap, she fits perfectly there. Her small legs dangle against mine as she leans into me. I soak in her skin’s warmth, her cotton skirt’s pinks, and her cocoa locks’ strawberry scent.

I wrap my arms around her toddler tummy. It’s delicious.

And for this one minute, we sit, puzzle pieced to each other.

It’s just a small moment.

Kayli and Chloe lay on their bellies, their bare feet crossed at the ankles. Brody is splayed on a blanket in front of them.

Chloe slides her fingers in and out of the blue knits while Brody’s tiny fists and toes sway in the space between them. The girls’ voices weave their own patterns around him, Twinkle Twinkle laced with giggles and the occasional, “My turn!” He watches them with the kind of awe reserved for younger siblings.

Laundry and dinner and the layer of dust revealed in the evening’s last rays tug at me. But I settle deeper into the green chair, pull the yellow fringed blanket over my toes, and breathe them in.

Because this too, is just a small moment.

Keeping that smallness at the front of my MindHeart is my motherhood mantra. 

Every mothering moment – from the dark to the glowing – is so very small and so very fleeting. Sleepless nights and crying newborns are woven deeply with belly laughs and tiny fingers laced tightly with my own.

I can pick up the golden moments, place them in my HeartHand, and enjoy them.

And as for those dim ones that we all have – they, too are small and fleeting and passing. Strand by strand, we weave our motherhood story, one small moment at a time.

Galit Breen is a Minnesotan author, blogger, and mother. On any given day you can find her juggling three children, one husband, one puppy, and her laptop. Galit blogs at These Little Waves and tweets at GalitBreen.

54 thoughts on “Motherhood Mantras: It’s Just a Small Moment

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  • May 31, 2012 at 7:44 am

    Oh dear sweet friend. You have no idea how much I needed to read this right now. Love, love, love this. And you. xo

  • May 31, 2012 at 8:15 am

    I love this. To treasure the small moments because added up they make the big ones. When things get crazy here, I will remember this post. Thank you.

  • May 31, 2012 at 8:40 am

    I remember the swaying and the sighing and oh those small moments. While I know we’re done at #3 when I read things like this I can’t help but consider #4 :).

    Galit – I know I have said this before but your words are gifts and I am so thankful you share them with all of us.

  • May 31, 2012 at 9:05 am

    So lovely, Galit. You’re just plain inspirational on so many heart levels. xo

  • May 31, 2012 at 9:23 am

    How lovely. As always, the picture of you and your children together is so wonderful. My motherhood mantra is “He is only five” right now.

  • May 31, 2012 at 11:44 am

    The farther away I get from my kids’ babyhood, the more of the happy smallmoments I remember and the fewer of the difficult ones.

    Some days, I hardly recall anything but the sweet and lovely; and it’s then that I long nostalgically for my little ones to be little again.

    I know that’s not reality. I realize being a mama to small children is/was full of challenges.
    But I do love also that what my heart holds onto most now is the goodness of it all.

  • May 31, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    This is perfect, Galit. The small moments, the simple things, the little puzzle pieces…all of those make up the big picture…and I hope my children will remember the happy and don’t dwell on the “dim”.
    Beautiful writing, beautiful post.

  • May 31, 2012 at 5:50 pm
    Permalink…so true! Today I happened to write about loving from a distance, or one-sided love. Being a step parent makes “these small moments” a bit more challenging as there are not many (if they are older when you marry). This has been my challenge. However, last year, I got a text from my then 17 year-old step daughter on Mother’s Day. That is my ONE small moment I hold on to from her. Especially with the days of recent with her.

    • June 5, 2012 at 7:14 am

      I read your post – your words are so very transparent and raw. (I love them.)

      And I love that you focused in on something to hold onto. We do what we must, right?

      Thank you so much for your words here.

  • May 31, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    The funny thing about being mindful of the small moments, I find, is that as soon as I am aware that I am experiencing a small moment, it slips away. As if I’ve broken a spell. Reminds me of Martin Buber’s “I-It/I-Thou” philosophy.

    You capture these moments with such delicate and palpable force, G. Thank you.

  • May 31, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    Beautiful, Friend. Simply beautiful writing. I could actually see Kayli’s mouth around her paci. Thank you for sharing.

  • May 31, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    Galit, I loved it but I would not have expected less. I need to find some way to tap into this unbelievably ability you have to be present in all of these moments and not only that but to then capture them so well. For me it all flies by and I barely noticed it happened but am left turning my head waiting for it to come back.

    • June 5, 2012 at 7:16 am

      Oh I love how you wrote that.

      (And for the record, this happens to me, too. So very fast, yes?)

      Thank you so much for your kind words, you.

  • June 1, 2012 at 6:18 am

    Just gorgeous Galit. Exactly the small moments I breathe in, write about and try to cherish everyday.

  • June 1, 2012 at 6:20 am

    Oh my…just gorgeous Galit. Exactly the moments I cherish, breathe in and write about. Loved every bit of this.

  • June 1, 2012 at 9:15 am

    I think that I’m more appreciative of those moments since I’ve been so ill. I try my hardest to cling to those small moments and hold them above all the ugly ones. It’s what keeps me going every single day.
    Love you Galit. xo

  • June 1, 2012 at 10:23 am

    Just lovely. Truly, I would expect nothing less, but this really touched me on the last day of school, with my oldest two due to come home in an hour as middle schoolers. Grade school itself has seemed like a small moment to me. Thank you for the moment of reflection.

    • June 5, 2012 at 7:20 am

      Thank you, so very much.

      (And I’m feeling that same slice of nostalgia. Endings (and beginnings) do it to me every single time.)

  • June 1, 2012 at 10:36 am

    Oh how I wish you could go into the memories held closely in my heart and put them into words. I would never be able to give them the love and warmth that you do if I had to put them down on paper. Your children are so very lucky to be able to not only feel your love but to read the love in the words you choose. xo!

    • June 5, 2012 at 7:21 am

      Thank you for that, sweet friend. It means the world to me!

      And I do think and hope that our kids will look back at our blogs and feel/read/see their small moments “live.” That’s why we write out of love, right?

  • June 2, 2012 at 12:20 am

    So beautiful, Galit! I think my motherhood mantra is “I’m grateful to be a mom”.

  • June 4, 2012 at 3:41 am

    1. This, too, shall pass.

    2. The days are long but the years are short.

    3. It’s only hard if you’re doing it right.

    Lovely, my sweet Galit. As always.

  • June 4, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    What a lovely, lovely mantra! Those times are so precious and well worth holding onto! 🙂

  • June 5, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    My motherhood mantra is: if I keep telling them how much I love them, maybe they’ll forget all the mistakes I’ve made.

  • June 5, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    Yes. Those small moments. They are, in fact, great treasures.
    Gorgeous post, you.

  • June 6, 2012 at 10:29 am

    Beautiful. Thank you.

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