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Archive for the ‘Keeping It Simple’ Category

For the past 10 days (except for 1 day when I went into work), I’ve had the joy of rediscovering my son, The Littlest E, while he was on spring break from preschool.  It was amazing in so many ways.  Since it’s my husband’s busy season at work, we didn’t travel anywhere.   My son and I had wonderful playdates with friends, family came into town and we also spent time with one another just hanging out.  We had the best quality time together.

I started a part-time job last summer where I worked from home.  It was the perfect set up.  I’d drive my son to school, work the hours I could and then pick him up after school.  I still had deadlines, but I had the luxury of not going into an office and working at any hour.  As of January, that changed.  My boss opened a firm and I started going into the office when The Littlest E was in school.  Basically, I went from not working, to working part-time at home (10-12 hours per week), to working part-time in an office (17 hours per week), which I found out was easier said than done.

I know I’m not the first working mom to balance home life, work life, personal life, etc., and I know I won’t be the last.  It was a pretty big transition, working in an office.  One I welcomed, though I found it hard to get everything done that needed to get done and still have dinner on the table at night and not have errands, chores and my blog weighing on my brain.  I love being a mom, love working and love writing, and, at times, during the past three months, found it challenging to do all three well.  Plus, the quality time I had with my son diminished.

Hourglass

In the mornings, we were always rushing to get to school so I wouldn’t be too late getting to work.  Not that my boss or anyone there was pressuring me to be on time, it was me that was pressuring me.  Breakfasts were faster paced, and there was no time to play before leaving for school.  Hustle, hustle, hustle.  Then, when I’d pick The Littlest E up from school, we had errands to run.  He still takes swimming lessons and has an occasional after school playdate, but there was a lot to do to run the house.  Again, some of the fun got lost and so did the quality time.  There was so much to do at home, once there that I didn’t give him the attention he deserved.  As days went on, things got easier and less stressful, but spring break came at the perfect time.  My boss didn’t need me to work, and I took that time to be home with my son.

These past 10 days, I fell more in love with him than before, if that’s even possible.  He’s such a great kid and so full of life.  He’s a joy to be around and I lost a bit of that while I was working.  I was so busy needing to get to the next thing, I forgot to be in the moment, and cherish those moments with my little guy.  Big lesson learned; it’s about quality time.  Over the last month or so there’ve been a number of deaths of people not directly close to me, but peripherally.  Some were expected, others happened much too quickly.  These deaths reminded me that we never know when our number is up.  How do I want to spend my days?  Rushing around or being in the present moment and savoring the life I have.

Things may be changing at my job.  I may not be needed anymore, which is okay.  My hours may be cut, or they may stay the same.  I don’t have the answers yet, and I’m truly okay with any outcome.  My boss is a friend and we are on good terms.  Regardless of what happens, I know it’s all good.  I also know if I go back to working the hours I worked, I need to shift my way of being.  The chores will still be there, I’ll still need to get to work, and I’ll still need to run errands, but the way I handle things will be different. Things may get stressful, yet if I step back, breathe in and out a few times, it makes a difference.  There might be a little more dust around the house, or that errand just doesn’t get done right away, and that’s fine.  My main priority is my son, taking care of him, and making sure the time I spend with him is quality time.

Hourglass cropped

I’ve got this day, this now, this present.  This morning, I let my son sleep in a bit.  Whether it was luck or not, things went smoothly.  No rushing, but an enjoyable pre school morning.  I wasn’t needed at the office today, which may have added to the relaxed environment, but I don’t think so.  I’ve learned my lesson.  Take time to smell the coffee (or roses).  I’m grateful for this spring break and grateful to have rediscovered what it is to spend quality time with The Littlest E.

©Melanie Elliott

Images: Jamiesrabbits, openDemocracy

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