Sometimes I feel as though my life is on hold. I know the time is fleeting but it can be hard to scratch out these words in between reading stories, arguing over chores, changing diapers, and generally cleaning up, mostly to no avail.

I feel the pull to hone my craft in more disciplined regular ways and yet, I know that these little years are only brief. I question whether I am really cut out for this and if I’m wasting my education and talent. But I know that for this time, in this season with these children, this is the best place for me.

Some days, a lot of days, it doesn’t feel that way. I get tried of waiting to live and pursue the parts of me reaching for sun. I have trouble remembering that my children may just be my greatest work, not the impediment to my work. I know I may do other things in my life, and I hope this will be the case. But I need to try to play the long game.

This doesn’t mean that every minute of every day has to be about my kids. But I do have to work on realigning my priorities. I only get them for this short time. I’ll always be their mother, but these formative years, painful as they are, is the time to soak them up. I’m not going to wax poetic about how every moment of childhood is magic. Because that’s a lie. We don’t do big outings every weekend and most days are pretty ordinary. But it’s in the ordinary that I get to pause time.

I sat tonight next to my two year old on his tiny toddler bed as he played with a pile of plastic reptiles. I leaned into him and for just a moment, didn’t worry about all the other work to do. After five minutes or so, we both moved on with our day. But we connected, even in that little way. That’s what it’s really about for me.