Rush: a working parent anthem

Parenting

Last Friday morning I RUSHED*.

In a space of one and a half hours after 5:45am when our son woke, I:

  • read books and had cuddles with part 2 (a delightful start to the day)
  • made breakfast for both of us, through escalating calls for it
  • dressed two kids (mostly compliant)
  • made coffee, tried to eat breakfast – gave up on the latter, tried to drink the former before it went cold
  • read another book to wriggling children, among debates about which book, what was next on the list of things to achieve and who was going to be sitting on my lap
  • found clothes and two sets of spare clothes from the washing basket – preparing for a country day trip on which the small folk and husband were about to head
  • located nappies, wipes and the like
  • found gumboots for stomping in mud, shoes for all other activities
  • sorted car entertainment and extra car entertainment (wrapping a surprise treat each to help husband in case of crisis on the long trip home)
  • sorted food packs, with an small array of healthy but smile-inducing treats, and water bottles
  • brushed hair (not so compliant)
  • managed bouts of vociferous protest and sibling debate
  • packaged up in all in car with husband and waved goodbye*.

Then I started to clean the kitchen and get ready for work.

Unsurprisingly, I felt RUSHED. And we only have two kids.

On the way to work something let me slow down a little. This is unusual, and…was quite a pleasure. This is what I noticed: it was a beautiful day where I live. The sky was blue, the day cool, there were wispy clouds in the sky. There’s a lot to enjoy.

The cherry tomatoes I packed for lunch looked awesome. Not just fresh and delicious but a lustrous rich red colour too. it made me want to jump in and devour them immediately. If I could fairly represent their deliciousness with a photo, I would.

By 11am the dulcet tone of my day had worn off. This is because working, for me, means focus, attention and speed. In short, rushing. All day. The reason is a good one: so I can be home in time for baths and bed. But it puts me on high alert for hours, which can be wearing.

So at 3pm I took myself for a coffee and a look at the world. There’s always a long list of to dos at work, but just for a brief moment, I felt as calm and observant as I did early on.

And it sent me a little reminder: that every now and then we should All. Just. Stop.

And.

Enjoy what there is.

The time may be fleeting but often it’s enough just to pause, refresh and see the world with clarity.

I hope that today, you also find a little Stop in your day. And I hope that you enjoy it. x

*Intentional caps and italics because that’s how it feels.

**I do note that husband helped with prep work – sometimes it takes two just to get hair brushed!

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