Life is evolving, as it always is with little ones. And at present, I find myself in the midst of a flow of slow mornings with one little one (big sis is now at nursery) and slow afternoons with two. It kind of just happened, the unexpected fruit of time spent adjusting to the rhythm and demands of mummyhood to two, as well as the unbearably cold weather we’ve had lately. And – deep, satisfying sigh – slow feels good, for me and for the girls.
Back when I was still counting my first child’s age in weeks and months, I committed to baby classes and mummy things every day save friday. We were out mornings and afternoons, with little space to breathe in between. I think it was my way of staving off the loneliness that threatened to shroud me in those crazy early new mama days and months when everything was topsy turvy. I think I also was desperate for some structure that I could cling to and move in synch with. But then along came bump number two, and with it mind aching tiredness. And before I knew it, we could only manage “one thing a day”, i.e. leaving the house for one activity and then muddling through the rest of the day at home.
It’s had it’s moments, good and bad. But I realised this afternoon that right now, we’re smack bang in the middle of a sweet slow spot. And I couldn’t be happier.
What does slow look like for us?
Currently, little sis naps till for a couple of hours after lunch till 3/330pm. Big sis watches TV, plays in her room for a bit of independent play, or hangs out with me and helps in the kitchen. Come end of nap, Big Sis and I bundle into Little Sis’ room to wake her with cuddles and milk and to play upstairs for a while. And what follows has fast become my favourite part of the day.
I love afternoons when I don’t have to rush anywhere or be anywhere. Because I feel like my kids thrive when I let them set the pace, within carefully defined boundaries. And I know I am a much nicer mummy when I don’t have half an eye on the clock, counting the minutes till I need to chuck one in the buggy and the other on her trusty pink scooter.
I love watching the girls discover and explore how to be friends with each other and how to play together,
I love listening to Big Sis chatter away in her room to her dolls and softies and hearing references to her time at nursery or with me pepper these chats.
I love giving both girls moments of undivided, eye to eye attention. And watching their hearts come alive as I do.
I love building towers out of blocks with one while deterring the other from smashing them down.
Most of all, I love them.
I love watching them and cuddling them and telling I love them and kissing them and tickling them and encouraging them and listening to them.
I feel like our afternoons are when I fill up their little love tanks. I’m a big believer in love languages. My eldest is our quality time girl, my youngest so far seems to be our physical touch kid (see more on love languages here). Taking it slow means I get to invest in the things that make both of them feel loved, while filling up my own heart tank in return as they reciprocate …. it also means that when things go wrong, as they do, I’m able to make the time to listen and mend and discipline and cuddle. And love and love again.
Does it mean that every afternoon is a walk in the park. Ha. We have our moments. Regularly.
Does this mean we’ll be locked indoors every afternoon till they are 18? Hardly. I recognize that chapters close and seasons shift so quickly with kids. I know that once the temperature gauge climbs we’ll be outdoors as much as we can. But today, I just wanted to remember today. I wanted to embrace my now. And I wanted to be give thanks for slow.