Friday, 23 August 2013

Fri-Dad

Making the Most of Minimal Moments

If there’s one thing I have to admit about my life, it’s no cake walk. Mine and Laura’s jobs work with me working the morning and Laura the evening, with little time to relax or talk before she heads out the door. The Saturday is my full work day, by the time I’m done in the evening, I’ve hardly seen Max and I have little time to see Laura. After spending most of my spare time writing in the evening (including these posts) and catching up on my favourite things, when you look at it, we have hardly any time together as a family.

The one thing Laura and I promised to do was to make the most of the time we spend together, either on the Sunday or the few mornings I have off (that aren’t meeting filled). So we take the little money we have and put it towards a good time. We travel to soft play areas where Max can be unleashed onto other kids not ready for his jelly. We go to parks where similar carry on ensues. We take trips to zoos, farms and aquariums where animals can witness what humans are like in the wild.

This mostly sounds like a pattern emerging of Max just letting loose on the unsuspecting public…in some ways I’m kind of glad he does. I can imagine it is something unusual for most people to see, my son being the loudest, most mobile, most bizarre, most frustrated and most energetic anything they’ve seen for a while. When I think about the way he behaves, it’s sad to say, but I understand why he is like that. We are miles from our family that he sees from time to time and now out of childcare away from his friends (thanks to his un-established, not so rich parents). He simply spends his time in our small, quite boring flat with only a few toys and one TV channel that caters his entertainment.

Now, before it sounds like I’m telling a sob story, save your Kleenex boxes, this post gets happier. It’s these moments that we cherish the most as a family, enjoying life even if it is brief. We can go explore places, revisit places, bring friends, meet friends and have an adventure of our own. We have fun; we laugh hard, play hard and eat far too much when we could’ve brought lunch with us. It really is a rollercoaster with a twist. Now, as an outsider sure, when you look at the big picture this must be somewhat exhausting, it bloody is. Everyday my body demands more coffee, more food and if it’s too much junk food, expect to crash land before 10 o’clock. However, I want to show you something I did learn and it happened yesterday.

Look at the picture attached to this post, this semi-posed picture of Max and me resting on the bench, pointing to the clouds. Yesterday, we took an unscheduled trip to the park, bailing on moving furniture out of our flat. The way we ended up as we were came from hiking through the woodlands of out nearby park and playing field. I took a moment to rest on the bench and cloud watch, something I’ve always loved doing. For the fraction I spent on there I pondered how we forget our troubles when we are in a tranquil state and notice that life really is fantastic. Through all the stress and bedlam we face daily, one step back and you discover you and only you get a chance to say things are great for me. I look down next to me and I notice Max copying me, looking up at the sky and smiling. That’s when it really hit home that even he gets to realise these things and do what he really wants to do…have some quality family time. We pose, the pictures snapped, the day is done before he head back to reality.

This picture, that day is something I want to end this post on. I’m not the only person that does get tucked under plans and jobs with little around me and not a lot of time to themselves. But, if you have even the slightest moment, like morning before work, seize it. Go out and enjoy yourselves, it’s wrong to keep working and stressing, it does no good to you or your general enjoyment. Take those trips out they can be small or big (they can have planned lunches so you probably save more money than us) then when you’re on them, just switch off. Don’t put it past you to go vacant for just a second, then tune back in and look where you are. You’re enjoying yourself, you’re around your child(ren) with family or friends and they’re enjoying themselves. Minutes seem to fly by, but if you stare at a clock and watch a minute go by, it doesn’t seem so fast. Appreciate the little breaks and pit stops from the grind, it does turn out to be worth your while when you see just how fantastic a parent and person you can be.

Have yourselves a great weekend, ‘till next time everyone. 

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