Nourishing Yourself in the Middle of Parenting

Dearest fellow parents and caregivers,

Today I’d like to tell you about something so simple, and yet that can change our days and lives as parents, moment by creative moment.

Yesterday afternoon I was picking up A. from her dance class. The evening sun was soft and warm. There is a lovely bench just in front of the dance studio, so instead of waiting in the car, I got out and sat on it, soaking in the spring smells and light. My gaze wandered across all the other parents waiting.

Here’s what I saw:

A father was resting his head against the car seat, eyes closed, pausing amidst the day for a moment of quiet.

A mother was sitting in her car with the window open, reading the newspaper.

Two mothers were chatting animatedly, one with her bicycle at her side, the other standing at the back door of her car, folding her laundry that was in a basket on the back seat.

Two other parents – a mum and a dad – were having a chat across the hood of one of their cars.

And another mum was reading a novel.

The atmosphere was delightful and peaceful. Each parent turning the waiting into a time to be used well and pleasantly. I was struck by how this is often what sustains us as parents: to make use of the little time we have and fill it with quality. Doesn’t have to be anything grand. Just a little of something that lifts, or soothes, or stimulates us. Or is really practical, like getting the laundry folded!

I reflected on how, since becoming a mother, I always travel with a book, my laptop, some almonds, dark chocolate and a tea, so that whenever I have a moment, I can use it in a way that fulfills me, that replenishes my self and that makes good use of those moments either through the welcome leisure of reading (one of my absolute favorite pastimes) or by getting some work done, which nourishes and satisfies in its own ways. It has become a way of life that makes it manageable for me to homeschool our girl and work part-time. It has offered me balance. It’s true it is a patchwork… hardly ever do I finish an article or complete a chapter in those slots of time, but drafts gets written, a bit of editing done, a new idea born, some yummy chocolate nibbled, a few pages read, some prayers prayed, an interaction reflected upon.

Notice your particular dance through parenthood… how are you making use of those windows? Could you do so more? Or simply note and cherish (tuck them in your being) more fully for what they are?

My invitation to you: Think of nourishing, enlivening gestures and actions you can sprinkle throughout your days, and that are very doable… a warming cup of tea. A few deep breaths. A soft cashmere sweater that becomes a cozy blanket around you. Lavender drops in the bathtub. Music you listen to as you work around the house. Closing your eyes and resting your body for a few minutes here and there, and doing nothing else!

As the girls ran out of their dance class, I saw a basket of neatly folded laundry, plans had been made between the chatting mums as they parted with a wave, a dad was perhaps a little more rested, a mum had gotten a bit further into her novel, and I had soaked in some warm rays of sun. I left heartened by witnessing these moments woven into our collective parenting day.

Let’s do this together, shall we?

Let us know below how you savor those little windows of time, what nourishes you that you can bring along your parenting dance. Let’s share ideas and inspiration in this way!

Sending you all so much Love!

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