Tuned-in parenting

29 Nov

Today was a typical day. I was up and dressed before my son and husband woke, so that I could then enjoy breakfast with them without stressing about getting showered and dressed. I have to leave at 7.25am, so I try to be organised in the morning. I’m not an organised person by nature but have worked hard at it. The only downside to being dressed with two pajama’d up people is that I have to careful about my son leaving me a porridge souvenir somewhere on my clothes (it’s usually a shoulder…I’ve had some funny looks in meetings before I’ve realised that what someone has mistaken for snot is actually the remains of my son’s breakfast on my top!).

Once I’m at the office (where I work 4 days a week) then it’s a non-stop round of getting on with work, and reacting to queries/issues/problems that all need to be sorted now, right this minute (to the detriment of my poor, unending to-do list!). But then, who’s ever on top of work? It’s just that today was particularly non-stop. Anyway, off I rushed at 5pm, through the rain, to pick my son up from the childminder. Picking him up is my favourite part of my working day. As soon as he sees me he starts running, little legs and arms going like pistons, a smile on his face. He hugs me around my legs and then I scoop him up and it never fails to lift my spirits, whatever sort of day I’ve had at the office.

It’s the very moment when I try to switch off whatever may have been going on during my office hours and tune-in to my son. Tuning-in to this little person who can’t yet speak properly but who can, if I’m listening and watching, get his point across just brilliantly. It still amazes me that I’ve never had a proper conversation with this little person I gave birth to, but yet I feel I know him (and he knows me) better than anyone else. Off we trot to make a start on dinner before my husband arrives home on his bike.

Tuning-in means we don’t have the TV or radio or go on the internet until after our son’s in bed. It’s our time to talk, and read (both our own books and books with the boy), and mooch around, catching up on our respective days, before eating together.  It’s funny, as before our son arrived myself and my husband had a tendency to always have background noise (mostly the radio, but also the TV) or be on the internet when we were home alone. Tuning-in to our son means we also tune-in to each other more. We have a space that allows us to round off the day with some good time together. It makes all the organising and commuting and work stressing and rushing around bearable and worthwhile!



4 Responses to “Tuned-in parenting”

  1. Dilly Tante November 30, 2011 at 7:21 pm #

    Good post. We have the radio on a lot and I suppose it can be pretty distracting for everyone. I’m half hoping the kids will learn stuff by osmosis by having R4 on in the background!

    • lowimpactmama November 30, 2011 at 8:04 pm #

      I had R4 on nearly constantly for my son’s first year of life (blissful maternity leave!). I think he now has a special place in his heart for Melvyn Bragg in particular!

  2. North London Mums November 30, 2011 at 7:32 pm #

    That all sounds very familiar from when I used to work. I loved that time with my daughter at the end of the day. The cuddles felt so special. Now I’m deciding whether to return to work after number two or not and your post reminded me of one of the good things of working – how much you value the time you do have with your children. Great post!

    • lowimpactmama November 30, 2011 at 8:07 pm #

      Valuing time together is definitely A Good Thing about working. I’m lucky enough to have a job I’m reasonably OK at and that I enjoy enough to get out of bed in the mornings but leaving every evening is still the best bit! Roll on being on maternity leave again next year (am due no 2 in late March).

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