It’s quiet. How long do I have? I check the clock. He’s had 30 minutes. Will this be a long nap or a short one? I rush to shower. I dress, but wonder ‘How important is make-up today?’ Is it worth those extra few precious minutes? I begin applying eyeshadow. I try to still my mind and appreciate the moment; the soft brush tickling my eyelid bringing my eyes to life. I decide the time could be better spent. I rush to finish leaving my face half done. It’s there – waiting – if I change my mind. I hurry downstairs, passing the never-ending chores that await me in every room. ‘Not right now’, I decide; they can wait.
I’m learning, as a parent, that time to think is rare. OK, perhaps that’s an understatement. It’s like getting your baby to go to sleep and wishing they would wake-up so you can go through the rigmarole routine once more; it NEVER happens. Unless you make it happen. Time is such a luxury when you’re a parent of young children; even more so I’ve been told when there’s more than one… I’m yet to know, but I feel, at this point, I can sympathise.
One thing I’ve begun to notice is that there is always something I SHOULD be doing – the washing, ironing (OK, that’s a lie, I never iron), cooking, cleaning, tidying, replenishing baby managing stocks (nappies, bibs, wipes and all of the other paraphernalia they require) and now that I’m working again that requires time too – but during those rare quiet moments I’m learning what it is that I LIKE to do. When I have small pieces of time for me what are those things that make me feel whole; the things that give me a sense of me? These are the things I now do when I’m given those glimpses of time.
It’s taken me months to realise I have to grab those moments with both hands and fill them with things that make me smile. Putting my makeup on makes me feel better about me, but I can do that one-handed while managing the baby with the other hand. Writing needs my focus and attention. It needs me to be present and to be mindful at that moment.
How do you fill your mindful moments?