There is an awful lot of wash, rinse and repeat involved in raising kids. Especially when they are small. Before I had kids, I thought the repetitive tasks would drive me crazy. The endless diaper changes, mountains of laundry, stacks of dishes and grilled cheese sandwiches. Instead I have found them meditative.
A cue for grateful thoughts.
On Sunday morning, I stand barefoot at my kitchen sink feeling the earth connection with thousands of years of women preparing food for their families. No one is rushing out the door, so we have time for a big, meandering breakfast. Our Sunday morning tradition is freshly baked cinnamon rolls. So, they’re out of a tube, nobody cares.
On Monday night, after a long day of kicking off the week, I am overwhelmed by yet another mountain of dishes in the sink. I pause for a moment and think about the Syrian refugee mothers who would give anything to be in my shoes.
My Dad always said, “Change your perspective, change your world.” It’s true, isn’t it? I dive deeper into these ideas in Pour Out the Bucket.
An opportunity for a mental break.
Podcasts are great companions for mundane activities from chores to commutes. They are easy to take anywhere. There are hundreds of thousands of podcasts on every topic you can imagine. A year ago I had never listened to a podcast, so I am relatively new to the genre. One great trick is to listen at 1.5 or 2 times the speed. This allows you to pack more information into less time if you are listening to learn new things.
I also have a television with wireless headphones in my kitchen. I enjoy catching up on the news if the news is on, otherwise I have something going on Netflix. Right now it’s West Wing. This covers a lot of time in the kitchen prepping, cooking and cleaning up. I also have a counter in my kitchen where I sort and fold laundry.
Make sure you choose headphones that don’t block out all sound so you can hear whether you toddler wants his waffles cut up or big. Here are some that I like GOgroove AirBAND Bluetooth Stereo Headphones.
An excuse for entertainment.
I’ve had my little guy in swimming lessons almost every afternoon over the summer. I had been trying to work during the lessons but it’s hot and noisy. I finally decided to stop fighting it since I really wasn’t getting anything done anyhow. Now I allow myself to read whatever I want. What I want to read is beach trash, not business articles. My husband and older daughter recently gave me a new phone for my birthday, so it’s easy to carry my trash novels everywhere. Now I look forward to the swimming lessons, in fact we have one in about an hour!
Focus on people not places.
I lost my Dad a few years ago. I have a whole new appreciation for family. I have seen the Eiffel Tower and it’s amazing, but now my prime travel destination is anywhere I can be with family. Over the past few years the kids and I have been to small towns in Minnesota and Nebraska. One summer we visited the church in St. Peter, Minnesota which still houses the Faust family records. My husband’s last name is Faust. Until 15 years ago, the church service was still conducted in Swedish. Oddly enough, my ancestors settled 30 miles down the road from my husband’s. Then we drove north to attend the wedding of my cousin’s daughter in Fargo, North Dakota. The next summer we attended the Van Buren family reunion in North Platte, Nebraska. We visited Buffalo Bill Cody’s ranch in 115 degree weather and then drove to Ogallala, Nebraska. I was born in Ogallala although my parents moved to California when I was two. We swam in the same community pool I used to swim in during summer visits when I was a child.
Appreciate the little things.
Each morning I look forward to that first, hot, fragrant sip of Earl Grey tea. In that moment, I feel richer than any king. I face the sink full of dirty dishes in the morning after breakfast content that we have the means to start our day with a hot and healthy meal. I make the beds and fold the laundry reveling in the luxury of having fresh beds and clean clothes every day. I find a certain meditative tranquility in performing these same chores day after day after day, choosing not to be annoyed by the repetitiveness.
Choose something simple to savor each day
- Wear the lipstick you save for special occasions
- Open that bottle of champagne for no special reason
- Sit down with a cup of tea and a photo album from college
Embrace the power of 15 minutes.
15 minutes doesn’t sound like a lot, but if you do it every day, it adds up! Almost two hours a week. So, take that thing you’ve been meaning to work on and give it 15 minutes a day. I’ve always joked about the Victoria Secret catalog and said, “This underwear is all pretty but where do I find the page to buy these abs?” LOL! I’m afraid those days are long gone but I have been wanting to work on my abs for ages. About a year ago I found several 15-minute ab work-out videos on YouTube for free. Now I’ve tried to do abs on my own, counting reps, and it’s so boring it’s hard to go more than three minutes. But with the short videos, I find the 15 minutes goes quickly. I typically do them late in the evening and I wear my street clothes, so it doesn’t require the extra fuss of changing. It makes a nice break and pick-me-up when I’m working late (which is always). I’ve been at it for the better part of a year and it’s working really well. I can’t say my abs look much different, but my core feels stronger and my lower back feels much better.
You could apply “the power of 15 minutes” to anything you’ve been meaning to do – meditation, reading, getting outdoors, learning Spanish, etc. It’s amazing how much progress you can make with a regular commitment of a small amount of time.
We Liberate Corporate Working Mothers.
The mission of Billable with Baby® is to help you find the courage to start your own consulting business so you can have the freedom and flexibility to raise your children the way you wish. You can replace the full time pay your family needs. I am excited to meet all the new moms as we grow this Billable with Baby® community! Please join our free group of ambitious mothers starting and running successful consulting businesses, Billable with Baby® Community. Selfishly, I am hoping lots of you join me, so I will be surrounded by even more like-minded moms.