The beauty of the simple life

After yet another difficult morning at home with the children during lockdown, I took our usual canal walk loop with my two year old daughter.

I was a little hurt as my son didn’t want us to go on a family walk, we’ve been splitting our walks on weekdays; my Husband takes my son out on his lunch break to play football and I take our daughter for a canal walk, feeding the ducks on the way.

It works better and is less stressful but after an anxiety filled week, I wanted some company.

After our six year old’s usual wining and protesting for ten minutes, I acted like a big child myself and said forget it we’ll do our usual thing and go on our own.

It’s a more scenic and leisurely walk anyway, a little stressful for the first 20 mins or so as my daughter independently toddles (wanting to hold the lead to her reins herself!) near main roads.

But once we get to the canal we have 10 minutes feeding the ducks and she’s usually ready for the walk in her pram, which is my favourite part of the walk.

Today I strolled further done the canal than usual, past some beautiful houses. I admired their gardens and decor and spotted a woman on a chair, large mug in hand, book in the other, basking in the mid day sun with a gorgeous view of the canal.

That right there I thought, is the good life. Those are those blissful moments when everything feels right in the world, our bodies and minds feel relaxed and we are present.

It’s those moments that are so few and far between with young children. Those moments I always enjoyed but never truly realised the value of, until I lost them.

So today rather than rushing back and trying to grab a brew and tend to my son whilst trying to embrace the last ten minutes or so peace of my daughter’s nap, I decided to stop off on a bench near the end of our walk.

In the grounds of a council listed building with lovely gardens, overlooking a bowling green. I parked my daughters pram in a shady spot and listened to a short meditation, took some deep breaths and just relaxed into the moment.

I usually would call a friend or relative at this point, with a bit of rare free time but decided although staying connected is important, finding these short pockets of stillness and peace is more important; moments where I can just be.

Life is far from normal at the moment and our internal resources are being stretched way beyond what is usual. It’s a fine juggling act to balance happy children, a happy home, a happy boss and a happy mind.

When I got home, my son had written me the sweetest homemade card telling me how much he loves me and he’s sorry for being mean to me, with a picture of our family and a little daisy he’d picked.

It reminded me that I am doing a good job although it doesn’t always feel that way, and even though they are exhausting, I am so blessed to have my beautiful, healthy family. There is no one else I’d rather be in lockdown with.

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