“Maybe you haven’t been able to go on a date in over six months.
Maybe your quarantine has been filled with financial struggle.
Maybe your kids have been bouncing off the walls, treating your sanity like a trampoline playhouse, and you can only stretch so far before you snap.
Maybe stress—all the stresses of 2020—have sapped the joy straight out of your marriage and motherhood.
Maybe you’ve lost sight of your big picture because of all the overwhelming little details.
But all those details make the big picture. In our marriages. In our motherhood journeys. In our careers. In our lives.
I still remember flying in a plane for the first time to finally see my husband after two months spent apart. We were newly married, and two months felt like an eternity. After a 22-hour flight, my husband picked me up at the Frankfort airport, drove me home, and showed me the house he’d found in a tiny picturesque German village called Gries (pronounced Greece). One of the first things he showed me was the coffee maker and green mug he’d purchased beforehand and set up just for me. He didn’t drink coffee, but he knew I depended on it. Even in the midst of all those big things, this tiny detail stands out in my mind.
I still remember his face as he stared into my eyes while I puked with every contraction. I remember how miserable every minute felt, and how in a sea of hospital lights, nurses, and pain, his blue eyes grounded me. Much of my firstborn’s birth story blurs together, but the memory of my husband’s eyes never has.
I remember how he hugged me when I cried over the changes and fears of this year. We spent so much time talking about illness and movements and fears, even as he faced the uncertainty of his father’s diagnosis. I’ll always treasure how much time he invested in me during one of the hardest years of his life.
I remember how last week we picked out clothes from Target and ordered them online because we couldn’t leave the house. I got my husband two new pairs of jeans for work. They arrived this week and were the wrong size. He was careful to direct his disappointment and frustration at the situation and not at me. And this detail mattered. It still matters to me.
I remember the times we’ve brought each other takeout, changed a dirty diaper, cooked dinner, picked up toys, remembered to pay a bill, snuggled, and watched a show together despite a million interruptions…and the tumultuous stresses and changes of this year feel tied to the smallest details of all the normalcies we’ve shared.
In the moments we’ve put each other first, in the ways we’ve tried to balance each other out, in the days we’ve spent just going through the motions…
These small details have lent themselves to the bigger picture of the life we’re still working to carve out.
They’ve given me the strength to potty train my daughter even though I feel spent.
They’ve helped fortified my resolve to home school my son despite losing the plan I’d made to spend time writing.
They’ve helped me pursue my passions even when it’s not convenient. Because, let’s be honest, it never is.
The little things—not just the little things of this past year, but the little things from all my years on this earth—have helped shape what’s important to me.
They’ve helped me realize what truly matters. And what doesn’t.
So, no, I’m not going on dates with my husband or having girls’ nights with friends or spending time at the library with my kids.
But I’m cooking good food and I’m ordering in. I’m calling my sister on the phone and praying over group messages.
My family is making it.
So, I’m going to focus on the little things that help us thrive and do my best to let go of everything else.
I hope you will too.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Rachel Weidner of Indiana. Follow Rachel’s journey on Instagram here. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
Read more stories from Rachel here:
‘A stranger approached, startling me by placing her hand on my shoulder. ‘Can I do anything to help? Would you like me to buy you a coffee?’: Mom ‘surprised’ by young mother’s kind gesture, ‘I wasn’t as alone as I felt’
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