I will be transitioning into a newer routine soon as I pick up on work that’s going to be a blend of writing, coaching, setting up the nuts and bolts of my business, and also doing some consulting for a start-up. I know the blocks of downtime will be fewer than what they were in the last ~ 4 weeks but I hope I can bring the essence of calm, peace, relaxation and spend my days in alignment and integrity with what matters as best as I can.
I had written about the arc of my days here and the joys they include here and one of the best things has been how much I have enjoyed parenting over these last few weeks. I want to acknowledge that my kids are at a relatively independent age at 8 and 5.5 which means I still get to experience a lot of life with and through them but also get to maintain a strong sense of my own identity outside of being a mother and attend to my own needs as well. Here’s a raw snapshot of some magical moments and the insights and learnings that they brought into my life.
It was beautiful to not feel rushed and always look at the clock when around the kids. There was a general feeling of being time-rich where there were many evenings where we could do family board games but also have time where we could each have pockets of solo time. My kids love having chunks of time alone to build legos and I could go into my room and light a candle and do a 20 min restorative yoga class online.
When the kids wanted to stop at the playground on their way back home from the bus stop, I could almost always say yes – “let’s go down the slide” and there was something so joyful to have more space for play with them. We baked cookies, had more play dough on our palms, and got to experiment with one of my favorite art techniques with young kids (melted wax crayons!) for valentine’s day cards. I have happy memories of this from my own childhood and realized I used to do this a lot more with Vivaan but had never tried it with Saveer and the experience of flow on a weeknight as a family was rewarding.
On the first day of my break, the kids had early dismissal and when Saveer found out I had “no more meetings” for the day, he instantly asked – “Mumma, can we go for a bike ride” and I say yes, of course, and we both escaped for 2 hours to a nearby golf course and explored a new playground. He has probably been the most thrilled with our new life in the home. It’s been joyful to fill up his cup and also watch how much that fills up my cup too in this season.
And then there were many more moments for special time, our favorite ritual to have some 1:1 time with each kid and perhaps my most effective parenting tool in general. Of course, there would be fights on who gets special time with mommy first. Sibling bickering and squabbles didn’t magically disappear but I had more emotional capacity to be present and respond more patiently. We had more room for play dates on weeknights with popcorn and roasted fox nuts (Vivaan’s favorite snack and lunch these days!)
And then there were relaxed bedtime routines. I still co-sleep with the kids, never thought I’d be one of those moms but here I am and for the most part, it works really well but again with every decision there are costs and trade-offs but I digress. We still tried to all sleep by 9 on most nights and the last hour was typically spent in some version of reading, snuggling, conversations, gratitude prayer, peace cards. There was always the negotiation of can we stay up a few more mins but I noticed my energy was calmer as I wasn’t as rushed and stressed by the end of the day. Saveer has lately been into picking up his “journal” and drawing out his day, his thoughts and feelings, and of course bringing in some elements of childhood goofiness. Last night he brought my journal too and said – “Let’s journal together Mumma.”
I won’t know the “real” impact on my kids from this season – 4 weeks isn’t that long either but I know it will be one of my favorite seasons of leaning into being a bit more present and making joy and connection a real priority through the day. Yes, I was told I was “mean” and “not kind” but I was quick to notice, repair, and practice trying again. I wasn’t perfect by any means but I tried to parent and live from a place of more integrity and intentionally choose what filled up our days, our hearts, and our bellies (still trying to reduce our candy and sugar intake that has gone up since the start of the pandemic!)
My next parenting goal – learning to play video games, ha!