Poems & Essays

11 May

Overwhelming (In)Significance

General/Column 5 Responses

I wake a beat behind. A morning in sluggish motion with cereal and sandwiches requiring more attention than they deserve. A cold walk to school. Goodbye kisses rushed.

I return home to do the amount of daily required cleaning, laundry, and food preparations necessary to pacify my family. Lists and piles occupy my mind.

I pause and breathe deeply. I am overwhelmed by my insignificance. I impact only the world between the four walls in which I live, for the four people with whom I live. Nothing more.

I set down my pile and pick up the child reaching for me. His “hold you’s” supersede my “should-do’s.” I get on the floor and actually play. I smile at his musical words, uniquely made sounds from that tiny mouth. His body indents mine as we read.

I count his teeth; note the length and beauty of his lashes. I kiss his stomach and tickle his warm neck. I squeeze him a bit too tight and whisper time-stopping “I Love You’s.”

Infrequent are my insignificant days. My inability to revel in them pains me. I know their joy, yet feel their judgment.

I hear the voice telling me this isn’t enough. I hear it when I look beyond this, to the world outside. I hear What did you do all day? Why isn’t this done? What did you accomplish?

It’s my voice. I’m the accuser.

I cage my insecure monster of comparison.

I free myself with the truth all mothers know. These quiet days are blessed. These days — these moments — are a privilege.

I inhaled and loved my growing child today, I answer myself.

I look at his face and find my peace. I look in his eyes and see his world reflected. For today, I rest grateful in my significance to him.



Sonya Spillman is a lover of laughter, coffee, red lipstick and Jesus. She is a motherless mother who writes at spillingover.com to share herself with her kids, avoid paying for therapy, and give voice to a journey through grief, grace, and growth.

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  1. sara

    May 19, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    Thank you for this. This is me. “It’s my voice. I’m the accuser.” I needed this today. A reminder to stop being so damn hard on ourselves.

    • Sonya

      June 21, 2015 at 2:06 am

      Yes! We all know the years pass quickly- but it’s hard in the day to day to remember to accept this season of life.

  2. Kathy Marshall

    May 26, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    What a truly beautiful reflection on the days of a stay at home mother. I, as I am sure countless others, have experienced those exact sentiments. Regardless of what the ‘world’s’ standards are, or the standards we place on ourselves, the joy of spending so much time with your precious child cannot be matched. Every detail, no matter how trivial it may be on the surface, is a gift. It is a moment we are given once, and it passes oh so quickly.

  3. Kristen

    June 2, 2015 at 2:13 am

    Beautiful. This is my life right now. So well said.

    • Sonya

      June 21, 2015 at 2:09 am

      Thank you. We are in this together! These days will be over before we know it.


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