I have had a month of 24/7 parenting on the road where we are spending almost all of that time together in close proximity, be it in a hotel room, on a train for 17-hours or walking back with a hot and tired Leo who would rather catch one of the dozen auto-rickshaws who’s driver stops and ask us if we want a ride.
Yesterday I got a ‘day off’ while Donald took our boys on a 17km trek. After they got back I went for a walk first with Leo to buy food and then with Alfie. The time I spent with each of my children was probabally the most precious of our adventure together so far. It is certainly an evening I will treasure.
This morning I read this blog post which was shared on Facebook by my childhood friend and a fabulous parent, Charlotte. This post brought home to me why yesterday evening felt soooo nourishing.
My memorable evening of ‘connectedness’ came after 12 hours of ‘me time’ where I was able to unconditionally put my needs first. Even though I spent a significant proportion of my day doing ‘family essential activities’, I did them with a ‘me’ centred focus, I did them in my time and did them with a lightness and gentleness that I usually reserve for other people.
(If you are interested – 2 hours of my day was spent walking up and down a very steep hill ensuring that I had all the documentation I needed to book the last-minute train tickets that come on sale at exactly 10am and sell out in 5 minutes. I then caught a local bus to pick up our laundry walking 30 minutes and another 10 minutes back up that very steep hill because there was a traffic tail back which meant that I walked back in a faster time than the return bus would have taken.)
On reflection I feel that how I started my day (after my family had left for their day) set the tone for the day. I really tuned into what I wanted and needed in the moment, spent time appreciating the beauty of my surroundings and unconsciously, and repeatedly, reaffirmed to myself that ‘you are worth it’.