“You guys, I found jogging shorts with pockets!” I exclaimed to a table full of college age ladies whom I get to mentor. They gave each other sideways glances and shook their heads. Was I missing something? Are pockets not the most glorious thing ever!? Eventually, one of them offered some perspective: “It must be a mom thing,” she said with a shrug of her shoulders.
What!? My thoughts were spinning. Doesn’t everyone at the gym have a phone and keys and headphones to juggle? Not that we would actually run with anything in the pockets, but doesn’t everyone get excited to have a place to stash the stuff between the workout and the drive home?
Then I realized the truth: moms are probably the only ones who cannot just simply hold these things in our hands. We have to be hands-free for the little ones we walk across the parking lot. Our hands must be ready to receive the beautiful coloring page of pink and purple scribbles they made so special for us. We need high-five hands available to acknowledge the sweet karate moves and ballerina twirls. How can mommy scoop up her whimpering toddler if her fingers are full?
Moms need pockets.
When I began unpacking my identity as a mother, I never expected pockets to be such a crucial part of the journey. But now, most of my dresses now have pockets. If they don’t, I wear jackets and sweaters with pockets. I chide myself every time I wear leggings without pockets. I have become a pocket-enthusiast!
Those B.C. days (Before Children, see what I did there) kept my hands full. On any given day I could keep a comfortable grip on piles of loose things: my cell phone, dog’s leash, car keys, wallet, journal, and lipgloss. However, if motherhood has taught me anything, it is that these hands were made for cultivating souls, not carrying stuff.
I am learning to appreciate the process of letting more things go in order to embrace my children: certain expectations for my body, goals for my career, and the never-ending impulse to appear impressive, just to start. None of these are bad, per say; they just keep my heart and mind and calendar too full.
I think we all need to find a lifestyle with pockets. We need more built-in margins of time and space to stash our extra stuff for a little bit. I need a place in my heart to store up some expectations for myself that are sometimes life-giving, but right now only serve as distractions from my stay-present mama journey. I need pockets in my social life, and deeply appreciate the friendships that span those extra gaps with grace for me.
Because my amazing kids are little, and I don’t want to shove them into the proverbial pocket of “I’ll pick that up later.” But I am still grateful for these lifestyle pockets that hold on to desires and dreams and details for later.
If you are wondering if you have been fully initiated into #momlife yet, check your outfits for pockets. I bet you have some. Let them daily remind you to keep your hands and heart free for your kids today; because there is grace and new beginnings for those pocketed priorities to be picked up when the time is right.
And if you are not a mother, but somehow made it to the end of this post, I encourage you to take some time to thank your own mom for her pockets.
Maybe even buy her a cute dress with some attached.