Catching The Sunlight

posted in: Motherhood, Parenting, Scrumplet 87 comments

I wrote about babies and sleep over at Everyday Family. Want to know what I’ve learned so far? Click over to read, thank you!

It was 11.00 AM, on the morning-from-Hell – early-rising, crumb-leaving, non-cooperating children had just pushed me to my limit. The amount of energy one has to call upon to not yell, to be patient, to still smile and hug and be present – it’s sucks you right dry.

And so, the husband had taken the 3 year old out to tire him for his afternoon nap. I was sitting on the floor with the baby, trying to tire him out for his nap.

We were playing cars, zooming and rolling. Suddenly, I saw him whip his head around quickly, and just as fast, he was on his hands and knees, crawling away.

Hey buddy, where are you going?

He stopped, and started swiping the floor with his hand.

At what? I wonder.

He was trying to catch a stream of sunlight that had come through the sheer curtains. Finally realizing it was futile, he put his head down on the floor, looked right at where the light was coming in, and smiled.

You silly baby bear!

It struck me then, that my son was living in the moment. The only way babies know how.

Something I seemed to have forgotten, amidst my string of daily to-dos and non-stop swirl of things in my head – blog ideas, meal planning, books I’m reading and want to read, the shopping list.

I was zooming at a million miles an hour and was missing the scenery.

I was not catching the sunlight.

And so, I put my head down, next to my baby boy, and let the warmth of the sun settle on my face. For a few minutes, everything else fell by the wayside, and seemed a little smaller, a little less overwhelming.

I was catching the sunlight.


Do you take a few minutes each day to just relax a little? If so, how do you do it?


Alison Lee is a former PR and marketing professional turned work-at-home mother. After a 10-year career in various PR agencies, and of the world’s biggest sports brands, Alison traded in product launches and world travel, for sippy cups, diapers, and breastfeeding. Alison's writing has been featured on Mamalode, On Parenting at The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Everyday Family, Scary Mommy, and She is one of 35 essayists in the anthology, My Other Ex: Women’s True Stories of Leaving and Losing Friends. In 2012, she founded Little Love Media, a social media consultancy specializing in blog book tours, and because she doesn’t sleep, is an editor at BonBon Break, an online magazine. Alison lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with her husband and four children (two boys and boy/ girl twins).

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  • January 21, 2013 Christine

    I feel like “Catching the Sunlight” would make a good book/song title. Sweet post. I certainly do take a little time each day to be in the moment, you know….aummmmmm.
    Christine recently wrote…From My Childhood To Theirs- Things I Saved For My KidsMy Profile

    • January 23, 2013 Alison

      If I ever write a book, perhaps I will use that as a title!
      No wonder you always look so serene. πŸ™‚

  • January 21, 2013 Rach (DonutsMama)

    Kids sure know how to remind us to slow down and just live, don’t they? I constantly catch myself trying to do everything all at once and I have to tell myself to just slow down, leave the dirty dishes and just go play for a few minutes.
    Rach (DonutsMama) recently wrote…Party OnMy Profile

    • January 23, 2013 Alison

      I’ve been doing the play thing more with Monkey and it’s working wonders. Less tantrums/ meltdowns and we don’t even really have to be doing much. Sometimes, we just sit together. πŸ™‚

  • January 21, 2013 Nicole(Whole Strides)

    Some days I do. I should make a point to do it every day. It really does re-align your thinking.
    Nicole(Whole Strides) recently wrote…Blah, blah. Filler, fillerMy Profile

    • January 23, 2013 Alison

      It absolutely does. And it’s necessary!

  • January 21, 2013 Laura at Mommy Miracles

    Love this Alison! It is so awesome that our kids can make us look at the world in a totally different ‘light’. I am trying to teach them how to live but they remind me that I have forgotten so much about living somewhere along the way.
    Laura at Mommy Miracles recently wrote…HomesickMy Profile

    • January 23, 2013 Alison

      Thanks Laura! My kids surprise me every day, and this was a good surprise. πŸ™‚

  • January 21, 2013 Natalie

    What a beautiful reminder Alison…it is wonderful to see things through the eyes of a child πŸ™‚
    Natalie recently wrote…The Big Five MonthsMy Profile

    • January 23, 2013 Alison

      It so is!

  • January 21, 2013 Stasha

    Wish we all stopped and caught the rays more often.
    Stasha recently wrote…Monday ListiclesMy Profile

    • January 23, 2013 Alison

      You know, what’s to stop us?

  • January 21, 2013 Kimberly

    I have been trying so hard to do this more lately. I was way too caught up in the to-dos, the laters, the work, the reading, and I was missing the moments.

    Love this post! And what a great reminder to us all to step back and enjoy the small moments.
    Kimberly recently wrote…Tricky ToddlersMy Profile

    • January 23, 2013 Alison

      And I see you’re doing that, capturing the moments, love your last few blog posts! πŸ™‚

  • I felt relaxed just reading this! It’s a little late to catch sunshine at the moment, but I am hoping to get some vitamin D tomorrow πŸ™‚
    Victoria from the Busy House Big Heart recently wrote…First Few Days of MotherhoodMy Profile

    • January 24, 2013 Alison

      Just a few minutes makes a huge difference! Hope you caught your sunshine.

  • January 21, 2013 Kim

    Alison, this is so beautiful. ‘Stopping” and soaking up tiny pieces of Time is something I am trying to get better at…because lately? Time escapes me and I lay awake sometimes wishing I could get it back…


    • January 24, 2013 Alison

      Thank you, Kim. That’s the thing about Time. It just slips past us.

  • January 21, 2013 Mirjam

    I can not tell you how much I love this post.
    And what a perfect photo to go with this post!

    Catching the sunlight..The perfect phrase to find the joy in those tiny moments.
    Mirjam recently wrote…shelterMy Profile

    • January 24, 2013 Alison

      Aw, thank you Mirjam!

  • January 21, 2013 June

    Beautiful post, Alison. Am always wanting to slow down and “catch the sunlight”. It’s amazing that it’s a new year and already I’m like a puffer-train. Need. to. slow. down. :l
    June recently wrote…The bad mood fundMy Profile

    • January 24, 2013 Alison

      Definitely need to slow down. Here and there, not every day. πŸ™‚

  • January 21, 2013 Kim

    Moments like that are one of my favourite things about being a mom. When children shrink the world for you and give you pause, a moment to breathe, and just take in amazing of this world. Love this Alison!
    Kim recently wrote…Mr. IndependentMy Profile

    • January 24, 2013 Alison

      I love that, shrinking the world for us!

  • January 21, 2013 Kir

    I don’t…not as much as I’d like. I feel like I’m just living through my life lately, trying to get from sleeping back to sleeping. I think I’m depressed right now…and I don’t like it because it means that I’m missing things. I really am. I’m missing lots of stuff , so I will take your advice and try very hard to catch those RAYS in the next few days and think of you.

    Kir recently wrote…Wanton WebMy Profile

    • January 24, 2013 Alison

      Oh my friend. Talk to me, okay? I hope you catch some rays in the meantime. xoxo

  • January 21, 2013 ilene

    OH, I love this! Taking even the smallest moment to recognize joy. It goes a long way, right?
    ilene recently wrote…It’s ComplicatedMy Profile

    • January 24, 2013 Alison

      It definitely does!

  • January 21, 2013 Leighann

    This is something we all need to do more often.
    Slow down and take in the beauty around us.
    Leighann recently wrote…I Saw Your BumMy Profile

    • January 24, 2013 Alison

      At least a couple of times a week, definitely. πŸ™‚

  • January 21, 2013 Ado

    Your best post ever.
    I really loved this. Thank you for writing it, and for the reminder all moms need – to live in the moment.
    Loved. This.
    Ado recently wrote…Mommy’s A Closet HypochondriacMy Profile

    • January 24, 2013 Alison

      Thank you so much, Ado! Made my week.

      • January 24, 2013 Ado


  • January 21, 2013 Alexandra

    Yes, yes, Alison.

    We need to catch that sunlight, before it’s gone.

    Love this.

    If I knew how to Pinterest, I’d Pinterest this till it had enough pinholes through it for the sunlight to burst through.

    Alexandra recently wrote…What? You Don’t Google “Large Black Mole” at 3 a.m.?My Profile

    • January 24, 2013 Alison

      I know you would, because you’re awesome personified.

  • January 22, 2013 Olga

    I don’t but I should!!! It sounds silly but maybe that needs to go on everyone’s google calendar. 12:00 to 12:30 Catching sunlight. With: whoever is around.


    Thanks for the reminder!
    Olga recently wrote…The Promised SlopesMy Profile

    • January 24, 2013 Alison

      Hee!! I like that, Olga!

  • January 22, 2013 sarah

    beautiful Alison. This is what it’s all about friend. Our children are such good teachers πŸ™‚
    sarah recently wrote…the sunday spill: the slurp heard ’round the worldMy Profile

    • January 24, 2013 Alison

      Oh yes, yes they are. And thank you.

  • January 22, 2013 Carrie

    Oh I love this. You’re so right…kids can teach us a lot about living in the moment!
    Carrie recently wrote…Then and NowMy Profile

    • January 24, 2013 Alison

      Thank you, Carrie!

  • January 22, 2013 Mrs. Jen B

    I’m so glad you were able to soak it in for a little while. It is so, so easy to forget that, really, right now is all we have.
    Mrs. Jen B recently wrote…#HonorMyself Monday: Because We’re Worth ItMy Profile

    • January 24, 2013 Alison

      Lovely, true words, Jen. Now is the time we have, and we shouldn’t miss it.

  • January 22, 2013 Susanna Leonard Hill

    What a lovely reminder to stop and smell the roses, Alison. It’s all about the journey, and if you’re not enjoying it, than you’re missing out. Glad you got to catch some sunlight with your baby πŸ™‚

    • January 24, 2013 Alison

      And we’ve been doing more of it ever since!!

  • January 22, 2013 Tess

    I really need to do that once a day. Days go by so quicky and we need to slow down.
    Tess recently wrote…Making Money Monday-Make Your Blog StandoutMy Profile

    • January 24, 2013 Alison

      It only takes a few minutes, just breathe in, breathe out, and catch some rays. πŸ™‚

  • January 22, 2013 Lady Jennie

    That’s pretty! The image and the photo.

  • January 22, 2013 keely

    Girl, why you wanna make me cry?
    keely recently wrote…January Date: Ice Skating (And Nary A Trip To The E.R!)My Profile

    • January 24, 2013 Alison

      Because I can.

  • January 22, 2013 Jessica

    That can be so hard to do when they are tiny. Take heart, sweet mommy, it does get easier to find the time and energy to catch those sun rays as they grow more independent. You are doing a wonderful job, even on the days when you think you aren’t.
    Jessica recently wrote…How To Find A Lost PetMy Profile

    • January 24, 2013 Alison

      Thank you for your sweet words, my friend. xo

  • January 22, 2013 My Inner Chick

    **11.00 AM, on the morning-from-Hell – early-rising, crumb-leaving, non-cooperating children**

    great line, Alison Lee. x

    • January 24, 2013 Alison

      It always makes my heart flutter when a writer like you, Kim, tell me I wrote a great line. xo

  • January 22, 2013 Elizabeth Kane

    Oh, I love seeing a dash of sunlight from the window. You wrote the scene so well – I can see both of you in that moment living in the present.

    • January 24, 2013 Alison

      Thank you, Elizabeth! We are lucky, where we are, we catch the rays in the late mornings. Without fail.

  • January 22, 2013 TOI

    beautiful, just awesome. living in the moment, this one just pure. i love the picture too.

    I love going for walk (not now because the cold is biting the bone) and enjoy the little details of this city have been calling home for the past 21 months πŸ™‚
    TOI recently wrote…Week 3My Profile

    • January 24, 2013 Alison

      Walks are terrific! Also, good exercise. πŸ™‚

  • Catching the sunlight… such a beautifull expression. Such a beautifull post!

    • January 24, 2013 Alison

      Thanks Tinne!

  • January 22, 2013 Asianmommy

    Aww…how sweet! I’m always rushing to get where we’re going and to do what we’re supposed to be doing, but kids always have their own agenda, whether it’s staring at ants and looking at the moon. It’s a nice perspective.
    Asianmommy recently wrote…Having a Chinese New Year PartyMy Profile

    • January 24, 2013 Alison

      They do! My oldest literally stops to smell the flowers (well, when he was younger, now he just wants to pluck them), and has forced me to slow down our walks.

  • January 22, 2013 Amanda Jillian

    Aww it’s good to slow down and look at the rose and smell the sunlight. Yeah I know I mixed them up its more fun that way.
    Amanda Jillian recently wrote…Looking back and seeing the growthMy Profile

  • January 23, 2013 The Dose of Reality

    This is the most charming and sweet story ever! So glad you took the time to catch the sunbeam with him!
    The Dose of Reality recently wrote…Top 10 Reasons We Can Never Be The Fashion PoliceMy Profile

    • January 24, 2013 Alison

      Thank you! He’s hard to resist. πŸ™‚

  • January 23, 2013 Jessica

    Yes, I do! It’s the only way I stay sane! To relax, I like to read novels or paint my nails or something else that seems totally inconsequential but really isn’t inconsequential to my life. I used to LIVE by to-do lists. I lived by them so much so that I never could enjoy the moment. I was always rushing and feeling like I never had any time. It was horrible! I ditched my to-do lists and rely just on my memory. If there’s too much stuff for me to remember to do, then I know I’m doing too much!
    Jessica recently wrote…Hello, 30. Love, Jessica.My Profile

    • January 24, 2013 Alison

      Reading – I love reading. It’s getting lost in the words and another world.
      To-do lists are great (I still have them), but sometimes, they need to be put aside, and we just need to stand still.

  • January 23, 2013 Heather's Happenings

    Beautiful post. I need to learn from this and take some time to catch the sunlight. Maybe I won’t feel so overwhelmed all the time.
    Heather’s Happenings recently wrote…Guest Blogger: Emmy MomMy Profile

    • January 24, 2013 Alison

      It really helps, do it!

  • January 23, 2013 {Meg} Phase Three of Life

    This made me tear up… I think I need to read it every morning. πŸ˜‰
    {Meg} Phase Three of Life recently wrote…Finishing the unfinished posts.My Profile

    • January 24, 2013 Alison

      Aw, thanks Megan. May you catch many rays of sunlight. πŸ™‚

  • January 23, 2013 Not a Perfect Mom

    catching the sunlight….perfectly said…
    This may be my new favorite post, I’ll need to print it out and carry it around with me when I feel like I’m going going going too much
    Not a Perfect Mom recently wrote…How To Lose Weight In 2013My Profile

    • January 24, 2013 Alison

      That’s a big and sweet thing to say, Holly, thank you so much.
      Slow down, eat a booger, sit on the bog. πŸ™‚

  • January 24, 2013 Christine

    I love this imagery Alison. And lying down on the floor like that next to your baby and in the sunlight? So so wonderful. I definitely don’t take as much time out to relax as I should. I did it for a day I think, then forgot about it. Oops πŸ™‚
    Christine recently wrote…How Content Brew saved my blogMy Profile

    • January 24, 2013 Alison

      Yoga should be pretty relaxing – well, Shavasana usually is for me (my favorite asana!). πŸ™‚

  • January 25, 2013 Jessica

    This reminds me of my dogs. They love to enjoy the sunlight when it comes in the house. Occasionally I will join them too.
    Jessica recently wrote…Barely There: Comfort Every Day of the WeekMy Profile

    • January 26, 2013 Alison

      Dogs and babies – they know how to enjoy life!

  • January 26, 2013 Runnermom-jen

    Yes, take a moment, and just breathe…easier said than done. Sunlight makes it easier, though, yes? Babies are so smart.
    Runnermom-jen recently wrote…Eight is Great…My Profile

    • January 26, 2013 Alison

      They most certainly are!

  • January 27, 2013 Julie Jordan Scott

    Oh, I love this… our little ones are so astute at offering us wisdom whether it be through sunlight or their sweet smiles or, when they are slightly older, words of pure truth.

    I am here from the SITS Saturday Sharefest. I am so glad to have visited! I’m going to pin this, also!
    Julie Jordan Scott recently wrote…Imogen Cunningham: Artist, Photographer, and Mom Who Was Ahead of Her Time.My Profile

    • January 27, 2013 Alison

      Julie, thank you for loving this, and for Pinning! Thank you for dropping by!

  • January 27, 2013 Tonya

    Beautiful. Truly. And a moment is all we need sometimes.
    Tonya recently wrote…UnwaveringMy Profile

    • January 27, 2013 Alison

      Yes! Well, a string of moments πŸ™‚

  • February 3, 2013 Katie

    The boys force me to do this too. They demand I sit on the floor even if they don’t want me involved in their “play”. It’s to have me close instead of disconnected with other “stuff”. It’s then that I see chubby hands at work to figure something out…or how Charlie adores the falling snow…or how Eddie becomes struck memorized by any truck that goes past.

    Love this post.
    Katie recently wrote…Project 365 {week 5}My Profile

    • February 3, 2013 Alison

      Sometimes, that’s all they want, just to have us close. They’re much smarter than us πŸ™‚
      And, thank you.

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Alison Profile PictureI'm Alison. Writer, a mother of four (two boys and boy/ girl twins), social media enthusiast and book lover. A believer in the power of chocolate and hugs. Chugging coffee as I type. Want to know more?

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