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


  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 :)

    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!