Life as a stay-at-home mother of three pre-schoolers is tough. It is also very busy. My three children are heavily dependant on me and they shadow me all day long. Life is spent primarily at the home and it’s a fairly domestic existence. Ground Hog Day is a common syndrome in an endless cycle of feeding, washing, nappy changing and sleeping. And, as every mum knows, there is no such thing as ‘free time’.
These days I do everything fast. I eat fast. Drink fast. Talk fast. Email fast. Walk fast. Shower fast. There is nothing leisurely about my day at all. It can be hard to enjoy your kids amidst the noise and business of daily life. At the moment I am focusing on meeting their primary needs and there’s not a lot of time leftover for anything else. A friend of mine recently asked me how I make space for ‘slow mothering’ as opposed to ‘fast mothering’.
I have just enjoyed four tranquil days of slow mothering.
There’s a very special place in the world that our family escapes to a few times a year. Down on the peninsula it’s where country meets beach and nature nurtures. It is a place where I slow down and it feels good. My recent retreat allowed me to switch gears, let my hubby take care of nappies and for me to enjoy my kids outside of my four walls. Nature is a wonderful thing and a good dose of it is medicine for the soul.
In typical Melbourne style, we enjoyed a different season each day. From sunscreen and sunhats to beanies and gumboots. We experienced it all.
On the first day we spent hours on the beach, building sand castles, collecting shells and watching my baby explore the texture and taste of sand. Three dolphins swimming in the shallows paraded their beauty for the half a dozen onlookers. It was pure delight.
On the second day we went on a pine forest walk and the girls squealed with excitement at the rabbits and kookaburra we met along the way.
On the third day the weather turned and we stayed indoors most of the day, in front of the fire, building blocks and drawing. A wine and cheese platter in the afternoon was an ideal accompaniment.
On the fourth day we put on our raincoats and gumboots and collected pinecones and jumped in puddles. It’s amazing how much joy kids can get from splashing in muddy puddles. Come to thing of it, it is pretty fun no matter what your age!
Nature. The perfect antidote to mothering fatigue.