Indian Parenting - Stop. Pause. Hug.

My zen moment each morning is the uninterrupted 5 minutes in the shower. My eldest seems to ignore a shut door and walk in on me on the loo and my youngest can’t be trusted alone (stairs will be climbed, cupboards will be opened and mayhem will generally ensue) so there are few moments in the day when I feel alone in my thoughts (some might argue that’s a good thing!). Turning off the shower is like when a child is told to come in for dinner “just another 2 minutes!” – you put it off as long as you can but in the end, you have to bite the bullet and reach for the towel. That’s it. That’s the abrupt end of the calm in the house. Between that moment and the moment I finally get a cup of tea in my hands at work, it’s a race.

A race to get dressed before the kids wake up. A race to pull on something – anything – that doesn’t need ironing. A race to get kids up, washed, dressed and fed. A race to bundle them in the car and get out of the house on time. A race to find a way to work with the least traffic so you find the last remaining parking spot.

Isn’t that sad? So focussed on the tasks – things to tick off on the list before I leave the house – that I fail to notice how good the eldest has gotten at brushing her teeth and getting ready without constant prodding. I don’t stop to process that she combs her hair to help me, nor that she helps get out her breakfast and look after her baby sister while I’m packing bags. It seems I’ve fallen prey to the morning race, running on autopilot and too busy apparently to stop, reflect and respond to all the wonderful qualities she possesses and how these subtle changes happen each day. I know of course; I’m her mummy after all. I’m pretty certain we give her positive feedback and verbally acknowledge her achievements but somehow, perhaps it all gets lost. Lost, amongst the instructions for the next task. I’m probably not alone in wishing to slow down, open my eyes a little and soak up the wonderfulness of these short precious years when she’s truly mine and hasn’t fallen under the spell of the latest boyband or worrying about mounting homework. Perhaps it’s a case of waking up 5 minutes earlier or cutting down that shower time? On the other hand, perhaps its ok to be late leaving the house? I’d rather her small arms tightly wrapped around me for a few minutes longer than face the next task - that email will still be there in another 5 minutes – my hugs might not.

Slowing down might have another added benefit – like noticing that I have baby snot on my blouse before leaving the house. I’ll try harder tomorrow!

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