Engaging Each Day with Action Words

Hold. — Space for your people.

on October 3, 2013

Dear Tired Working Mommas:

Lately, I have heard from many of you who are verging on the unhappy.




I get it. I can be there, too.

I want to share a lesson that I learned recently from my beautiful Y …. that was taught to me again by the four year old from across the street.

Recently, I had an … irritating day. Something happened at work that bothered me.

I thought about it on the way home. I rushed in the door and picked up X and Y and rushed them back out to ball practice.

And I kept thinking about it. The irritation and frustration and annoyance felt all-consuming.

After her practice, we came home, did dinner, did homework, did baths and showers, did tuck-ins. Did the typical evening things.

But it wasn’t until I was saying the last ‘good-nights-I-love-yous’ to the girl-child did I understand how my bringing all that work stuff home really impacted her.

Just as I was about to leave her room, ready to finish the day and wind down for the evening, she said in a small voice from under her covers, “You didn’t really think I did a good job at practice tonight, did you?”

“What?!” As I sat back down on the side of her bed.

“Well, every time I looked over at you, you were standing with your arms crossed, looking all mad at me.”

Sigh. The walking talking mirror that is my daughter strikes again.

She was totally right. I never realized how I was must have looked to everyone else around me, including her.

Standing, arms crossed, outside the fence, probably with a scowl-ish look on my face as I fretted and replayed and held onto the annoying things from work that day.

I had missed it. I missed the beautiful warm autumn afternoon. I missed her smiles from first base. I missed hearing her voice as she talked and laughed with her friends. I missed my time with the Mommas, declining to walk and talk, choosing instead to stand and be only with me and my work thoughts.

I missed the joy from X as he played and rough housed with his ‘little brother’ buddies (the boys that get dragged to their big sister’s ball games and practices so often, but have such fun playing together.)

I missed the whole evening, seeing it as another chore, another task to get done before I could call it a day.

What a waste.

I didn’t hold space for my people.

Instead I let annoying tasks and meaningless deadlines and frustrating work situations, take up the space that is supposed to be for my loved ones, my favorite people in the whole world: My kiddos and my Felix.

I let that other stuff take up my time, space in my mind, and I missed a beautiful evening with my people. My people who love me unconditionally and want me to play with them, want me to sit with them, want me to listen to their stories, sing them songs, read them books.

I let that other stuff become bigger. I carried it home and invited it into my house to have a seat in my living room and pull up a chair at my table.

Dear Tired Working Mommas.

I know it is hard. I know we work hard. I know it is a difficult thing to leave work at work and come home to more work at home. Even when we have wonderful partners or when we don’t, we are still the Mommas and we still have work to do when we come through the door at 5:00 p.m. (or later).

But let’s try. Let’s try to see our homes as our refuge. The place where we enjoy our life, our blessings, our time.

Be thankful for our work and our jobs, but let’s try not to see our family as our second job. Let’s try to see them as respite, where we refuel, where we refresh.

Let’s find ways to leave work when we leave work and BE. HOME. when we come home.

I know it is not easy. I’ve been trying for the past two weeks and I’m sure I have failed more than I have succeeded.

But let’s try. Again.


The other day Felix captured this picture and sent it to me.

I think it is just a beautiful, innocent, little image that brought me another powerful lesson on life.


The little guy across the street hasn’t started school yet.

And sometimes in the afternoon, he comes outside to wait for the bus. Sometimes for an entire hour. He sits. He waits.

He waits patiently with wondrous anticipation for the big yellow school bus to bring some of his favorite people home. His big sister and his fellow little brother buddy, X. He holds that space for them. Sitting on the hill. Playing in the grass. Watching the bugs. Soaking up the sun. He doesn’t miss a thing.

And when he hears the loud mufflers of that yellow bus come up over the hill and down around the corner, he jumps up and squeals for them and runs to meet and greet them. He can’t wait to hear about their day. He’s been looking forward to their arrival all day.  He has his bike helmet already on, ready to ride and play.

He held this space for them.

This space in his day. This space in his life. This space in his attention and excitement.

I know what you are thinking …. he’s four. It is easier when you are four. Sure, it is.

But let’s try. Let’s try to capture a little bit of this “being four” spirit.

Dear Tired Working Mommas.

Let’s really leave work when we leave work. No matter if we’ve had the best day or the worst day.

Let’s look forward to going home. Let’s find that wondrous anticipation as we drive over the hill and down around the corner to see our house and our kids outside playing. Let’s change our clothes quickly and get covered in kisses and hugs and “how-was-your-days.”

Let’s hold that space for our favorite people.

Let’s try and fail and try again.

To leave work when we leave work.

To BE HOME when we are home.

And hold that space for our most loved.

For the ones that really matter.


25 responses to “Hold. — Space for your people.

  1. Lead Our Lives says:

    Another wonderful story…and one that clearly illustrates what happens when we allow the past or our fear of the future to rob us of this moment. The one we are really in. Right here, right NOW. What lovely angels we have among us who so gently remind us of who we are – the mommas to the innocent, beautiful ones entrusted to us for a brief time. Here’s to the power of presence; the power of NOW. Your stories are full of wonderful lessons; timeless treasures. 😉

  2. genext13 says:

    Reblogged this on Genext13 and commented:
    On the spot my dear, on the spot.

    • MommyVerbs says:

      Thank you so much. Just writing it today made me be intentional about leaving work when I left work and then really, really being home today.
      Thank you for sharing. 🙂

  3. […] Hold. — Space for your people.. […]

  4. ldwillia says:

    This is really, really good. One of your best yet.

  5. Sara says:

    Very timely and honest. Lovely post.

  6. Katy says:

    So very true! We often miss out on the best part of our day bc we can’t just BE HOME! Thanks for the reminder! 😊

    • MommyVerbs says:

      It is hard. And we are all balancing a lot. So, let’s just try and remind each other and hold each other up as needed. That’s what we do, right?!
      Eat well. Play more. Choose happy.

  7. shannon says:

    Thank you for making me remember how quick those precious moments can go…I crave to get home to see my 3 angels and sometimes by the time I get home I am exhausted and don’t spend the energy I should. I am going to do better because I don’t want to miss those moments!

  8. AJ says:

    Choose presence. It’s so true that our people notice when we are not present. Our people are the mirrors of our souls. I love this post for so many reasons (one is that I still need the validation for my choices). Being with our people is what life is really all about. Happy Friday, friend. Enjoy your people with vigor!

    • MommyVerbs says:

      I’m trying, friend. I’m trying. Everyday. And now if you don’t mind, I will be a mirror for you: Be in the present. Accept your choices. Celebrate them. You did the right thing for you at the right time. You don’t really need validation anymore. It is just new. You are just getting used to a new normal. And that is just awesome. You go do that, with vigor. I think you are awesome.

  9. blowingoffsteamandmore says:

    Beautifully written and so true!! I am a stay at home mom and I think that even though I don’t work outside of the home, I could still stand to benefit from this advice sometimes! We all could. Thank you!

  10. Eva says:

    What gorgeous thoughts! I read so something the other day…somewhere ( isn’t that always the way?) that reminded us that the first things that our children see on our face should be a smile of live. Obviously not going to work ALL the time but it has made me more mindful in my greetings, and even when they work into a room.
    Great blog 🙂

  11. kellyholmes says:

    SUCH an important reminder. Thank you for this! I love the mental image of “holding space.”

  12. kellyholmes says:

    SUCH an important reminder. Thank you for this! I just love the image of “holding space.”

  13. […] open my mind to thinking about my chat with my friend and a recent post by MommyVerbs about holding space for the people in our lives we truly love and want to share time and memories […]

    • MommyVerbs says:

      Thanks for sharing! I love this and believe it to be true. Because it is true. We can do amazing things. Things we thought were impossible.

      We can move beyond simple existence to superb experience.

      You are my hero.

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