Remember When You Wanted What You Have Now

My day finishes at 3.30pm. I caught myself saying this to my husband recently and it stopped me dead in my tracks. For context, I was mid-rant about the fact I hadn’t had time to “iron his bloody shirts because I’d been too busy cleaning bathrooms, doing two loads of washing, walking the dog, food shopping and, shockingly, eating some lunch all in between the school run”. So you can imagine my mood at the time. Not chipper.

Back to the point. My day finishes at 3.30. What was I actually saying — that my day finishes when I pick my kids up from school? That the good part of the day is gone and 3.30 till bedtime is just a long hard slog? Well, let’s be honest some days that is undoubtedly true. But do I really want to approach the afternoons with that assumption? Because that is definitely not what I imagined when I opted out of the traditional 9 to 5.

Remember when you wanted what you have now.

Two years ago I desperately wanted to be home more. I wanted to pick my kids up from school. I wanted to be there to help with the homework. To listen to how their day went before they forgot what they’d done and could only respond with a shrug. I wanted to cook a proper family meal instead of a light tea that I shovelled onto their plates whilst mentally composing an email that had to be sent in the next five minutes.

I wanted all of that.

And now what was I doing with it? Wishing it away? I am so incredibly fortunate to not be in the 9 to 5 at the moment and I do not want to look back at this time wishing I had appreciated it. So being the practical person that I am, I’m putting a few steps in place. So that when I arrive at the school gate I feel energised(ish) and ready to give my kids the best side of me.

  1. Eat lunch!
    That’s a whole other thread that I won’t pull at here but let’s just say I’m a bit pants at making myself eat a nutritious, balanced meal during the day. Add in the fact I don’t eat breakfast either and enough said. Cause and effect Karen, cause and effect;
  2. Meditate and/or yoga
    This sounds hideously woo but whatever you want to call it, it works for me. I am a nicer person after I’ve taken the time to lie-down and meditate. I used to worry about falling asleep but I heard a great quote from someone who said that they either had a successful meditation, or a great nap. Either way’s a winner.
  3. Housework free time after school
    My kids aren’t allowed on devices or TV until 5pm on school days so I’ve also put a block on doing housework between 3.30 and 5pm for me too. I was spending too much time running around trying to tidy up and then wondering why the kids couldn’t amuse themselves. Gabrielle Treanor gave me some great advice on my podcast recently about role-modelling self-care to our kids. If all they ever see is a mum who is rushing around and ‘busy’, how do they learn the importance of taking time to relax and switch off?

What do you do to ensure you’re making the most of your day? I’d love to hear in the comments or come and chat over on Instagram @thehappysideof40.

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Remember when you wanted what you have now

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