If you have followed me for a while now, you will know that Jake started school last September and that the transition has been somewhat difficult for both of us. The daily school runs, the intensity of school work, the extra intensity of homework, the tiredness, the endless stuff coming through on parentmail… Urgh, it’s been overwhelming. Once the Christmas holidays hit we were most definitely all done in.
So, when it came to thinking about making my New Year’s Resolutions I knew the main focus would have to be around being more organised, tackling issues head-on whilst trying to be more positive and less stressed through the use of mindfulness.
The first half term back was so much better! With my brand new mindset, I was on the ball. I made notes of everything that was happening, I wrote on my calendar, I had the uniform ready to go so Jake wasn’t as rushed in the mornings, I even laughed far more whilst we got ready. I wanted my positivity to rub off on him. But then that final week hit us. For some reason, we both felt, well, blah, again. I could almost feel what he was feeling and I was counting down the days to the half term break.
He was over the moon to have a week off and my cheeky chappy returned very quickly. We had such a blast but then that caused a problem– he didn’t want to go back to school. I felt awful for him. I haven’t exactly hidden the fact that I do not believe that children of this age should be at school and I truly believe that the UK is trailing behind and need to make a change to come in line with countries like Sweden (but that’s a topic for another blog post one day). It’s all been too much on such little shoulders.
He doesn’t quite get the concept of time and days and weeks yet so when you say you have a week off you have to explain it as how many night times. Then I have to remind him that he is actually going back to school.
Anyway, this week hasn’t gone well. He is back to crying when he gets home, he is exhausted, he is refusing to do homework and he is getting angry at me if I ask him to do a simple thing like getting changed. We have hit that wall of negativity.
So I tried something new… Mindfulness
This afternoon I sat on the kitchen floor with him. He had thrown himself down in upset over the mini cheddars not being the real ones (they were Lidl ones. Bad Mummy). So, I came down to his level, I picked him up and I sat him with his legs wrapped around my body, facing me.
I asked him to close his eyes.
I then told him to imagine he was somewhere warm. That the warmth of the sun was beaming down on him and he was in his summer clothes, barefoot.
I asked him to walk onto the beach that was right there in front of him and to feel the soft sand on his skin. I tickled between his toes and said it was the tiny grains of sand seeping through and told him to imagine how good that felt.
The story went on to talk about how he slowly, carefully, walked down towards the sound of the waves. I said that they lapping at the beach and as they swished in then out again, in then out, they eventually hit his feet and it felt so good. The whoosh of the waves was made by me stroking my hand up and down his foot and ankle which made him giggle a really happy laugh. I described the foam and how fluffy it felt and how each step felt absolutely amazing on his skin. I told him to imagine kicking up the water and allowing the droplets to slowly fall back down to the sea… He just grinned. He sat there with his eyes closed, chilled, calm and happy.
He then said ‘Mummy I can really imagine all of this and it’s so good’
I could have cried at that stage.
I then told him that he was in the most wonderful place on earth. I said open your eyes. It’s your home…
He smiled at me, hugged me and all of that negativity had just washed away on that imaginary beach.
I will be doing this every day if I have to.
I think I may need to try some mindfulness on myself too.
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