Saturday, 21 November 2015

Taking time for myself - with my kids!

‘Me time’ had become non-existent in my life while my two eldest were toddlers, and I had come to believe that I didn’t really even need it. I suppose I also rejected the notion of ‘me-time’ as being self-indulgent, especially when there are little kids who needed my attention and focus.

Being surrounded by my family and being intimately involved with their lives is my joy. I don’t need a life separate from them, I thought. I have come to realise that in order to maintain my clarity, focus and sense of self, I need some time alone to think, time to be, time to reflect, plan, hope, wish, dream…and that this time renews my energy and perspective.

I know that to be present and focussed for my children I need to be present and focussed within my self. If I am anxious or overwhelmed, or tired and achy, this seeps through into how I interact with them through the day. I get it now - at least a little quiet time each day is vital so I can catch my breath.

I have been gradually finding ways to weave these moments into my day without anyone really noticing that's what I'm doing, and without taking me away from my children.

  • Remembering to breathe - big long, deep breaths. Breathing together with the kids when tempers are rising is great too. My 2 year old is becoming a master at calming himself with a few breaths - I'm amazed! 
  • Taking a few moments while I am harvesting in the garden to walk slowly, appreciate the beauty and observe. Sometimes I gather a little posie of flowers and herbs for the table - to bring some the garden beauty and scent inside. 
  • Remembering to stretch throughout the day - and having fun doing this with the kids on the rug. 
  • Stopping for a moment to just listen to the sounds of nature around me. Doing this with the kids too is fabulous. I ask them some focus questions ...What can we hear? What bird or insect is that? How many different bird songs can we hear? And then see what else we hear - always asking lots of open ended questions to stimulate our imagination...What do you think that truck in the distance is doing? 
  • Lying on the trampoline and watching the clouds - the kids love this too and we look for shifting shapes and faces.
Cloud watching




2 comments:

  1. Lovely how you have learnt to weave the time into normal everyday happenings. It reminds me of when I walk or play with our little grandsons. I always find something to draw their attention to. Can you hear that bird or they see a camouflaged dragonfly...look grandma, a dragon as I peer round and finally find it resting on a blade of grass .
    They are very precious times when children are with us. Savour them :)

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    1. They are precious moments indeed! They remind us to be present in each moment and to appreciate every little thing, and to value what really matters. I think my kids are my best teachers!

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