The last few weeks I’ve been so busy, I can’t keep my head straight, can’t see the wood for the trees and I’ve certainly not been much use to the people who need me. “I’m tired” I moaned, “I can’t slow down, I have so much to do” I complained, and then today I decided to do it differently.
I stopped, and sat down, turned my phone off, meditated a little, had a cup of tea and got some perspective. Suddenly I saw the wood, and all the trees, and my head is straight even if my house isn’t and you know what, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that I slow down enough to stop and focus on what and who is important in my life.
So what is important if you are pregnant? Or a mother? What’s important is that you are strong enough mentally, physically and emotionally to support your baby or your children. How often do you hear that old adage, “love yourself and the rest will follow”, adapt it a little and you have “look after yourself and your children will be looked after”.
As a generation we are conditioned to believe that we can have it all. We can work, get pregnant, work some more, longer hours, cram everything in before baby is born, have baby, stay at home with baby, go back to work, look after baby, got to tiny talk, musical minis, baby swimathons, have even more successful career, break glass ceiling, bring children up, keep house tidy, bake/buy cakes and pass them off as your own, go to plays, make fancy dress costumes at 12pm/5am, learn about the Romans again. I’m out of breath and exhausted even writing this list.
How many can you tick off or add to it? And do you really think that this is realistic? Perhaps it is, perhaps it’s a necessity in this day and age. But even if it were, surely we could structure our days better so that we can slow down, that we set important contact time aside with the people we love. Time doing things we love.
I wish that as a society we accept that there is nothing wrong with taking time off to slow down and spend time doing things that you enjoy so that before baby is born you can begin to adapt and prepare. One client of mine recently wanted to get everything done, so she could just sit down and do nothing for a week, perfect.
It is incredibly important to spend time emotionally adjusting and slowing down to a pace that is much more realistic with a baby to love and care for. I’ve heard many mums say that they struggled to make that almost instant switch of being at work, busy and active surrounded by other adults, to being at home with a baby at a much slower pace.
Learning to slow down has become a skill to relearn in our society and taking steps to do it before you baby is born will allow you to prepare and get used to that slower pace of life so you can enjoy it without external pressure or expectation.
Almost without fail you will hear the words “you’ll never get this time back” from parents whose children have grown up or left home. That saying is absolutely true and what they are saying is enjoy this time, take the time, allow yourself the time to create a space where you can indulge in your baby, free from distractions.
Here are 10 steps to a slower pace of life
- Finish work at least 3 weeks before baby is due.
- Make a list of what needs to be done and do just 2 a day.
- Do something you love guilt free everyday.
- Do some relaxation/yoga/meditation.
- Set up online shopping for after baby is born.
- Go to bed early.
- Switch off your computer or phone for at least 1 hour during the day.
- Take the time out for a walk.
- Learn to say no.