A lazy weekend. One spent mostly on our own while my husband was away on a boy's camping trip. There was a time when my husband worked fly in fly out from Perth. Leaving me with our daughter, then eventually our two daughters, every second week.
Now that my youngest Jessie is older, I no longer feel daunted by caring for our two on my own. Despite this, the same old worried feelings that I often felt when my husband was working away, crept back in. What was I going to do on my lonesome to keep these two entertained? Even with a morning spent at the local pool with a friend, it left plenty of empty time to fill.
What I have learnt from similar anxious feelings like this. That when you have a strong urge to do more, often the best choice is to do less. What could have been a weekend full of outings and catch ups with friends to get us out of the house, became something completely the opposite.
We baked. We ate what we had in the fridge and cupboards. We played. I kept things simple; meals, activities and expectations of myself. I didn't rush through the household chores. I stayed in my pyjamas for longer than I would normally. We just did less.
And what I found. More calm moments. More stillness. More concentration in the girls play. Less tantrums and end of day raggedy behaviour.
It all reminds me of conversations had with my Nanna and my Mum. About times past, where not everybody drove cars, and trips out of the house with children were weekly ventures. Not daily rushed affairs to get out the door to dance lessons, play group. music and other such things. While the boredom of that type of living seems stifling to me, I can see the positives in it. More chances for children to just be. To play in their own little world.
The truth, that sometimes that need to be social and busy, is more our own, and not our children's. Before this weekend I wouldn't have considered us to be "over-scheduled" in regards to the girls planned activities. But now I can't help but wonder if we might be. Just a little.
Our afternoon trip to the "sea shore". Imagined and created by Amelie. A bike ride to the shops to collect food for our picnic. A rug to stop the sand from spoiling our food. Talk in hushed tones due to a nearby sleeping baby. Endless cups of tea. It was delightful.
Do you find doing less makes parenting easier?
Or are your children better when they're kept a little busy?