The gift of time: Tips for slowing down

time

The best thing that you give to children is time…

Time… what a simple and beautiful word.

We live in a world where multi-tasking is praised, where multi-tasking is a talent that we – women – *have*. We *are able* to cook, clean, get dressed while talking on the phone. Well in fact, slowing down, enjoying the moment has become a “gift”, a state of mind I would really like to return to. I feel that I’m always rushing, I run to go to work, I run from work, I want to be “on time” for everything and everyone… I’m stressed, sometimes I’m annoyed as I’m always late. I begin my day with “hurry up” rushing from 1 place to another – I finish that day with “hurry up” because there is always something else. I hurry so much that I often miss the small things in life that are the most important ones.

I don’t have time to slow down in those situations because it’s a waste of time…

I try to squeeze an entire day in just a few hours, because this is the only time I have.

I try to be at my best everywhere I am, because this is the only time I have.

I try to have the most enjoyable time with my family, because this is the only time I have.

The pressure of always having something on my plate, the stress, takes a huge part of my mind, then I become very irritable and unpleasant to be with. Mornings are crazy – transitions are not easy for our little ones – I find myself dressing my 3-year-old daughter through tears, although she is fully capable of getting dressed on her own – I find myself doing the exact opposite of what I want for her: Autonomy.

In order to restore a sense of sanity and spread happiness instead of stress to my family, I felt I had to do something. I felt I needed to slow down, or at least, spend my time right.

This is how I try to spend my time better: Tips for empowering what really matters:

1. For big changes, start small

Pause, stop and think – Simple reminders like “Does this really matter?”, “Is that really what you want?” can be very useful

2. Stay focused

I started focusing on doing just one thing at a time, so that the time I spend doing 1 thing is dedicated to that 1 specific thing I’m doing – and you know what? it’s not that simple! When someone talks to me (especially my 3-year-old daughter), I try to stop what I’m doing to give my *undivided* attention – and you know what? it’s not that simple! when I focus on fully listening and looking to the person in front of me, I can’t do something else basically.

3. Wherever and Whenever you are, Be there!

Be present! (even for a small amount of time). No phone, no “just a quick look”, no Facebook… when someone calls I usually say “I’m not going to answer, it’s our You & Me time now”. When possible I try to avoid screen time of any kind

4. Understand that transitions can be hard to handle

Transitions are a bit tricky for me, there are a lot of tips on how to help a child with transitions on http://www.janetlansbury.com. Basically, let the child know in advance what you/they are going to do helps them know what to expect + it helps me stay focused too. Going from 1 thing to another is not easy – there too – slowing down is usually a good place to start

5. Acknowledgment

Acknowledgment is fundamental. It can take a while, but once you master – you master for life. I would define Acknowledgment by recognizing, accepting and validating the other person feelings or behavior – it doesn’t mean you agree with it, it means that you understand and accept that the other person have other opinions than yours and that he/she has the right to fully express them, that you accept your child displeasure instead of trying to make it go away or telling your child what to feel instead.

Once I understood that tantrums or all other behaviors were not personal, it helped me being present for my child – it helped me stay connected instead of disconnected.

6. Say thank you

I try very hard to focus on how blessed I am instead of How stressed I am. It slowly changes my mindset.

It requires awareness and attention, and even those are very little steps, I know they can make a difference. I believe that day by day, step by step, it is possible to make a difference. I have decided to focus on spending my time right, and enjoying. Focus on those little moments, on those little smiles and welcome them because those are the moments that matter.

 

Enjoy more, do less ♥

The best thing that you give to children is time…

 

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