Being a mama is something I dreamed of since being little. I couldn’t wait to have my own children and create some of the wonderful memories I have of my childhood with them.
Our two littles, E and S, bring such joy to our family. They are fun, creative, thoughtful, funny, inquisitive and each so very different.
But the reality of motherhood vs my imagined dream of what it would be look very different.
I guess I went into motherhood very naively expecting I’d be a natural. It turns out the baby phase really isn’t my natural, I’m a lot more selfish than I realised and it was hard. Really hard.
I’ve since discovered I’m much better with the 18 months plus phase but I will be learning all my life how to be a mama. There are high moments, tears of joy moments, moments of wonder and awe. There are also low moments, moments of shame, moments where I lost my cool too quickly.
I guess that’s the journey of motherhood.
S L O W M O T H E R H O O D
One of the things you often here parents say is ‘It’s going too quickly’.
And it does.
One minute you’re birthing your first child and the next you’ve nearly got two in school. A lot has happened in between, some which stays in your memory and some which passes in an absolute blur.
But what I’ve realised and what I’m learning is that I can easily miss parts because I’m distracted or too busy. Life happens, that’s undeniable. I have to cook tea every day, I need to get the laundry done, we have to get to school on time.
There are also distractions that are avoidable … my phone being the main one of those.
And I guess that’s where slow motherhood comes in.
It’s about being present in the everyday and the mundane moments. It’s about being intentional in how I choose to set up my life so I don’t miss those moments. It’s also about learning what I need to be the best mama. And yes, that sometimes looks like time away from my kids, where I meet my needs.
L I V I N G S L O W
There are lots of reasons I want to live slow.
Motherhood is one of them.
So is the environment. I care deeply about how we as humans impact the earth in the way we choose to live. But I also don’t always get it right, so this will be my sharing of that journey and what I’m learning along the way.
Mental wellbeing is another. My first months of motherhood were marked by the lowest time of my life. It was horrible but now I look back gratefully, knowing that it has given me empathy and understanding. I’ve since carried that into a job for a wellbeing organisation, Space to Breathe who do the most wonderful work in mental health. Slow living helps me to connect with what matters for my mental health and I hope to share some of that here too.
It is also feels counter cultural. In 2022 our lives feel busy. We can access information instantly. Get an uber takeaway whenever we want. Or feel hard done by when we can’t. There is always something to watch on tv or binge on Netflix. Amazon Prime will deliver our next desired thing the next day. Just because it’s there doesn’t mean we need to do it and I’d like to get off the busy treadmill and feel like I lived purposefully, not at the whim of life’s distractions.
S T A R T I N G S L O W L Y
It isn’t about making a million changes over night. I’ve tried before and it doesn’t work.
I was kindly gifted Atomic Habits by a friend for my 30th birthday and in it James Clear talks about the 1% change. What 1% change can you make to get you closer to where you want to be?
In the midst of the demands of life this feels achieveable.
If I don’t want to carry on filling my house with more stuff, what is my 1%?
For me, not looking at the middle aisle of Aldi is a good start!
If I want to be present with my kids after school pick up what is my 1%?
Planning meals that I can prep in advance or put in the slow cooker might be a good option.
And the beauty of the 1% is that to achieve it I just have to plan the meals. If I’m not at the point of making the slow cooker meals yet, it’s ok. I’ve moved 1% closer to my aim by planning. The next 1% will be booking a slot in my diary for meal prep.
Anyway, this is a bit longer than I planned but I hope it’s given you an idea of what I hope to use this space for.
What does your version of slow living look like?
Cover Photo by No Revisions on Unsplash