Appreciating the Small Moments

I feel like as a working momma to an almost three year old, that I’ve really got a handle on this working momma gig. And since I’ve begun to set some priorities not only for me, but for my family, I feel like this transition back to work has gone the smoothest than the others.  Now I’m not saying it’s all sunshine and rainbows and unicorns, but my stress levels are down, and I’m learning to enjoy the downtime so much more sans thoughts of needing to get all the things done. In a sense, I’m learning to slow down, which is kind of ironic since being a working mom tends to be all about the rush to fit all the things in.

This can be seen in our after work/school time lately, especially as Abby is on the verge of being three and has a lot on her emotional plate these days. Her transition to preschool, and a new center, has been rough in the sense that she’s struggling to take naps. This takes a toll on the family once we are home since Miss Cranky Pants comes out in full force. I’ve been working hard to hold my own, having clear definitive lines drawn in the sand, and not being afraid of compromise. But mostly, I know that rushing once we are home to get all the things done results in putting Abby’s needs off, which isn’t the best idea. So just about every day after work we head outside. And this, my friends, has not only been a solace for Abby, but also for me.

In these small brief moments outside I’m slowing down and getting in some great quality time with the kid. Sometimes we go out for 30 minutes and sometimes over an hour as fall is in full force in the Pacific Northwest, sans the usual fall rain. We are taking full advantage of the cooler temperatures and the dry grounds. Abby’s imagination runs rampant outside, and with the leaves falling she’s got so much to occupy herself with leading her to forget about a contentious mindset.  There’s lots of tricycle riding, fall leaf fights, chalk drawings, and walking around the hood.

And when it’s time to head inside for dinner, not only is she in a better mood, but so am I. I’ve had time to forget about all I’ve had weighing on my shoulders from the workday, and have had a chance to draw a new line in the sand, one where my brain can successfully shift to family and leave stress at the door.

SIDE NOTE: And this all makes me think about the connection that both Shannon and I have made as we’ve recently taken on a more active lifestyle ourselves, and how working out makes us better working moms. Taking time out to be active and stepping away from the structure we are placed in during the day lets us burn off all that negativity, so obviously our kids could use this type of time as well.

You can’t always be in a rush. You can’t always be thinking about what needs to happen next. You’ve got to live in the now, set priorities, and know when it’s time to slow down and work out all that’s on your mind. And sometimes that’s forgetting about you and focusing on others, which I’ve realized has helped me to put life into perspective.

This time outside is not only good for my kid’s soul, but also for mine. These small moments are not only good for me and Abby to have some quality time together during the work week, but it’s also good to add a little positive outlook on this whole working momma gig when the stresses get you down. Now to start brainstorming on fun indoor activities as soon the PNW weather will force us inside. Got any suggestions?

What about you? Do you make sure to set aside some of your own small moments time after work? Do you find it to get easier to know the importance of moments like these during the work week the longer you’ve been a working mom?

About the author

Tracy is the Creator and Managing Editor for LWM. She's a working teacher momma to Abigail, born 11/09 and Olive, born 12/13. By day she teaches middle school students all things related to reading and writing, and by night and weekend, she teaches her daughter all about life. You can find her tweeting as @wa_tracy.

3 Comments

  1. Melissa says:

    I’ve recently started doing something similar with my kiddos. We have a small park near our house with a walking trail. I head straight from work to get them from daycare, then we go to the park. I set my timer for 20 minutes and walk (pushing a stroller, so that earns me extra calorie burning points, right?) while my daughter (4) plays. She loves going somewhere, I’m getting a workout, and the baby (8mos) just hangs in his stroller. We only get to do 2 days a week because of dance and church and sometimes on Friday. But we love it and everyone is happier. (until it is time to leave…lol)
    Twitter: melissamott

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  2. Shannon says:

    This is SUCH a great post and I love the pictures of that sweet one-on-one time you have with your girl. Yesterday, I left work early, went home to do some dishes and clean up the house THEN picked up my son so that we could spend some quality time playing and going outside. Lately, here in Florida, we STILL have summer weather and we STILL have summer thunderstorms but when we don’t, I love to take advantage. They need one-on-one and down time and so do we!
    Shannon recently posted..Do Over.My Profile

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  3. Observacious says:

    This is wonderful. For a while we were stopping by the playground almost everyday after work. School has f*ed up our commute somewhat, so that doesn’t happen often anymore.

    I never under estimate the value of going around the block. Whenever we’ve been lulled into too much indoors, too much screen time I grab everyone, and we go around the block (the boy on his scooter, the girl on a push trike). It’s not a long trip, but it brightens all of our moods.
    Observacious recently posted..I Did Not Watch the Presidential DebateMy Profile
    Twitter: observacious

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