I have this romantic notion of what it would be like to go on holiday with my children – it’s romantic because holidays are so far out of reach at the moment – the excitement and anticipation of boarding an aircraft with little ones (completely ignoring every single hellish story I’ve heard about travelling with young children) to go somewhere away. Away from home, work, reality and into a place where you just relax and enjoy each others company, some sun and fun together. As we won’t be going on holiday any time soon we’ve made a decision to work a bit harder at getting those experiences in our day to day lives.
So now, at the weekend, we have developed a pretty good routine. One day we devote to doing something outside, fun or interesting and the other day we do normal weekend stuff (food shopping, gardening, cleaning, sorting etc etc). So far this has been brilliant. Chris and I have made a decision to be more active with the children, to develop a lifestyle where being outside is the norm. So far we’ve felt like we’ve had a little holiday moment each weekend. We (I, Chris doesn’t have the same level of beeping, buzzing, flashing phone that I have) switch our phones to Airplane Mode. My phone is our only camera so we need it when we’re out but it’s just so peaceful to know that nothing else will disturb me. We can be present, in the moment and just there. I have been doing this in the week too, spending some quality, uninterrupted time with the children among all the other things that are necessary when you work more hours than you have childcare for.
The strangest thing has occurred. I have been relaxing more, spending time away from the constant demands on my attention from my phone and computer and work and I have been more productive. Less stressed, slept better and been more productive – less time thinking and more time ‘being’ has been hugely beneficial. When I read that back I think – yes, that makes total sense (duh?!), but this is so contrary to my usual ‘busy busy busy’ routine that it has come as quite a shock. I have been taking better care of my health too, which I’m sure has an impact, but I know that choosing to relax, even though life is busy, has really helped me, well … relax. Choosing airplane mode, trusting that nothing will happen that needs my immediate attention in that time and just focusing on my family feels so good. It is so good.