Life with children can be a monotonous slog. When they’re babies there’s the day in, day out round of nappy changes, snotty noses, playgroups and poo, lots of poo. As they get older, children then have an endless list of homework, after school clubs, weekend activities and hobbies that they want and need their parents to take part in. A never-ending list of things to be done, jobs parents need to do, and all round hard work. It’s not easy being a parent.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love my kids and wouldn’t change anything for the world. Though go on, admit it, you find playgroups and crafts a bit boring too. We do all this stuff because we love them, because we care for their development and, whilst some of it is fun for all, through some of it we can find ourselves bored to tears. Sometimes we need to work out how to put the focus on fun.
Last year, I started blogging again and found a rather surprising side effect. Half term was no longer a boring slog from one activity to another, interspersed with a few giggles. This time, there were more giggles and less boredom all round. Craft activities became fun because I wasn’t panicking about glue on the dining table, instead I was trying to find the best angle to capture their creations in a photo. I started thinking of new and different activities to spark their imaginations and mine and of course, half term isn’t complete without some baking.
I felt renewed interest and enthusiasm in their activities because I’d found something which made me fully take part in them and made them also fun for me. Now I’m not saying everyone should start a blog, everyone needs to find their own spark which focuses them on to the here and now. I’ve written about mindfulness for children before and I think we should try mindful parenting too. At least, as much as we can be, obviously we all have bad days.
For me blogging has helped change my focus, instead of just getting through the day, I want to capture the day. Life is a series of moments and once they’re over, they’re gone, existing only in a memory. Blogging has accidentally thrown me into mindful parenting. It spurs me on to capture the moment, write it down, photograph it, preserve it and in doing so, fully take part in it. I worried that blogging would be so time consuming, that it would take time away from our family life. However, I find that it makes me focus on my kids more, opening a window into their world.
The grown up Peter Pan in Hook had to go to Never Neverland to work out what life was all about. I just had to start this blog. Of course, you can’t make everything about parenting fun. Nothing will make changing nappies or dealing with piles of washing into something enjoyable. Whilst being fully present and having some mindful parenting in our lives is great, there’s just some moments we really wish we weren’t part of (I’m thinking of you, poonami explosions and public tantrums)!