Forced Rhythms of Pace

Photo by Steve Halama on Unsplash

Reflecting these past few days about pace and how we manage our lives, with Wee Man especially and with Girly Girl we have come to appreciate that there are times when we need to stop and oft force ourselves to regroup and recalibrate as a family.  Wee man is high on schedules and knowing what is coming next and what is it that we are doing.  We discovered early on that he is more comfortable in structured environments, like school, high levels of known parameters, and expectations, time to work and time to play, time to listen and time to let go.  What happened during school holidays was a constant barrage of needing to know and feeling out of sorts as we sought to flow somewhat in our relaxed holiday times, often ending in a clash of wills and discombobulation leading to more stress and moments of angst, as you can imagine those were some not so relaxed holidays.

Now over 7 years on since they moved in (yes it’s been over 7 years!!) we have come a long way to working through and with these times of how they tick but also how we all work together as a family, even more so as we seek to resolve teenage angst and 10 year old boy behaviour (knowing smiles from parents who are in, going through, been through these phases).  We all need, crave and seek times when we appreciate the structure as it grounds us gives a sense of knowing, a sense of belonging, we know where we are and what is expected, wanted of us, we are known, loved and accepted.  Equally now we need, crave and seek times when we are not structured, free to explore, develop, sleep, rest, dream…

Hamish and Mary Alexander
Dave and Amanda Hendry

As a couple, Yve and I early on in our marriage instigated a “Date Night” policy.  Within the busyness of life and being here doing this, helping there, working thither.  We recognised and craved those good ol days of dating when we just went out device free and shared a meal, sat across a table with a coffee in hand, well me coffee, Yve Tea, but you know what I mean. Had a conversation, shared hopes dreams, struggles, woes highs and lows, connected deeper.  More so now we are parents, to begin with we felt unable to go out for a date, after all who could cope with our 2 heck even we struggled with that at times let alone ask someone else to, so that we could get away and regroup as a couple.  Now we all have more of a rhythm we are able to have “Date Nights” and is thanks to great friends that we are able to.  Hamish and Mary Alexander are long long time friends of ours, they come to our home and willingly give up an evening once a month/6 weeks as do Dave and Amanda Hendry, not as long a time friendship but no less valuable, there are others as well that have or do child mind for us allowing our times of rest and Date Night. To you all we say thank you.

Photo by Hanny Naibaho on Unsplash

Saturdays are a lie in day as are many Sunday mornings as we have Church in the Afternoon, we have developed a couple of family traditions, Saturday sees Wee Man and I enjoy scrambled Egg on toast, Sunday sees us all enjoy a daddy cooked brunch.  I am oft challenged as I hear about other families locally in the neighbourhood as well as friends talk about the myriad groups and functions and activities their children are engaged in. Forever of an evening and more so at the weekends all out at this, that and the next thing, constant Taxi service. Our kids have a few things on during the week and hardly anything at the weekends unless scheduled by us as their parents.  There are times when I think we should be doing more, however, more so I recognise, this is our pace and this is how we have developed to cope with our life and all that has to challenge and bring. We have enough going on to engage us, keep us busy, because we have come to recognise we need to pace this marathon of life for their sake, for our sake.  So yeah we chill and we get up late on the weekends, we do stuff, sometimes we don’t, we plan in activities and schedule, we let it go and let the schedule slip and it creates as we see it an atmosphere of yes there are times to plan, be, do, go.  Just as important and dare I say more so, are the times to rest, explore, read, just not…

We can and do in life push ahead, strive and look to the next thing, but how much do we need as parents to show that life isn’t all about the device in your hands, mindless games, endless work, serving.  This Father is more trying to show yes these are helpful and add to our lives, allow us to connect, meet, share, even relax, but much more is the lack of electronic stimulation allows and fosters creativity, reading, exploring, being outside rain or shine, learning our own personal rhythm of pace.  Ironically, reading this may to you be relaxing, on a device.  However you have taken the time out of our day/schedule to stop and read this, thus allowing a stoppage an opportunity to reflect.  The question is now what…