14 May 2014

spinning top


She has always been impulsive, high speed and animated just like her Mumma.  But lately these effervescent ways have bordered on hyperactive.  Constant fidgeting, up and down at the dinner table and an inability to stand still and focus on one task at a time.  At first we blamed tiredness from school and the need to let loose after a day of structure; a lot of brain work and not much physical activity.  And although school and its new routine is certainly bringing its share of interesting behaviours, it was something much closer to home that was causing her erraticism. It was me.

It's no secret that I struggle to sit still and will find something, anything to do to keep me busy and moving. Idleness doesn't come easy to me and I often teeter on the neurotic edge of hyper efficiency. What with school schedules to adhere to, uniforms to be pressed and lunches to be packed I spiralled into a "doing" juggernaut - an efficiency spinning top.  Ironically, I wax lyrical about a slow childhood yet have been creating a far from simple existence for myself.

When I truly scrutinised my behaviour I realised that Bijou was simply mirroring my patterns.  Conversations with eyes darting from child to task and then child to the next task, and dishes packed up and in a sink full of soapy water while mouths are still chewing.  I'd stepped on a "get it done" conveyor belt fuelled by fear of forgetting something, being late somewhere or not having something prepared.  And sadly, I was dragging my girl along for the head spinning ride.

So I slowed down.  I now linger at the dinner table. I put down things and look my people in the eyes when they're talking.  Yes, the jobs are still there and yes, we've been late...and forgotten things. And life goes on. But in my stillness I'm seeing so much more. Where my thoughts once spun from the crumbs on the floor to the ironing pile to the note to be signed, they now seek out the crooked smiles, the tousled hair on pillows; the quiet, hidden things.  In my constant haste I was missing so much of the little sparks of my babies.

So now each day I am consciously slowing my movements and we're seeing a dramatic change in her.  I think we're all seeing a change in me too.

Steph x

13 comments:

  1. This really resonates with me. Tadpole is now ten months old, and I am still struggling to find my mothering mojo... you know the one that makes me perfect and not at all guilty. Bah! I am constantly listing "what's next" in my head. While most of our days are at home, leaving the house brings a much more frantic pace, especially to my mind and I'm trying to fight it. Yesterday we had to go into the city, and finally I managed to find peace among the hustle and bustle. I was present. It was wonderful. We still got home late,the routine was a mess, and I made a very basic dinner, but that's o.k. because these days just go so fast, and we can all afford to slow down a little. x

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  2. I was just thinking yesterday that I miss those baby days of slow lingering, prolonged spells on the couch feeding a baby, naps and fitting one task into an entire day. Now that mine are both at school it seems harder to justify the taking of slow time but I need it too, for myself. mel x

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  3. Such great advice. Kellie xx

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  4. I've been there too Steph, and sometimes I still have to pull myself up for a behaviour I'm not entirely happy with. The other week I was screaming "stop yelling"….it really hit me just how silly it all sounded. Being conscious of our behaviour is so important, well done on realising and take care not to be too hard on yourself! xx

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  5. Such great thoughts to ponder. How I love your writing and perception. I definitely do the same.

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  6. I needed to read this! I'm exactly the same ~ full of efficiency and inability to sit still. Although my 4 yr old rebels against me, digging his heels in and being s.l.o.w.e.r.........It's a very loud message!
    Thank you as always, for your timely, beautifully put words x

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  7. stillness and taking time to really see things is a skill I'm trying to master x

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  8. It is so easy to get wound up in all the to do's, wanting to be efficient and needing to get it all done, I know I am guilty of it. Thank you for sharing this with us and reminding us it's just as important to take things slow too:) Wishing you a beautiful day. xx

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  9. Such a beautifully constructed reminder Steph - I too, especially now with two littles, find myself bouncing to and from household chores, trying to keep the family 'afloat'. We all need a little slowness amongst our day, not only for our children's sake, but for our own as well xxx

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  10. something we all should do is slow down a bit, but don't blame yourself , she most like ly inherited her need for action from her mama and she will as you have recognized the need to slow own when needed, I believe its only partly influenced by observing, its just born in some of us I think, I am one of those very people, our one daughter is like I, the other more like her Father, planned an thoughtful actions, beautiful photo,

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  11. I live slow, often amid the detritus of two smalls. But on the flip side, I do miss things, I do forget things, and I do live with the detritus longer than I should! I'm learning too much play can also be ill-advised. Here's to us finding balance!

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Your words brighten my day! Thank-you so much for joining me on my adventure. x