I read a quote that I posted to my Facebook page because it resonated with me so well - “Everything works better if you unplug it for a little while, including you.”
So I took July off, completely. A beautiful family holiday with 7 other family members and a dog called Daisy in a villa in France. I was a little dubious about having our family holiday at the beginning of the school holidays, as we normally holiday at the end so we have something to look forward to and I’m normally running on empty after 6 weeks of having the kids at home, so the theory goes.
I’m normally tense, tired, worn down, and exasperated by the end of such a long school break. Well that’s our expectation and that's what we’re all told isn’t it?
I was having a conversation with a neighbour shortly after returning back from France and the conversation went along the lines of “oh, how long have you got the kids at home for now? ….that’s tough…” In that very moment, not only did I realise they were in a totally separate reality to me (as we all are, always), but that I wasn’t finding the summer ‘tough’ at all - in fact I was enjoying it immensely.
Another quote that I read on Facebook that made me laugh but I didn't resonate with –
"I have given up now. The first week was outings and crafts and ‘love spending time together’ Facebook posts. Now we've descended into pure survival mode. Scavenge for your meals and make your own entertainment while I hide in the bathroom eating biscuits."
In fact the internet was awash with articles and blogs with the familiar annual parental summer holiday advice with headlines like ‘Feel like a summer parenting failure?’ and ‘Surviving School Holidays When You Work From Home’
…..and of course then there are the funny quotes too…..
‘You know what’s sweeter than the sound of a child’s laughter? The sound of silence from the kids having gone back to school’
So my kids went back to school this Monday after the summer break and guess what?
I returned home to a quiet house and actually missed them, I mean really missed them, with no sense of relief of them being back at school. This was a completely new experience for me. After 8 weeks of being in their company (except one indulgent day to myself in that whole period of time).
I didn’t have the usual euphoria of ‘at last time to myself!’ or ‘yay, no more endless days of feeding mouths attached to stomachs that seem bottomless and eternally hungry’ and the joy of working undisturbed or having to find new entertainment for the “I’m bored” commentators.
My kids haven’t changed. They are pretty much the same as they’ve been the last few summers. So why the big change?
These days my experience of life appears to be constantly surprising, as I seem to show up in new ways. This is all thanks to gaining an increasing understanding of what I like to call the inside out paradigm.
The more we realise that out experience is coming from thought in the moment and not from our circumstances (e.g. the kids being at home for weeks), then the less we feel like a pawn in the wheel of life. This change has not been something I’ve had to work at either. Because my whole foundation of understanding how we experience day to day life has changed I just notice that my behaviours have changed too, which frequently invokes a smile when I realise I’ve had another insight, a new way of seeing things and another less than pleasant behaviour then changes, without any effort.
It’s been really beautiful to spend a summer not blaming my kids for any bad moods I’ve had and in those moods wishing them back at school. And I know they’ve felt that shift in me too as our connection is not fuzzied by thinking my feelings are coming from them. Life just got even easier again.
Connection is the route to all good parenting. To experience connected parenting in a whole new easy way then join me on Saturday, 15th October to learn everything you will ever need for loving, patient, connected parenting. Limited spaces available:
One Day Workshop - Creating a Stress-free Life
Saturday, October 15, 2016, 10:00am 4:00pm
Venue: Cornerstone Community Centre, Church Road, Hove, BN3 2FL
Click on 'Workshops' tab to book.
You will learn how to:
• Uncover the hidden challenges that create low moods, worry and stress
• Reduce any conflict for a more relaxed home
• Find your own inner child to really enjoy your time with your children without distractions
• Listen deeply to your children, truly connect and communicate with love and feel that you are heard too.