This guest post comes from the lovely Kate. I can’t thank her enough for her guest posts! You can find her at Tree Line Studio and at Kate Joranson. Also, here is her first guest post. Thank you so much, Kate!
If you’d like to guest post, drop me an email at elle dot mommyhood at gmail dot com.
At any given time during the day, whether I’m at work, or at home caring for my 2 year old, it can be difficult to pay attention to what I need. I might notice I need to stretch my back and shoulders, but then I get swept into a game of baila circulo.
Or my lovely little barnacle-like daughter senses I need something for my personal well-being and so, of course, decides to demand something of me.
And whether or not I decide to provide what she “needs,” I’ve shifted my attention away from the sensation I noticed in myself. This is not specific to parents of course, as there are lots of things that demand an adult’s attention throughout the day.
What I find especially challenging about parenting is the constant outward focus of my attention. It can be relentless.
It can be such a wonderful reprieve to spend time with J when we are both attending to the same external thing, like a territorial robin chirping aggressively, or a bunch of porta-potties that she has decided to call “mailboxes.” I get to connect with my daughter while having my own internal experience for a moment.
Although I may never have indulged in the backstretch or moment of meditation I hoped for, these connections invariably satisfy other needs, ones that I am often barely conscious of.
There’s a nice slowness to these moments– I’m not wrangling her into her clothes, or wrestling her to the ground to get sunblock on her– we’re both observing and soaking up our amazing surroundings.
These moments are, in part, how our picture walks came about. My husband and I have taken these kinds of walks for years, with and without cameras. Here is a series of photos from several recent walks that I’ll be adding to my Repairs collection.