Saturday, February 15, 2014

The In-Between

I've read through Shauna Niequist's 'Bread & Wine' slowly. Very slowly. Read a chapter, try a recipe, re-read parts of it. I was awake before the rest of the house this morning, so I sat down to finish the book, and it's like I couldn't move past the first two pages of the chapter "Come to the Table". I just kept reading them, and reading again. This particular line especially

"We live in a world that values us for how fast we go, for how much we accomplish, for how much life we can pack into one day. But I'm coming to believe it's in the in-between spaces that our lives change, and that the real beauty lies there." 

I spent a good part of yesterday battling I do enough? Is this enough? The day to day, taking care of babies, shuffling boys off to school, homework and dinner and bath time and bedtime. For me, is it enough?
When I read back on those words it sounds so horribly selfish. But sometimes I feel so lost in the daily shuffle of life and motherhood. Like I'm in there…somewhere.
I texted a good friend yesterday and told her that I have to steer clear of certain IG feeds because they portray (whether intentionally or not) that they do it all. Great wife, great mother, successful business owner, beautiful hair, dressed to the nines, perfectly applied get the picture. And here I am, still in my PJ's at noon, covered in breast milk and baby food, breaking up yet another fight between my boys, dishes piled high, laundry not done, wondering what in the world is wrong with me? Why can't I do it all? Or at least half of it all?

As I finished typing out that last line, the first of my four children has woken up. Grayson, my early riser. He'll want a cup of milk, and his pillow and blanket so he can snuggle up on the sofa and watch a show. It's our weekend morning routine. The boys have their first swimming lesson this morning, and then maybe we'll go to Starbucks for treats. The day will be full of lessons and errands, feeding and holding and kissing on babies, breaking up fights, and looking on in awe as they get along splendidly two second later. Naps, and lunches, and maybe a shower if I'm lucky. And it will be enough. I may always struggle, wondering if I should be doing more, accomplishing more, wondering if I should BE more. But it WILL be enough. And I will choose the beauty in the in-between. 



  1. Sweet Alison.... Your heart in this post sounds exactly like mine... The other day I was running errands, and when I got home I noticed that I had dried spit up on my shoulder, and a sticker (not a small one) on my butt... Hadn't showered, hair was a mess... And I thought... "I'm such a mess"... Then I look at my smiling, laughing girls and realized it was totally worth it all...not to mention, I had accomplished 4 hours worth of errands!

  2. yes yes.
    love this so much, and you.
    hallelujah for the beauty and lessons and worth, of in between. XO

  3. Oh my goodness yes. You are enough. I hope we all choose the beauty in-between.

    When my boys were little I struggled with this so much. Some days I really regret not actively searching for or realizing the beauty in the mess. They are 15 & 13 now and those years flew by.

    I love this post Alison.

  4. you've got the right idea sweetie. because the in between moments of your children's childhoods will pass by all too quickly. and these memories (snuggling with saturday cartoons, lessons, starbucks) will last you forever.

  5. I love your honesty and candor. This post reminds me of one of my favorite quotes by Claude Debussy: "music is the space between the notes". Life, music. They're much the same, no?

  6. Beautiful! The older I get the more I realize that I can't (and don't want to) do it all. Learning to choose what's best (not housework ha!) And not sweat the rest too much had been so freeing. Keep up the great work and love on those babies!

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