As soon as your eyes pop open in the morning – usually involuntarily, thanks to a toddler clomping into the bedroom - it’s all systems go.
Nappies to change, breakfast to prepare, bowls to get out – no, the red one, not the blue one! The clothes to wear, teeth to brush, goodbyes to Daddy as he goes to work.
The chores stare you in the face; the dishes to be cleaned, clothes to be washed, hung, folded, mess to be tidied, floors to be cleaned, heck, your own face to be wiped every so often.
Wait a minute – what’s the rush?
Slow down, Mumma.
Take time to breathe.
It’s something I’ve been trying a little bit harder with this year.
Because the days are flying by and I fear that I’ll soon forget them.
Parenting stirs up a mix of emotions
In fact, I find myself, as a parent, inhabiting a rather odd space that is filled with a
mix of grief and anticipation.
With a smile, I grieve that my little boy doesn’t look so little anymore. And yet, two years from now, I’ll be grieving-and smiling as I remember how little he was at this point in time!
With joy I anticipate his years to come, how he will grow and change before my eyes.
Make the most of the moments you have
It helps to slow down and feel this space as much as I can. To stop every so often during the day and soak up memories.
To look into the eyes of my children, see their spark, their cheekiness, their personality shine through and connect with my heart.
To take two minutes to dance to a song my son loves and marvel at how he has the energy to jump through the entire thing – and then some!
Slowing down on your own is helpful
It’s good to slow down without them too.
This year I have taken to leaving the house every 3-4 weeks on a Saturday morning. It’s my ‘me too’ time. Time to go somewhere and just be me. To listen to music. To write. To dream. To recap where I’ve come from and where I’m going.
Mums, slow down. Even if it’s just for 30 seconds.
Go to bed early, when you can.
But also, go to bed late and enjoy the stillness of the house.
Spend time on your own, when you can.
But also, spend time with your family just . Get out of the house together, enjoy
the sunshine and fresh air together.
And husbands/partners – please do everything you can to help your wife do this. Because when she does, she is a better mother and wife for it.
I know this because it’s true for me.
Slowing down gives us time to recharge and return with joy
And with my moments of slowing down, coupled with a longer block of time, I am refilled, recharged and I can return to giving myself with joy to my family.
Household chores remain. But they’re rarely urgent.
The most pressing thing on my agenda is to simply slow down.
Sarah Urmston previous articles may be viewed