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Journal Kids

happy friday + being present…



The other night, as we were getting Ruby dressed for bed, I turned my head for one second and she fell off her changing table. Luckily, all her body parts stayed in tact and unbroken. But I held her tightly and cried and felt ashamed that I'd let that happen. While I know that it was an accident and that every parent goes through something similar, it made me realize that I wasn't focused on her completely in that moment. I may have been thinking about the work I needed to do after she went to bed or that I was cold or hungry or that I had to pee. Had I been paying complete attention, I could have prevented our little fall from ever happening.

I've realized that being present in each moment (while working, enjoying time with friends, or being with my family) is something I really need to be better at. Because as great as multitasking can sometimes be, it's not so great when your brain goes somewhere else and you lose sight of what you're doing during that particular moment in time.

…and how could I not soak up moments like this?


  1. Such great thoughts, Joy. I think about this often. What I am learning is that it is important we give ourselves compassion through the growing pains of this lesson. And Ruby is officially the cutest baby in the world!

  2. clearly the milestones of moms are inline with those of their children, I just wrote this same post yesterday, except mine fell down stairs. You are an amazing mother.

  3. Ah hun…Every mama has that moment. You’re ahead of the game, though. They’ve proven people really, truly can NOT multitask. It’s impossible. You’re just ignoring one thing so go ahead and chunk at your time and enjoy that cutie. No one will fault you. She’s too darn cute! Love how she looks at mama! ♥

  4. Joy, I think every mom has that moment and I know from experience how bad it feels when it happens. You are definitely not alone.

  5. Oh, Joy! While I agree that being present with your little one is both difficult and important, cut yourself some slack! All kids fall down, period. Moms are so tough on themselves! I’m glad little Ruby is okay, and please don’t let yourself feel bad about this little incident! The ruby video had me smiling ear to ear, have a great weekend.

  6. This exact thing happened to us a few months ago. Fortunately, I was able to catch my daughter by her sturdy little leg. I held her upside down (how I caught her) and promptly burst into tears. She was totally fine and stared bewildered at crying mama! Being present is so important! *

  7. Awe, this is such a sad but sweet post today. I often find myself daydreaming and drifting off in the middle of every day tasks or conversations and always think I need to be better at that, too. I suppose it’s human nature. The important thing is that you learned a valuable lesson and little Ruby is a-ok! Have a happy weekend!

  8. Joy,
    be easy on yourself. I carry in my wallet a quote:
    “The most important thing she learned over the years was that there was no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one.”
    -jill churchill
    Every time you doubt yourself as mother, list in your head five ways you are a good one. So happy to hear Ruby is just fine. You are doing a great job!

  9. sweetest video ever! my little guy is 19 months, but isn’t quite that verbal yet! we’ll keep working on it 😉

  10. Joy, thank you for sharing this. It’s a remind to all of us mommies out there. Like you said, you are not the only one let the happened. I often caught myself thinking about work and other things while spending time with my girls. While I’m physically present, I’m not emotionally present with them. It’s something that I have to work on and I always remind myself that they are only little once and don’t be an absented-minded parent.

  11. I wrote about this a bit back…very true.
    I find myself thinking of everything else but my babe sometimes…I worry about her falling off the changing table as well!
    Sometimes I take a big breath and then re-focuz. Harddd to do. Phew.

  12. I too wrote a blog post about being more present for my girl a few weeks back…I’m currently 24 weeks pregnant with my 2nd baby, and with the full time job as a fashion designer, my 2 Etsy shops, all the house chores & the tiredness due to my pregnancy, I realized I had to step back a little & take more time just to sit don’t & play with her!
    There’s no such thing as perfect parents…but I think we all try our best and just realizing that we might not be there 100% all the time is a big step towards being better parents! 😉
    Cheers to you Joy!

  13. Great thought for the day, thanks for sharing! I’ve made it a point to keep my smartphone in my purse or pocket when eating or hanging out with my husband or friends. Things can wait, and it’s more important to be in the moment and give people your full attention. Seems like its normal now for everyone to have their phone on the table at all times. Take a quick instagram of my food then put it away 🙂

  14. You echo a lot of thoughts I have as a mom to a young child. It’s wonderful for moms to share these types of thoughts with one another so that we can all remember that we’re not alone, and that no mom is perfect, and that we can be wonderful, loving moms who also make mistakes from time to time.
    Your daughter is so cute, I love the way she says her name!

  15. Sorry to hear about that fall, but I think you were doing the best you could. Sometimes things like that do happen, and it’s ok, especially if she’s ok. Don’t be so hard on yourself.
    I love seeing clips of Ruby though. Love her voice! 🙂

  16. I’ve been thinking a lot about this as well. My husband was laid off 2 weeks ago and while it’s been stressful at times to think about it, it’s been so nice to have him home. We’ve enjoyed smelling the roses and being present even when we’re just sitting on the couch watching tv. Funny how you miss the little things if you’re not concentrating in being in the moment all the time. As for little Ruby, don’t beat yourself up too much. She’s all in once piece and from the looks of it she’s quite a happy little girl 🙂

  17. Hey Claudia,
    So sorry to hear about your husbands job 🙁 The one thing I can say about losing a job is that it will result in an even better opportunity and the chance to figure out what that will be.
    Thank you for your note and hope you guys are well!

  18. Isn’t it the worst feeling? We had a similar moment a month ago, I had left our Little Miss on the sofa with her father and he looked away a moment too long and she fell head first on the floor. I were both so shocked to hear the loud “whomp” but thankfully she was ok. I totally echo you, a second is all it takes for disaster to take place… Plus every moment really is so precious!
    xoxo PARIS BEE kids blog

  19. our son is 9 months old and has fallen off the bed multiple times (the first time he was 4m/o and basically learned to crawl backwards within the ten seconds it took me to reach for a toy – no one told me they could even do something like that at 4 months). i was prepared for it though, friends had warned me that it was inevitable, so i pretended to be perfectly calm and held him and sang to him until he stopped crying. i took him to the doctor and she just said “oh don’t worry, their bones are so soft and flexible they just bounce off the floor like a ball, he’s perfectly fine”. and when i shyly told people what had happened, every single parent i know, including my own, had a similar story to tell. we all fell off of things as babies. so don’t worry joy, this is as much a normal part of your motherhood as it is of ruby’s childhood. just think how much easier it’ll be with your second kid after you survive everything with ruby 🙂

  20. oh goodness this melts my heart!! what a sweet girl you have. i totally understand being shaken up by the incident but thankfully she is 100% ok! it’s clear to see that you are a devoted mama and ruby is blessed to have you pouring your heart and soul into mothering her. xo

  21. You’re so right! It’s important to focus on the present, especially as a big multitasker. I find all the time that I have to remind myself of that. But don’t be too hard on yourself about the fall!! That’s all a part of being a parent, I think… it’s not the easiest job in the world. 🙂

  22. You are a great mom who obviously adores her little one. (That video is precious!) Accidents do happen all the time, so don’t feel bad. Your baby is absolutely perfect in every way; and it’s evident that she loves you and your hubby very much.
    Have a lovely weekend!

  23. Parenthood has been my ultimate lesson in being present. I am also a graphic designer who works from home (with childcare in our home during the day), and when I’m “off” from work it is sometimes really difficult to just put the laptop away and be 100% engrossed in being Mommy when I still have work thoughts creeping into my brain. I’m trying my very best to push work aside when there are more important things to do, because at nearly 8 months old, I’m already seeing how very fast my little Graham is growing. I want to soak it all up as much as humanly possible!

  24. Just yesterday, my 16 month old fell out of her crib. She’s a climber. I was in the room and I turned my head to see her just as she was falling. She fell on her head. Thankfully, she is OK, but I’m still traumatized. I had to ask myself what I could have done to have prevented that, but I don’t think there is anything I could have done.
    I think your philosophy is great but I also think that you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself. Accidents will happen and yet moms will always find ways to feel guilty.

  25. Our six month old fell out of our bed the other day, it was horrible- he only cried for a short while…. But you feel SO bad for not paying attention. Maybe we should all lay off the mommy guilt though… I find that I am often soo hard on myself.
    Like your blog by the way! 🙂

  26. She’s a treasure… Be kind to yourself tho…we’ve all had little mishaps like this…we’re human. Being present is a wonderful goal and we need to remind ourselves about it daily.

  27. Don’t be too hard on yourself! Look, children is some little unpredictable treasures, and we cannot protect them every single time, even though we’d really want to be able to. But, we have all fell down from the bed, or the stairs or something, but look, we are allright still, aren’t we? 🙂

  28. i read this when you first posted it and the next day while i was using the bathroom (mama needs just one minute of alone time, right?) my little man crawled over to the dog bowl and got a claw in the face. we rushed to the ER and he ended up with one stitch. i feel like the worst parent in the world for not being there. so, thanks for sharing this. i’ve been too ashamed to say anything or even leave the house because i don’t want to have to explain the bruises and cut.

  29. Aw, I know the feeling. Ruby fell and hit her face on the side of a fan and had the worst bruise on her cheek for a couple weeks. Glad your son is okay!

  30. hi joy! i love reading your blog and your entries on motherhood have been especially helpful b/c i’ll be a new mom any day now. i love how you’ve made little videos of ruby – can i ask what you use to shoot the videos? is it the iPhone?

  31. My oldest fell off the change table twice. So traumatizing, but she was fine 🙂 Try not to beat yourself up about it, Ruby is obviously happy and amazing.

  32. I know what you mean, I wrote about this a few months back. I just think as ambitious women we’re trying to do it all: family, excel in our careers, care for ourselves, friends, etc etc etc so it can be easy to respond to emails while having dinner or anything of the sort. I just finished Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In” and many times as women we forget to lean in into our present lives, the things that matter. It’s a hard balance but you’re a great mother. But this is such a great reminder, let’s ALL try to be more present! #2013Goals

  33. You are a wonderful mother.
    I had a similar event happen to me where my darling Charlotte rolled off our bed, falling onto the wood floor. The one time where I wish we had wall-to-wall carpeting.
    Do not beat yourself up. We must learn to forgive ourselves! Your daughter is blessed to have you.

  34. hi Joy!
    I just wanted to share with you that in this moment, I am feeling bogged and stressed over a research assignment. I had to scroll through your site to watch your little 14 second video of Ruby.
    I watched it three times and now I feel better!
    thank you <3
    ~ Jenny.o. (an early childhood educator who needed a little baby magic!)


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