Monday, November 14, 2011

in search of stillness

It's been quiet over here on the blog, and I've been seeking a bit of the same in our day to day lives.

Oh, but that is hard to find in the daily grind, moving from laundry and cooking and cleaning to classes and appointments and obligations. I've been longing for some stillness amidst the trying two-year-old (any advice on weathering tantrums would be so gladly received; I swear the first two kids were never this challenging!) and the growing list of things to be done before the snow sticks. And just as my youngest child is challenging me in new ways, I am finding parenting in general to be a bit more demanding.

I can usually find space to rejuvenate among the constancy of young children, but then again, I've never been at this for so long before. Each day feels like a new effort in finding peace in the moments. I've had the desire lately to be without the kids for an extended time, something I've never had or felt before, and something that isn't likely to happen anytime soon. (Oh, I almost feel like a bad mom for admitting it, but we all need a break sometime, don't we?) Instead, I am working at remembering what I know about slowing down, letting go and creating the moments of serenity I crave.

As we drove through the woods on our way home from today's field trip, the children, who had been quiet in the back seat, suddenly asked for me to turn the car. Turn the car! And so we found ourselves with a much needed break from the demands of the day and an open expanse of stillness and beauty to enjoy. The children must have needed it as much as I did.

I know so many of you feel the busyness of these days, whether it be with young children or demanding jobs or both (and more). How is it that you find stillness in your days?

However it may be, I hope you're finding all that you need...


Susan said...

It is difficult to make that time for yourself but it is probably one of the most important things you can do for your children. The best analogy is the airplane. When the oxygen masks come down we are to put them on ourselves FIRST so that we may take care of our children or anyone else around us. If we don't do this first, then the risk is that we will black out and be unable to help anyone. As for the tantrums, I find that much of the time getting down on the level and identifying the source of angst will diffuse it. "Are you upset that you can't have a cookie? Yes? I know. Cookies are good but you can have one after lunch." etc. Sometimes it doesn't work, though, and I have to wait it out. Toddlers are as wonderful as they are difficult. ;D

Jane F. said...

I remember early in my mothering years when I would look down my nose at those moms who took weekends away from their kids or took trips with their husbands, leaving the little ones at home. A few years into it, I got it. When we parent as fully as mothers like you do, there is a greater need for those breaks. If you can get that space on a regular basis, in small doses, you can go longer. But you're right, we do all need breaks, and it's nothing to feel guilty about.

Lindsay said...

There's something about the third child, isn't there? Something that challenges you to the core, makes you question everything you thought you knew about parenting, and brings you the greatest joy. Third children are strange creatures.

If you figure out how to find stillness in your days, let me know. The best I can come up with is quiet reading time, which entails me reading a chapter or two of a chosen book to the kids while we snuggle under a blanket on the couch. As soon as we're done, chaos resumes.

ps. Beautiful photos! Sometimes turning the car is the greatest thing you can do :)