Watch, Wait, Wonder and Reconnect: How to Slow Down

Photography: Katherine Heise

By Lisa Cheaney-Hogan 

I’m as guilty as many moms out there are…Calendar filled up with activities, driving around from one event to the next, stressing about what high school my kids will go to (they are 3.5 years old and 7.5 months by the way), wondering how it will work with two kids when I go back to work in September. Overwhelmed? Yup. Feeling stressed? Uh huh. How can it all slow down? I’m the only one who can make that happen.

I’m not quite sure if I can pinpoint the exact moment I decided I needed to slow life down, for my kids and my family overall. I knew I had to change something. It started with baby steps, cleaning out cupboards, purging items made of potentially harmful ingredients, taken a ‘greener approach’ to everything. This has been my busy-mom way of trying to be mindful.

From there I added in small changes to our day…

  • Mandatory daily outdoor time – regardless of weather
  • Sensory activities that help tap into many different areas of the brain
  • Quiet time every day (not necessarily naps, just restful periods of time)
  • Daily joint cooking/baking opportunities in the kitchen with the little ones
  • Speaker-phone chats with the grandparents
  • Tent time filled with books, holiday lights and snuggles
  • Yoga
  • Singing everything…made up songs

The BIGGEST and most HELPFUL aspects of the day has been my approach to the kids…

WATCH, WAIT, WONDER and then simply, RECONNECT.

WATCH
I realized that I wasn’t ‘present’ enough. I mean, I was there but I needed to be more present. My favourite thing to do is to watch my daughter, in complete splendor, participate in imaginative play and working through her day. It’s incredible. Have you actually ever listened, like really listened to what your kids say when they play? In this house, we call play ‘work’, because that is exactly what it is for this age.

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